Going to the gym isn’t for everyone, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get in a good strength workout right at home, the office or even at your local park. No equipment needed!
Why Do Strength Exercises?
The benefits of adding strength exercises to your workout: to help maintain and build muscle as you age. But that’s not all.
Strength exercises will also help you to increase your overall energy level, relieve stress, reduce risk of injury, while improving balance and flexibility. Strengthening the muscles around bones can increase bone density and decrease the risk of osteoporosis. Finally, strength exercises, along with a healthy diet that includes all the essential amino acids and protein, can help to stave off sarcopenia.
Sarcopenia is age related loss of muscle mass, strength and function. While these losses to your lean muscles are subtle at first, beginning in your 40s, we will all lose approximately 1% of muscle per year, unless you do something to slow and reverse that trend. 1% may not seem like a lot but as the years go by, these figures become more consequential. Muscle loss impacts everything you do, and could impact your independence if you don’t get it under control.
There are two things that you can do to help stem this muscle loss: add protein to your diet, along with the essential amino acids available in easy to take supplements like REJUVENATE, and doing strength exercises on a regular basis, along with your cardio workouts.
While REJUVENATE will work to slow age related muscle loss, with or without a workout, it works much better if you can incorporate a regular exercise program that focuses on building your lean muscles.
You don’t have to do all 7 of these exercises every time you work out. Instead, keep it interesting and change them up with every session. The goal is to hit all of your body parts a couple times a week, for even distribution of the effects.
These 7 strength exercises will work your legs, core, arms, back, chest and shoulders. Do some of these strength exercises every day in as little as 5 minutes: your muscles will thank you.
7 Strength Exercises You Can Do Now
The V sit exercise strengthens and stretches core muscles, including lower abdominals, hip flexors and lower back. By improving your core, you can improve your balance and reduce the chance of injury from a fall. How? Sit with legs extended and your torso off the ground so that your body forms a V shape. V sits can be done with legs straight out or bent at the knee with calves parallel to the floor. Hold for 10-20 seconds to start and slowing increase the time in a V sit as your core strength improves.
The side plank also works out your core as it strengthens both lower and side abdominal muscles, known as obliques. Side planks also help you to build up your back muscles, targets the glutes, hips, and your inner thigh. How? Lying on the floor, hold your body on your side in a straight position, supported only by one arm (either straight or on your elbow) and the side of one foot. Side plank can be done with legs together or the top leg raised into the air, when you’re ready for more of a challenge.
The plank is one of the best exercises to get a toned stomach because it works all the muscles in your core, including obliques, as well as your hips, back and shoulders. How? Get into the position of doing a push up but just hold the position, rather than going up and down. Planks can be done from your elbows or with straight arms. The goal is to hold the plank position for as long as possible.
Chairs dips use all of your body weight to work out the tricep muscles but also help to build strength in the chest and shoulders. How? Sit on a chair, feet placed forward but where they still remain flat on the floor. Place your hands palm side down on each side of you, at the front edge of the chair. Extend your arms and move off the chair, hovering over the floor with knees bent. Lower yourself until your elbows are at a 90 degree angle, then push back up.
Squats are a lower body exercise that works primarily the thighs, hips, buttocks, quadriceps, calves and hamstrings. They also work well to develop your core strength. How? Stand with your feet apart, at shoulder width. Squat down until your legs are bent at almost 90 degrees, as if you were going to sit in a low chair. Be careful not to hunch your back or lift your heels off the floor, for maximum effect.
The lunge is another lower body exercise that works the glutes in your hips and butt along with the hamstrings and quadriceps in your thighs. It’s a great move to start your strength training routine because it’s very similar to a movement you do everyday: walking. How? Stand tall with feet hip width apart. Take a big step forward so that your heel hits the floor first. Lower your body until your thigh is parallel to floor and shin is vertical. Press up into your heel to push back up to starting position and then repeat, using your other leg.
This one sounds simple, but it is great for working the lower body muscles like glutes, calves, quads, hamstrings and inner thighs. How? Place your back against the wall, feet shoulder width apart and one step forward, so that you are leaning back against the wall. Lower yourself to a ‘seated’ position and hold it. If you need to make it more challenging, hold a block or ball between your knees or in your hands that are stretched out straight in front of you as you sit.
As with all new physical activity routines, be sure to check with your doctor before beginning. Also, don’t forget that muscle soreness that lasts a few days post-workout normal as you build muscle. Just don’t overdo it all in one day! Your muscles will improve, as will your core, balance and flexibility. You’ll be slowing down age related muscle loss quickly and your entire body and health will thank you for that.