Best Bodyweight Training For Men Over 50

Our muscle mass grows more and more depleted with each day. As we grow older, physical fitness declines. More so as we grow over 50. Specifically, testosterone level decreases, weight typically increases, and the risk of contracting diseases or falling sick is grossly escalated. Regular physical activity like strength training plus proper nutrition and supplements are the central keys to combating the inevitable effects of ageing.

Prevention of injury, poor balance, and posture should be one of the main focuses of your strength training program. This chapter will discuss workout exercises you can do at home with no equipment, using just your body weight

Some people might be skeptical of a workout exercise that doesn’t use any machine or external weight. But researchers have proven bodyweight workouts improve strength and endurance. They are reliable exercises that anyone can do at any time. The problem I find people face is finding enough exercises to develop a complete routine. Not to worry, I have devised for you all of my top picks, covering all muscle groups.

BODYWEIGHT WORKOUTS

Bodyweight workouts are simple strength training workouts that use your body weight to provide resistance against gravity. They are effective ways to improve strength, balance, power, flexibility, endurance, speed, etc., all without the stress of buying equipment and learning how to use them. 

Bodyweight training uses simple abilities such as pulling, squatting, twisting, pushing, and balancing. Some of the standard bodyweight exercises include pull-ups, push-ups, and sit-ups, but there are many more.

If you are still not convinced, here are some of the benefits you will not find using weights or equipment.

Convenient: Using weights for a workout has benefits, but using your bodyweight surpasses dumbbells and barbells for convenience. You can achieve a blood-pumping and effective workout with your hands and feet anywhere you find yourself, whether that’s at home or outside.

Efficient: You can change from one move to the next without expending time since no TRX, kettlebell, or ViPR is in the way. With less rest, your heart rate maintains its elevated level, which is very important for burning calories. Bodyweight workouts are commonly done in interval training; you alternate between bursts of intense activity and periods of little or no intensity activity. This is proven to be more efficient than constant cardio.

Versatility: Squats and push-ups are perhaps the most effective exercises. Both are compound movements. They involve multiple joints and work on the most prominent muscle groups.

Customizable: Equipment limits you, but bodyweight exercises give you many options for any fitness level. It’s just a case of discovering them. For example, the push-up can be done in various ways, from knees on the ground to clap and handstand push-ups.

No cost: Even though you can get your bodyweight workout done at a gym, all you will need is the floor beneath you, meaning you can do it at home, with no money spent on equipment.

THE TOP TIER OF BODYWEIGHT EXERCISES

Hopefully, now you understand the usefulness of your own flesh. Let’s dive into the exercises that I consider the best of the best. I will be describing these exercises, their benefits, and how to do them correctly, all of which have been carefully chosen for your age group, with injury prevention in mind. 

It can be hard to imagine the correct position of an exercise using only a bit of text on a page. To overcome this, I have provided illustrations of each activity that includes a starting position and a finishing position. They are numbered, so you can look back and refer to them at any time.

We’ll start with workout exercises to work on the legs.

1. SQUAT

A squat is a strength exercise in which you lower your hip from a standing position while keeping your back upright. When you descend to squat, your hip and knee joints flex while your ankles dorsiflex (flexion of the ankle upwards). 

Conversely, your hip and knee joints extend, and your ankle joints plantarflex (extension of the ankle downwards) when you stand up. There are varieties of squats; we will be discussing the standard squat to keep things simple.

How to exercise:

Pose: Before you squat, you should be in the proper squat position. Keep your feet a little bit wider than your shoulders. They shouldn’t point straight ahead but will be turned out slightly depending on your comfort level between 5 and 30 degrees. This helps you keep balance.

Maintain strong footing: Screwing your feet firmly into the ground help engage your muscles, improve alignment and create stability with the ground. It will also keep your arches from collapsing.

Raise your chest: Your upper body matters as well. You have to keep your chest up and roll your shoulders back. Imagine an invisible pole passing from your lower back to the back of your head.

Initiate the movement: When you’re ready to squat, start the activity by bending your knees and pushing your hips back. Engage your core while lowering and keep it braced throughout the bend. 

Be sure to stay in control through the entire movement and go through it slowly. This will increase time under tension for your muscles, making them work harder. Inhale as you bend down, and as you squat, your knees should be laterally above your toes, not reaching too inward or too outward.

If you are looking for something to do with your arms, I suggest pointing them directly in front of you for extra stability.

Stop when you reach a right-angle: You can bend lower to increase resistance, but it’s acceptable if you stop when legs enter a right-angle position. If you have difficulty getting there due to lack of mobility or injury, then it’s better to end the movement at any degree convenient and free of pain for you.

Drive through your heels when you stand: Be sure to make your feet firmly on the ground throughout the time of your squat; You should focus on driving through your heels on your way back up. 

This will fire your posterior chain up, that’s the muscles in the back of your body – your hamstrings and glutes. It would be best if you also exhaled on your way back up. Make sure to

breathe throughout the move – breathe in on your way down and out on your way up.

2. LUNGE

Have you seen a footballer knelt to tie a loose lace while on the pitch of play? Or someone proposes a bent knee; then you are familiar with the lunge. A lunge is a single-leg bodyweight workout exercise that works your hips, quads, glutes, hamstrings and the muscles of your inner thighs. 

Lunges can improve endurance and lower body strength. When done the right way, they effectively target your lower body muscles without placing added strain on your joints. They are great moves for beginners.

How to exercise:

Stand in a split stance with one of your legs forward and the other back. to get the proper length take one step forwards or one step backward.

Ensure your torso is straight, and keep up on your toes for the back leg before you lunge

Bend both knees simultaneously and lower your body until the knee at the back is about 3 or 4 inches from the floor. The front thigh should be parallel to the floor. Your weight should be shared equally between both legs.

Push back up by straightening your front leg. Repeat for all reps before you switch legs. Lunges can be very hard on your knees. The following tips are ways to make lunges easier on them:

Be sure to keep the whole of your front leg foot on the ground. Remember the hips’ role in performing a lunge. Keep your hip bones squared and facing forward, leading to more balanced training of the joints and muscles.

Be sure to keep your rib cage over your pelvis; this will help engagement and better posture. Don’t point your rib cage up. It could stress your low back. When your rib cage is over your pelvis, you will breathe better and produce more power.

Your front knee should align properly with your toes. Proper alignment is vital in lunges for joint health.

As an alternative or for variety, you can consider the side lunge. Start by standing upright with your feet shoulder-width apart. Take a big step to the side and make sure you keep your torso as upright as possible.

Lower until you bend the knee of your leading leg at around 90 degrees while keeping your trailing leg straight, push back up to the starting position. An issue that may occur with the side lunge is collapsing over the straight knee. 

Focus on bending and lowering from the hips while your back is straight and core engaged, just as it is with a squat. Finally, be sure to keep both heels on the floor.

3. GLUTE BRIDGE

The glute bridge is versatile, demanding, and effective bodyweight exercise. Regardless of your age or fitness level, the glute bridge is an excellent addition to any workout routine. It targets your hamstrings and glutes.

How to exercise:

Lie on your back on the floor or an exercise mat. Bend your knees with both of your feet flat on the floor. Make your feet and knees in line with your shoulders. Contract your abdominal muscles to flatten your lower back into the floor. Make an effort to maintain a straight back throughout the exercise.

Gently breathe out and engage your core while you pass your hips upwards off the floor into extension, then squeeze your bottom at full extension. Make sure your feet are firmly pressed into the ground for more stability. 

Don’t push your hips too high because this can generally increase the amount of arching in your low back. 

Breathe in as you slowly lower yourself back into your starting position. Gradually progress in this workout. After you’ve done several reps using both feet on the ground, you can move to the single-leg glute bridge. Remember not to push your hips too high to avoid arching that lower back.

The single-leg glute bridge: lie on your back and bend your knees, so your feet rest flat on the floor, just as explained above. Then raise one of your legs and straighten it out. Then, repeat the normal movement of the glute bridge by driving your hips up while keeping the leg in the air straight.

4. FIRE HYDRANT

Also known as quadruped hip abductions. It’s a bodyweight exercise that primarily works the gluteus maximus; some variations also work the core. The glutes control three major hip movements: hip extension, hip external rotation, and hip abduction. The fire hydrant involves all three actions. 

Performing this regularly will give you buns of steel. Having solid glutes improve your posture, reduce back and knee pains, and lower your risk of injury.

How to exercise:

You start on all four – both hands and legs. With your hands under your shoulder and knees under your hips, as in a crawling posture. Make sure to keep your knees hip-width apart.

Keep your hips level and core engaged, back flat, and both legs bent at 90 degrees. Lift your leg out and raise it as high as your hip level; hold it for a second at this height. Lower the leg to return to its starting position. Repeat several times, then switch over to the other leg.

Do make sure to face the floor and avoid arching your back. Your elbows should be locked, and don’t allow your weight to shift to one side. Take your time and try not to raise your leg above your hip. Breathe out as you raise your leg and in as you lower it.

5. STEP UP

Just as the name suggests, it involves you stepping up to a higher platform and back down again. Step up is a simple body resistance exercise that works the leg and bottom muscles. It helps build strength in the quadricep muscles in the front of the thigh. 

Since the quads get little use in walking or running, it’s a great way to balance this out. Building your quads also helps protect your knees. You can perform the step-up exercise anywhere as long as you have something stable to step on, for example, a bench.

How to exercise:

Stand in front of a box or a chair, or you could use a step around you. Using your stairs at home is acceptable at first but keep in mind the higher the step, the more significant the resistance. So eventually, you will have to move on to something taller.

Place any of your feet up on the step while the other is down. Press through your heel to straighten the leg. Bring the other foot to meet the one on top of the step. Bend the first knee on the step, and step down with the other foot.

Bring the foot on the step down as well. You can repeat this for any number of reps, then change side and lead with the other foot while you repeat the sequence.

6. CALF RAISE

Most people tend to ignore their calves, but I am sure you don’t want to be the guy looking like a popsicle stick when the shorts go on. It’s not a good look. They are very instrumental to your daily life. Take, for instance, running or walking. 

For inactive people, calf muscles can be tight due to a lack of flexibility. To loosen up your calf muscles, try doing a bit of walking to warm up. The calf raise activates the muscles that run down the back of the lower leg: the gastrocnemius and soleus. 

These muscles are vital for ankle flexion and extension, propelling running and jumping. The gastrocnemius also works in alignment with hamstrings in the control of knee flexion. The soleus maintains proper balance and pumps blood from the legs to the heart. When the calf muscles are weak, they easily cramp and strain, making walking and running difficult.

How to exercise:

To do calf raise, spread your feet shoulder-width apart, then raise your heels slowly while keeping your knees extended. Pause for a second while you’re stretched on your toes.

Lower your heels slowly back to the ground. Those are my top choices for the lower body based on science and research. Now let’s move on to working your core.

7. CRUNCH

The crunch is a classic core exercise. It’s a highly effective compound-muscle exercise for the abs. When you implement it correctly, it trains your upper and lower abdominal, oblique, and lower back muscles.

These are the muscles that help stabilize your whole body. Crunches help you get a toned and ripped midsection and strengthen your stabilizer muscles like spinal erector muscles (your back). There are many benefits for the stomach, too; it helps people suffering from regular constipation by inducing bowel spasms and triggering its movement. 

A few minutes of moderate crunch session will also see you burning out lots of calories. But personally, my favorite part is the burn you feel when working the core. You will grow to love it!

How to exercise:

Lie on your back on the ground. (You should use an exercise mat, which is more comfortable).

Raise and bend your knees, and make your feet flat on the floor. Both knees and feet should be about a hip-width apart. Adjust your feet so that your heels are about a foot and a half from your tailbone.

Cross both arms on your chest. You can also place your fingertips behind your head or neck if you’re more comfortable with that. Lift your shoulder blades off the mat in a smooth and controlled motion. Breathe in, then breathe out as you engage your ab muscles and raise your torso. 

Lift yourself just enough to raise your shoulder blades off the floor. Once raised, pause in that position for a second or two. (You can have lower back strain if you lift your entire torso off the floor). Ensure your lower back, tailbone, and feet maintain contact with the floor.

In a slow and steady motion, lower yourself back. Breathe in gently as you lower your torso gently. Smoothly controlling your movements work your ab muscles more effectively and help prevent injury. 

Always pause for a moment in between reps. If you rush the next rep, you will exhaust yourself lifting yourself instead of your muscles, leading to back injuries. The trick is to imagine just lifting your body with your abs. It helps if you keep them tense throughout the motion.

8. FLUTTER KICK

The flutter kick is an exercise that works muscles in your core. It specifically targets the lower rectus abdominal muscles and the hip flexors. 

Like swimming strokes, you can perform this move by lying on your back (or on your stomach if you want to strengthen your back muscles) and using your core to flutter your legs back and forth. Flutter kicks help improve posture, stability, and balance, improve endurance, and prevent injuries. It can also help burn calories and give more defined ab muscles.

How to exercise:

Lie flat on your back and raise your legs to about 45 degrees. Keep your arms straight in line with the floor, or place them under your butt. You can lift your head, neck, and shoulders a little above the floor.

While your legs are straight and glued together, start by lowering one leg. Raise the lowered leg and lower the other while focusing on keeping your core engaged. Continue the alternating movement between both legs.

9. RUSSIAN TWIST

The final of our core exercises is the Russian twist. It’s a valuable exercise that strengthens all parts of your abdominals, as well as your internal and external obliques, to give you a toned waistline and a more robust back. 

The twisting motion is the key to this move. It’s a prevalent exercise among athletes as it helps with rotational movement, a valuable asset in sports. As you rotate with your abs from one side to the other, you fire up the muscle fibers around your waist and pull in the lower abs for a solid flat stomach. 

The Russian twist is a good calorie burner. It also helps improve balance and strengthen the lower back.

How to exercise:

You start by sitting on your exercise mat, with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground. Then lean back so that your upper body is about 45 degrees off the floor. Make sure you keep your back straight at this angle throughout the exercise.

Link your hands together in front of your chest, brace your core and raise your legs above the ground. Rotate your arms all the way over from one side to the other. Now, let’s move on to working out the back.

10. SUPERMAN

Undoubtedly, you must have seen Superman fly – either on a screen or in a picture. Today you’re gonna fly like Superman. However, flying will be achieved by lying on your exercise mat. 

The Superman strengthens your lower and upper back and your erector spinal muscles supporting the spine. Strong back muscles will prevent poor posture and discomfort. It also strengthens your glutes, hamstrings, and core. If you suffer from lower back pain or work at a desk most of the time, schedule the Superman in your workout. It’s an excellent exercise to counterpart many core exercises.

How to exercise:

Start by lying face down in a prone position, with your arms fully stretched backwards and your legs stretched as well. Breathe out as you slowly lift your arms, legs, upper back, and head off the floor. Your body should have a slight curve, with your hands and toes some width from the ground.

Hold your body in this pose. Then breathe out as you return to the starting position.

11. REVERSE SNOW ANGEL

The reverse snow angel is a great exercise for improving strength. It also improves control of your scapular stabilizing muscles at its end ranges of motion.

How to exercise:

Start by lying face down on your exercise mat, with your arms stretched out over your head and legs stretched out behind you. Lift your chest, arms, and legs a couple of inches off the floor.

Move your arms backwards to the pelvis and move your legs apart at the same time – just like trying to make snow angels. Return to the starting position. That’s a rep.

12. PLANK ROW

Plank Row is multifunctional. It requires your arms, legs, and ab muscles, making the exercise all-encompassing. Plank Row improves your posture by strengthening your back, chest, shoulders, neck, and abs, making it easier to keep your shoulders back and lower back in a neutral position. 

It helps your upper body rotation and improves balance. It challenges your core, increases stability throughout your spine, and trains the middle and upper back, shoulder, and arm muscles. Basically, anything you can think of, this exercise has got it.

How to exercise:

Start in a plank position with your legs hip-width apart. Ensure your back is straight and your hands are stacked under your shoulders.

Make your core tight and engage your glutes. Breathe out, stabilizing your torso as you lift one of your elbows to row, feel that side’s shoulder blade sliding toward your spine as you bend your elbow toward the ceiling.

Return the arm to the ground and repeat the movement for the other side. The back has been ticked off the checklist. Next up… the chest.

13. PUSH UP

The push-up is one of the most common and popular workout exercises that are perfect for building the upper body and core strength. There is a reason why it’s so popular, and it’s because they are amazing. 

When you do it properly, it is a compound exercise that uses muscles in the chest, shoulders, triceps, back, abs, and legs to an extent. There are scores of variations of the push-up. As a beginner, you should start with leisurely versions and work up to the challenging ones as you progress.

How to exercise:

Drop down to the floor and get into the press-up position. Your arms should be slightly lower than your shoulders and slightly out from them, with your fingers pointing forward.

Stay balanced on your hands and toes. Let your body be in a straight line from your head to toes without arching your back or sagging in the middle. Your feet can be close or wider apart, whichever way is convenient for you. 

Contracts your abs and tighten your core before you start any moves. Make sure you keep your muscles flexed throughout the entire push-up.

Breathe in as you slowly bend your elbows and lower yourself until your elbows are at 90 degrees. Breathe out as you start contracting your chest muscles while pushing back through your hands to the start position. As I’ve said, there are many variations of the push-up. I’ll brief a few.

WIDE PUSH-UP

It is an effective exercise to build the upper body and core strength. It targets the chest and shoulder muscles more than the standard push-up, working the muscles on the ribs’ surface beside the chest. 

All of this while providing support to the neck and back muscles. It is also beneficial for core stability, enhancing balance and posture, and protecting the back from injury.

How to exercise:

Start in a plank position with your hands set wider than your shoulders. Your fingers should face forward. Bend your elbows out to the side as you lower your body toward the floor. Stop when your chest gets below your elbows.

While in this position, engage your core as you press into your hands and lift your body back to the starting position.

DIAMOND PUSH-UP

It’s also known as the triangle push-up. It’s a compound exercise and a more advanced variation of the standard push-up. Diamond push-ups target and activate your triceps more than the traditional push-up. 

It’s perfect for preparing your arms for other exercises such as pull-up or close grip bench press. It activates the chest muscles like the pectoralis major and shoulder muscles like the anterior deltoid as a compound exercise.

How to exercise:

Start in a plank position. You can place your legs together or apart by hip-width. The trick to this exercise is to connect your thumbs and index fingers to create a diamond shape.

Engage your core and tuck your elbows against your body. Then bend your elbows as you push down your chest toward your hands until your upper arms are alongside your ribcage. Your shoulder blades should retract in the process.

While you maintain proper form, return to the starting position by squeezing your chest and straightening your elbows. Your shoulder blades should protract as you return. On your way back up, squeeze your chest and triceps.

Incline Push-up: You should place your hands a bit wider than shoulder-width on a bench or box. With your feet rooted on the floor, bend your arms and go low until your chest touches the bench or box. Bring your body back up to the starting position and repeat.

Decline Push-up: You should place your feet on a bench or box with your hands rooted on the floor. Lower your body until your chest is almost touching the floor. Push your body back up to the starting position and repeat after a brief pause. It would help if you used a low box as a beginner.

There are many other variations of push-ups like the one-arm-push-up and clap push-ups. However, these are high in difficulty with few advantages to the previous variations. If I am honest, I think these techniques are often used to show off one’s strength instead of building muscle. If you find the push-up too easy, you can always add more reps or add extra resistance using resistance bands. But don’t worry, we will get into that later.

14. STAR PLANK

The star plank not only strengthens your obliques but your entire core. It builds strength in your shoulders and arms but deep contraction in your oblique muscles and hip. 

In addition, plank poses work on the strength of your mind and will because it requires a level of mental fortitude to maintain the position. It also offers you an opportunity to practice good breathing. Make sure you breathe well during this exercise.

How to exercise:

From a push-up position, walk your hands and feet outward until they form an x-shape. Brace your core to keep a flat line from your head to your hips. And then from your hips to your feet. Stay in that position, then walk back to the standard push-up position.

15. REACH UNDER PLANK

Plank reach primarily targets the abs and, to a lesser degree, the lower back, obliques, and shoulders.

How to exercise:

Start in a plank position, put your hands under your shoulders, don’t arch your back, and keep your core tight. Maintain the plank position. Lift one of your arms off the ground and touch the opposite hip with your hand. Return to the starting position and repeat for the other side.

Finally, we move on to the last but certainly not the least. Let’s work on those arms. The arms have always been considered the most difficult to get an effective workout only using body weight. Especially the biceps. This is far beyond the truth; people forget that we can create resistance in our limbs. The best part is you get to decide how much resistance you create! So, get ready as we prove all of the doubters wrong.

16. SIDE LYING BICEP CURL

It might look weird, but the side-lying bicep curl is an excellent substitute for the bicep curl with weights. Although, it’s not easy, and it requires some technique to practice the proper form for utilizing the movement effectively. 

It works the bicep muscles at the front of your upper arm and that of the lower arm: brachialis and brachioradialis. These are the muscles you use daily. Doing the side-lying bicep curl strengthens the upper arm and teaches you how to use your arm muscles.

How to exercise:

  • Lie on any side; for this tutorial, we will say left. Then bend your knees and waist.
  • Put your right hand behind your head.
  • Grab your left leg with your left hand and pull on continuously while you flex your torso at the same time.
  • Contract your bicep and hold for several seconds.
  • Lower your body back down while keeping hold of your leg.

17. LEG BARBELL CURL

This bicep exercise is quite an easy one in base form. But remember, you can apply resistance by pushing against your arms with your legs. The more you drive away from your arms, the greater the resistance.

How to exercise:

  • Begin this exercise by standing against the wall.
  • Use your left hand to grab your right ankle with your palm facing upward.
  • Lift your ankle towards your shoulder as high as you can, pause a few seconds, then lower it. That’s a rep.
  • Repeat for the other side.

18. COBRA PUSH-UP

The Cobra push-up is a great bodyweight exercise for the triceps. It works on the hips, too, increasing the weight loaded through the triceps.

How to exercise:

  • Lie on the floor with your chest and thighs flat on the ground.
  • Place your palms on the ground, wider than a shoulder’s width.
  • Push the upper body up off the floor while keeping the lower half against the ground.
  • Hold this position for 5 seconds and then lower back to the starting position.

19. BODYWEIGHT TRICEPS EXTENSION

The bodyweight triceps extension is a callisthenics exercise that mainly targets the triceps and, to a lesser degree, the lower back and shoulders.

There are many different variations you could do. Some require you to use a barbell and squat rack. But that’s not what this chapter is about, so we will be focusing only on your body weight.

How to exercise:

You start on all four. Almost similar to the push-up starting position, only that your hands are a little forward and not directly under your shoulders. Stay balanced on your hands and toes.

Slowly, bend your elbows so that you go low, and as against the regular push-up, you don’t stop until your elbows touch the floor and your hands form the L-shape.

Return to the starting position, and that is a rep.

That concludes my list of elite bodyweight exercises. I also want to remind you that all of the listed activities have been chosen to provide you with the absolute best bodyweight training and to prove a point. That being, you can sustain a perfectly balanced training regime without spending a dime. That’s the beauty of it. It is solely up to you how you exercise, and anyone can do it.

Do You Have to Take Supplements with Bodyweight Training?

Bodyweight training boosts fat loss by enhancing both the afterburn after exercise and increasing muscle size, thus increasing resting metabolism.

Some people might also use natural fat burners as part of a healthy diet and lifestyle to increase metabolism or decrease appetite. When combined with a healthy diet, it will further increase the loss of excess body fat – and may also have other beneficial effects.

Resurge is of the most popular weight loss supplements that promise to help you shed pounds and sleep better. Because studies have shown that sleep deprivation is associated with deficiencies of growth hormone and elevated levels of cortisol, both of which contribute to obesity.

While other supplements promote nutritional factors, meal replacement forms, appetite suppression, or similar effects, Resurge boosts your body’s metabolism by increasing your core temperature. However, before making any purchases, you might want to read some Resurge reviews because the supplement industry is rife with scams.

Besides, it should be noted that supplements are ineffective on their own and are hardly a solution to obesity. Pills or supplements only work when combined with a healthy weight-loss diet and regular exercise.

In any case, it’s always best to talk with your doctor before you start taking a supplement, especially if you are taking medications or have any health concerns.

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