A List of Exercises that Every Man Over 40 Should Include in Their Workout Routine
When you’re older, your body doesn’t recover as quickly and effectively as it used to, and you will lose muscle mass at a much faster rate. For that reason, the focus of your exercise should be on promoting longevity, retaining muscle strength, and mobilizing your joints.
Here are the top exercises that you need to include in your workout routine to promote a healthy lifestyle as you age:
Dumbbell bench press
You might be asking: “Why a dumbbell bench press? Why not just press with a barbell?” The answer is quite simple. There are more muscles that contribute to the stabilization of dumbells. What’s more is that you can vary the distance between your arms to work the different muscles of your chest. The fact that more muscles are involved in the process also helps to promote a more complete movement. The bench press has many associated benefits. It helps to build stronger and larger pectoral muscles, which are integral to other types of motions. They can also be altered quite easily to target other individual muscle groups in your chest. For example, you can do an incline bench press to work on your upper pecs or lower it down to a decline to involve the lower portion of your pecs.
One issue that you have to be aware of is that the bench press can put excessive strain on your shoulder and cause an injury. You have to make sure your form is correct so that you don’t risk hurting yourself. Your elbows shouldn’t make a 90 degree angle with your body; instead, your elbows should be closer to your side. This slight adjustment will take the strain from your shoulder joints and move it to your triceps instead.
Barbell Bent-Over Row
The barbell row is one of the most overlooked exercises, but it most definitely shouldn’t be. Some people think that the same muscle groups can be activated with the lateral pulldown, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. The row engages the lateral back muscles while the pulldown works your upper back muscles. The lateral back muscles can help to prevent back pain and injury, as they offer more stability to your spine when you shift your weight side to side.
The correct form of a bent-over barbell row begins with your core. You have to make sure that you tuck your stomach in without allowing your lower back to arch upward. Your back should be a straight line position with a slight curve in the mid back where your spine arches. When you pull the barbell, make sure to initiate with your back and core, not allowing your biceps to take over.
Dumbbell/Kettlebell Shoulder Press
The deltoids are comprised of three main parts: the posterior, anterior, and lateral deltoids. These three parts control the front, side, and backward motions of the shoulder joints. They’re activated differently. The standard shoulder press engages your lateral deltoids, which is a motion that we engage from time to time. The main benefit of having strong shoulders is that they allow you to do other exercises with a lower risk of injury. The shoulders can produce quite a bit of power, and you may very well surprise yourself by how heavy you can lift!
Proper shoulder press form is all about stability. You want to make sure you use the weight that you can hold up above your head without your arms swaying from side to side. If you are on your last few reps and you need an extra push, you can use some momentum from your legs to drive the barbell upwards. However, you need to make sure that your core and back aren’t arching backwards or forward when doing an overhead shoulder press, as this could pose a risk of injury.
Your legs are where most of your power comes from when you’re doing a full-body workout. For that reason, you want to make sure that you pay attention to your legs as much as the other parts of your body. Typical squats can already be quite difficult without any weight, but when you add weight to it, each set can become very difficult.
Leg muscles can generate a ton of power, and they are arguably one of the strongest muscle groups in your body. It’s not uncommon to see people squatting twice their body weight. As strong as your legs are, you can’t shirk on form. Make sure to open your glutes and keep your back straight while engaging your core. Keep your head facing forward as you descend. There are many styles of squats, such as the butt-to-grass and Hungarian variations. Not everything is going to be comfortable for everyone, so look for what works for you!
If you're focusing on fitness for men over 40, we recommend trying this workout routine out.
About the Author
Jack of all trades... master of none! Father of 3 awesome boys, husband to 1 amazing wife! Obstacle racer, procrastinator, computer nerd, trying not to follow the herd!