There was a benefit to getting in shape and building strength in your 20s and 30s, but they bring far more benefits when you are older.

Getting fit in your 50s and beyond can mean the difference between living an active life in middle age and having to live a sedentary life with poor mobility. It’s what allows you to enjoy the activities you love and mobility that’ll keep you independent for years.

It’s an essential part of aging well that many people overlook.

The best part is, you can start small and at home. You don’t need hours of hard and intense sessions at the gym with heavy equipment. You can start with bodyweight exercises that’ll help you build strength, balance, and flexibility.

They are perfectly effective in bulletproofing your body against age-related muscle loss. They also help you regain balance, coordination, and stability, which tend to dip with the loss of muscles.

If you are ready, grab a towel and a yoga mat. Let’s start moving and age-proofing your body.

5 Best Bodyweight Workouts to Stay Lean After 50

5 Best Bodyweight Workouts to Stay Lean After 50

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1. Bridges

Glute Bridge

Bridges come up a lot on lists of best exercises. This is because bridges are one of the best exercises you can do, hands down!

This exercise is easy to learn, easy to progress, and safe for almost everyone.

How to Perform

  • Lie flat on your back, with your feet flat on the floor and your knees bent.
  • Press your heels into the floor and lift your hips up toward the ceiling.
  • Hold this position for 10 seconds, then return to the starting position.
  • Repeat for 3 sets of 10-12 reps, 4-5 times per week.

2. Upward Dog

Upward Dog

Last but not least, we have another great yoga stretch.

The upward dog is a terrific stretch for the spine, hip flexors, and abs. This move forces you into deep spinal extension. As a result, this is a commonly prescribed stretch for many forms of back pain.

How to Perform

  • Lie flat on your stomach, with your feet close together.
  • Next, place your hands on the ground and push up, keeping your hips on the floor.
  • Hold this position for 30 seconds and repeat it 4 times per session.
  • Complete 4-5 sessions per week.

3. Bodyweight Squats

Bodyweight Squats

Squats are one of the best functional strengthening exercises in existence. 

This move improves the stability of the legs and core. Even better, simply adding weight to the exercise can make it much harder and serves as a perfect progression as time goes by.

How to Perform:

  • Stand with your feet about hip-width apart.
  • Slowly lower your hips down toward the ground, as if you are sitting in a chair.
  • Next, contract your glutes and quads as you rise back into standing. 
  • Repeat for 10 repetitions per set, 3 sets per session, and 3 sessions per week.

4. Flowing Bird Dogs

Bird dogs are phenomenal for improving strength throughout the back and core. This movement engages the multifidi, the glutes, and various other muscles throughout the body. By performing them in a flowing manner, you can also improve balance and proprioception significantly.

How to Perform:

  • Start on your hands and knees, with your hands directly below your shoulders and your knees right under your hips.
  • Next, reach your right arm straight out in front of you as you simultaneously kick your left leg behind you.
  • In this position, you should be able to trace a line from your left heel to your right fingertips. 
  • Hold this pose for 3 seconds, then bring your right elbow to your left knee, near your chest.
  • Hold this position for 3 seconds then return to the position described in step number 2.
  • Continue to repeat in this manner for 3 sets of 10 reps per session. Be sure to perform this movement on both sides.

5. Planks


Planks are one of the best low-impact exercises there is.

This isometric exercise works your core and abs without putting pressure on your joint. By slowly increasing your hold time on planks, you’ll slowly but surely increase your strength and endurance in your core.

How to Perform:

  • Start on your forearms and toes, with your back flat as a board.
  • Ensure that your spine is completely straight and not bending upward or downward.
  • Hold this position for as long as you can (aim for 30 seconds to start) and perform 3 sets per day, 2-3 times per week.

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