Although many people embark on a fitness journey in order to look good or lose weight, some of my clients are more motivated by wanting to stay healthy and age gracefully into their 40s and beyond. One of the best ways to do so is by strength training, since building muscle can have various anti-aging effects.
After all, as you continue to get older, your metabolism can slow down due to inactivity and muscle loss, but regularly lifting weights can help counteract that process. This is why it’s important to get into a consistent fitness routine as early as you can in order to add years to your life.
With strength training, there are six fundamental movements you need to have in your routine in order to build up strength, improve your balance, and promote longevity: Squat, hinge, press, pull, lunge, and carry.
Not sure what strength training exercises to do to get fit and live longer? I’ve got you covered. The following workout includes all 6 of the key movements above, and you can complete the entire thing in just 15 minutes with a pair of dumbbells.
Simply perform 2-3 sets of the following exercises back-to-back with no rest… And for more, check out the 3 Major Secrets to Living to 99, According to Betty White.
Begin by holding one dumbbell in front of you. Keeping your core tight, push your hips back and squat down until your upper legs are parallel to the ground. Drive through your heels and hips to stand back up, flexing your quads and glutes to finish. Do 10 reps.
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Position yourself parallel to a bench or sturdy surface with your left hand and left knee firmly pressed into the surface for balance. Grip a dumbbell with the opposite hand, arm extended toward the floor, and begin by pulling the dumbbell toward your torso, squeezing your lats and upper back at the very end of the movement. Lower your hand to the starting position and you’ll get a nice stretch at the bottom before performing the next rep. Do 10 reps.
Start by standing with two dumbbells up above your shoulders on either side of your head. Keeping your core tight and glutes squeezed, press the dumbbells up toward the ceiling, flexing your shoulders and triceps at the top. Then, lower the weight (under control) back toward your shoulders before performing another rep. Do 10 reps.
While standing, grab a pair of dumbbells and have them in front of your hips. Keeping your chest tall and knees slightly bent, push your hips back while dragging the weights down the length of your thighs. Once you get a nice hamstring stretch, drive your hips forward as you raise the dumbbells back up to the starting position, squeezing your glutes to finish. Do 10 reps.
Hold two dumbbells at your sides while standing with your feet together, keeping your chest tall and core tight. Then, take one foot and step it back, firmly planting your back foot and bending your knee to lower yourself down until your knee touches the floor gently. Then, drive through your front heel to raise yourself back up to the starting position, standing with your feet together. Perform all 10 reps on one leg before switching to the other.
From a standing position, keep your chest tall and core tight while picking up one heavy dumbbell from the ground with one hand. Brace your abs hard, then begin walking forward, maintaining your posture and a neutral spine even though the weight is pulling you down on one side. Walk 25-50 feet, then switch hands on the way back and return to your starting location.
For more, check out the Exercises You Should Never Do After Age 50, Trainer Warns.