Men's Home Fitness Exercises for Men Over 50
As men age, their testosterone levels start to decrease. Testosterone is the hormone responsible for muscle growth, meaning that once you're over 50, you lose muscle, your metabolism slows down and you gain fat. However, according to dietitian Ryan Andrews, co-founder of Precision Nutrition, this isn't a foregone conclusion. Exercising gives testosterone levels a huge boost and halts this decline. You don't need a gym. A few simple body-weight exercises that you can do at home is more than enough.
Many men over 50 suffer from joint aches and pains, particularly around the knees, hips and ankles. This is due to a weakening of the tendons, ligaments and muscles. While leg exercises like squats will help this, single leg exercises, such as lunges are even better, says corrective exercise specialist Mike Robertson. By training each leg individually, you improve balance, proprioception, muscular strength and joint mobility. Do four sets of 10 to 12 lunges per leg, using just your body weight.
If there's one area of the body where adding muscle can drastically improve a man's physique, it's the chest, and pushups are the ideal home exercise for this. Use a shoulder-width hand spacing and descend as far as you can using good form. Keep your elbows tucked in and don't let your hips sag. If your elbows flare, you risk shoulder injuries and by letting your hips sag, you're not activating your core. Build up to doing three sets of 15 full reps.
The plank is the ultimate core exercise. While people often choose situps and crunches to work the abdominals, these actually focus on the hip flexors and may strain the lower back. Planks, on the other hand, train your core muscles for their main function -- stabilization. Ensure that your hips, upper back and head are in a straight line, and that your hips aren't too close to the floor or pushed up in the air. Squeeze your stomach tight and hold the position for as long as possible. Once you can do one minute, try planks with your feet elevated on a chair or low step.
Supermans, or back raises, are essential for combating poor posture. If you have an office or desk-based job, chances are you spend your days hunched over a computer. This leads to tight pectorals and hip flexors, weak upper and lower back muscle, and bad posture, which can lead to injuries and back pain later down the line. Supermans stretch out your tight muscles, while strengthening your weak ones. Lie on your front, with your hands at the side of your head, and lift your legs and torso off the floor as high as you can, pause for a second, then lower them again. Do three sets of 10 reps.
Mike Samuels started writing for his own fitness website and local publications in 2008. He graduated from Peter Symonds College in the UK with A Levels in law, business and sports science, and is a fully qualified personal trainer, sports massage therapist and corrective exercise specialist with accreditations from Premier Global International.