5 exercises women over 50 need to be doing right now
Attention: women over 50! If you are unsure about exercises you should be doing to lose weight and improve your health and fitness, this post is for you.
Training smarter as we age
As we age we need to focus on training smarter and more efficiently, not slowing down. As a personal trainer in Clapham who works with women over 50, I often hear that they are being told to slow down and not push harder – nothing could be further from the truth.
Now is the time to pump up the intensity, but in a controlled and targeted manner so you maximise the benefits as they relate to your specific needs.
The following is a series of exercise movements and types of movements that will help you get the most out of your training, as well as provide specific benefits that your age group needs – as always if you have any questions please drop me a line to [email protected] .
1. Kettlebell swings
The kettlebell swing (see video for an excellent demonstration from ninja clients Mel and Sylvia) uses your hips, gluteus, and core in an explosive manner that will help improve joint mobility, strength and cardiovascular fitness.
Make sure you choose a weight that will challenge you, but not at the expense of compromising correct form. Have a look at the video and if you have any questions drop me a line to [email protected] .
2. Multiple-joint compound movements (i.e. deadlifts)
As women age they are at greater risk off osteoporosis. A great way to help mitigate this risk is by completing resistance exercises that use more than one joint at a time (aka compound movements). In this example Bernadette is completing a fantastic deadlift with 2/3 of her own body weight.
Using multiple joints means that you apply tension at both ends of a bone. This forces the bone to bend, resulting in increased bone regeneration.
As well, you are also helping your body build lean muscle mass. By building more lean muscle mass you will burn more calories at rest, which means that you will more effectively control your weight as you get older.
3. Vigorous, high intensity exercise (i.e. Battle ropes)
The heart is a muscle. Muscles, when tested and pushed, become stronger by adapting to the stimulus they are presented with. Keeping your heart in shape is of paramount importance, especially as we age. By including short blasts of vigorous activity in your workouts, you will keep your cardio-vascular system topped up, and your body will thank you for it.
Here Sylvia is pushing through a short interval of battle ropes, challenging her body overall to improve her cardiovascular fitness.
4. Lifts overhead (i.e. single arm-overhead press)
Lifts overhead force your heart to work harder due to Peripheral Heart Action (when you hold resistance overhead I.e. weights, your heart works harder to pump more blood). Additionally, overhead movements like the one Bernadette is doing here use your whole body to lift a weight, meaning you will burn lots of calories in the process.
Overhead lifts like the overhead snatch are a great way to get your whole body involved. The more if your body you use, the more calories you will burn.
5. Movements through different planes of motion (i.e. weighted ice skater with an overhead press)
It would be so much easier if we all just moved forward and backwards only…but we don’t.
To protect your body for those constant situations when you need to swerve (I.e. when that person on their phone doesn’t see you walking towards them, and you have to suddenly move out of the way to avoid a head-on collision), move in different planes of motion when you exercise.
Three planes of movement
Sagittal – forward backward movement
Frontal – lateral movement (side to side)
Transverse – rotational movement
Try and include movements in all three planes of movement in your training routines – life isn’t all forward and backward, and neither should your training.
All of these exercises are challenging and will definitely get you out of breath. But if you want to keep your body changing and remain resilient as you get older, the benefits of these exercises will vastly outweigh the challenge to complete them.
ABOUT JAMES STARING
James Staring is a personal trainer Clapham, London. His methods have featured in publications such as Your Fitness, Hello, Healthy, Daily Mail, Closer, and many more. After giving up smoking and entering the fitness industry in 2009, James has focused on his passion to help others transform their health and fitness. However, James is convinced that most people struggle so much more than they need to in an effort to improve their fitness. Through his company, Fit to Last, which he runs with his partner, Ali Page – James has helped hundreds of men and women make small adjustments in their daily habits to transform their fitness and to love how they look and feel.