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3 Exercises to Build Total Body Strength for Women Over 50. No Gym Required

fitness Jan 09, 2024

What’s different about strength building for women over 50 versus someone in their 20s? A lot and not that much.

 It’s not that the exercises are different, but how you do them is different and how you progress them is different.


If you’re starting over at 50, you will be less strong now than you were in your 20s (assuming you’ve led a typically sedentary but busy life of most mid-life adults). That means starting weight in your 20s will probably be out of reach for you in your 50s.

The good news is that while you may be starting a bit behind the start line, you’ll be able to progress and build strength quickly. And your workout doesn’t have to be complicated. As a matter of fact, the simpler you keep the exercises, the more likely you are to complete them.

Here are 3 simple exercises you can do anywhere and how to increase their difficulty as you get stronger.

  • Squat. This basic human movement has a wide range of options. The simplest way to begin is to stand up from a chair. Then, sit down and stand up again. Do this again and again for a full minute. Start at any length of time and progress to one minute. From there, you can move on to progressing how deep you go with your squat, add weights, or move on to jump squats.
  • Push-ups. The perfect total-body exercise. If you’re thinking there’s no way. You’re wrong. There’s always a way. Start with pushups at the wall. Keep your core tight, stand on your toes, and perform a pushup at the wall. As you get stronger, move down the wall until you’re on the floor. Start on the floor on your knees and progress to being on your toes. You can continue to progress all the way to single-arm push-ups. In the process, you’ll increase the strength of your arms, legs, shoulders, chest, and core.
  • Overhead Press. I love this exercise, especially if you travel by plane. Gracefully lift your carry-on into the overhead bins without some younger person trying to assist you. Similar to a push-up, the stronger you get with this one, the stronger your entire body will be. You will need something to use for resistance, but don’t let that stop you from trying this. Use a variety of household products to increase resistance. Start with canned goods. Make it heavier using a water bottle in each hand. Then move to your carry-on luggage. Progressively pack it with heavier items. Then, head out on your next adventure.

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