When you’re over the age of 50 and female, targeted exercises are even more important. Truly, there’s something to be said about having solid, toned arms — and we’re not just talking how you look. In fact, studies show that building muscle can prolong your life.
“Any kind of vigorous exercise strengthens your heart and helps to prolong your life, and continuing to exercise as you grow older is unquestionably associated with extending life,” said Dr. Gabe Mirkin, a sports medicine doctor, fitness guru and long-time radio host. “Your heart is a muscle, and to strengthen any muscle, you have to exercise it against increasing resistance.”
Mirkin said in a recent blog post that weight lifting with a focus on both arms and legs can make a big impact. That’s because moving your arms or legs causes the muscles to contract, which pumps extra blood into your heart. The heart (also a muscle, folks), must then also contract, which ultimately leads to a faster, stronger muscle that will stick around longer.
With that in mind, we rounded up 5 dynamic, impactful arm exercises for women over the age of 50 — the kinds of exercises that are doable, and, with consistency, will lead to better definition.
1. Reverse Fly
How to do it: Sit in a chair or bench and, keeping your back straight, bend forward at the waist. Lift your arms to a “T” shape with your shoulder blades together and holding weights with palms facing the floor (and make sure there’s only a slight bend in your elbows). Lower your arms slowly back to the starting position. Do this 15-20 times.
What it targets: Triceps, back muscles, rear deltoids.
How to do it: Stand with your feet hip-width apart and arms at your sides. Then, lower into a squat position and put your hands flat on the floor. Then kick both legs back simultaneously so that you’re in a push-up position. Jump with both legs simultaneously into a squat and stand up. Do this 15-20 times.
What it targets: Glutes, shoulders, chest, triceps, abs.
3. Bicep Curl
How to do it: This one can be done standing or sitting. The key is to keep your back straight and arms extended straight down at the start. Then, bend your elbows to curl your weights into a bicep contraction and press the weights straight over your head. Reverse the move back to the starting position. Do this 10-15 times based on your fitness level and how heavy your weights are.
What it targets: Shoulders, biceps.
4. Push-up to Forearm Plank
How to do it: Get in a straight-arm plank position by planting your palms firmly on the ground, extending your arms straight and lining up your head with your back. Next, lower your body halfway and push back up. Repeat 20 times. End the move by lowering to your firearms and holding that plank position for 30-60 seconds, depending on fitness level.
What it targets: Triceps, shoulders, chest, abs.
5. Chair/Bench Dip
How to do it: Sit on the edge of a chair or bench with your feet firmly on the floor. Place your palms on either side of you and then drop your bottom off the chair or bench. Next, bend your elbows, lowering your body until your elbows are at a 90-degree angle (that’s the “dip” part). Do this your arms to raise your body back to the starting position. Repeat 15-20 times.
What it targets: Back, shoulders, forearms, chest.
Author: Caitlin H
Diet-to-Go Community Manager
Caitlin is the Diet-to-Go community manager and an avid runner. She is passionate about engaging with others online and maintaining a healthy, active lifestyle. She believes moderation is key, and people will have the most weight loss success if they engage in common-sense healthy eating and fitness.