Strength training for women over 50

 

Strength Training for Women over 50

When you exercise or work out do you incorporate strength training? I hope so especially if you are a woman over 50 years of age. There are so many things that happen or begin to happen when a woman reaches that age.

Staying healthy as you age is so important. If you are a woman you want to look good and be healthy. Strength training is so awesome for changing your body not to mention all the other health benefits strength training brings.

Strength training has many benefits for all –

Strength Training for Women over 50

especially for women over 50

  • Increased muscle, tendon and ligament strength
  • Increased bone density
  • Increased flexibility, tone and improved posture
  • Improved cardiac function
  • Improved lipid profiles
  • Improved joint function
  • and my personal favorite – increased metabolic rate.

Workouts can increase metabolism for up to 14 hours after a 45 minute workout. To gain the benefit of increased metabolic rate for a woman over 50 it is definitely worth it to begin strength training with weights.

After you hit your 30’s your metabolism begins to slow. That means by the time you reach 50 your body is burning 200 -300 calories less per day!

If you eat the same as you did when you were 30 that means you are putting on extra weight each year even though you are not consuming any more calories! To make things worse, you are losing your calorie burning power because you are losing muscle tissue.

hand weights

By the time you are 50 you are losing calorie burning muscle tissue at double the rate you did at 30.

After 50  years of age your metabolism is slower, you have less muscle and losing more each year and increasing in weight if you are consuming the same amount of calories as you did at 30. Senior Muscle loss is a growing problem.

You can do something about it –

Strength training  with weights.-The basics

If you have never lifted weights before or if you are just starting again after years, it is best to start with some basic exercises as follows:

LOWER BODY

Squats

The basic squat is to be done first without weights. Your own body weight is good until you master your form.

  • Starting with feet just outside of hips squat back like you are sitting. Keeping your chest up, toes slightly turned out. Letwoman squat with weight your knees push out as you squat being careful not to let your knees go beyond the toes. Push through your heels. Keep your shoulders back and down. Look straight ahead. Keep your back straight. Do not lean forward but lead with your buttocks.

 

Once you master the basic squat with the correct form (check yourself in the mirror) then you can add weights. Place the bar on the fatty part of your shoulders. Make sure you keep your shoulders pressed back and down. Start with what weight you feel comfortable with, Bend your knees and squat as low as you can without your knees going over your toes.

Perform 8 to 12 squats then rest for 30 seconds. Then go again. Do 3 sets like this.

 

Lunges

For lunges you can perform these with or without added weight. If you add weight the same principle applies: keep shoulders pulled back and down, keeping back straight.

  • Starting position is standing with feet under hips. Lunge back with one leg. Then bend both knees bringing your body down in a straight line. Do not let the front knee go beyond toes. Do not lean forward. Make sure your bending that back knee. Get as close to the floor as you can go then rise but keep a slight bend in both knees (soft knees).

Perform 3 sets of 8 to 12 reps.

UPPER BODY

Chest Press

The chest can be worked lying on the floor or bench. You may use hand weights or a bar with weights. Of course start with the weight you are most comfortable with. Possibly 5lbs for each arm.  Lift arms to ceiling and lower to just under breast bone. Stop at level of bench or if you are on the floor, do not touch the floor with your elbows. Your elbows make a right angle when the weights are lowered. If you are using the bar, your hands are wide all the way to the edge and touching the weights.

Do repetitions slow and controlled. Do 3 sets of 8 – 12Bicep curls

Biceps

The biceps can be worked with hand weights or a bar.  Stand holding weights at thighs raise to collar bone then lower all the way back to thighs. Stand straight with knees soft. Tighten abdominal muscles.

Do repetitions slow and controlled. Do 3 sets of 8  – 12

Triceps

You can work your triceps with weights by raising the weights above your head with your elbows close to your ears. Bring the weight back to your neck shaving your head. Raise the weights up and squeeze your elbows.

You can also work your triceps by leaning slightly forward keeping back straight bending knees slightly with the weight in your hands. Keeping arm from shoulder to elbow still. Move forearm back and squeeze elbows. Do one arm at a time or both whatever is comfortable to you.

Do repetitions slow and controlled. Do 3 sets of 8  – 12.

Shoulders

For shoulders you can use hand weights or the bar.  Raise the weights above your head then lower to your collar bone. Tighten your abs and have your knees soft. Keep your back straight.

Do repetitions slow and controlled. Do 3 sets of 8 – 12

These exercises are intended for the beginner.

Master these basic exercises doing them every other day or at least 2 to 3 days a week. You will begin to build strength very quickly.  Make sure you breathe throughout the exercises. Have water available when needed. Take breaks when needed. Do all movements slow and controlled. Check your form in the mirror.

When you feel comfortable with these then increase your repetitions and your tempo. For example, from very slow to quick then slow or half way and pulse. There are many variations you can do.  This is important because when we vary the tempo we are activating different muscle fibers.

Don’t forget to add your ab routine. The abs can be worked each and every day. You can do more but at least do the 2 minute ab routine every day.

You can also try Exercise Ball Ab workouts for Women. The exercise ball is excellent for balance training and core strengthening.

Gain Strength and muscle

Older adults can gain strength and muscle in just a few months of weight training! It’s never too late to incorporate lifting weights into your exercise routine.

Research has shown that strength training exercises has the ability to

  • combat weakness and frailty and other debilitation consequences.  Done regularly (at least 2 to 3 days a week) these exercises build strength and muscle mass.
  • preserve bone density, independence and vitality with age.Journal of Preventative Medicine
  • alleviate chronic conditions such as heart disease, arthritis, and type II diabetes while also improving sleep and reducing depression.

There are so many benefits to strength training. The increase in you metabolic rate alone is worth it!

You can use equipment also, like the stamina ab/hyperbench for strength in your back and abs.

I hope you are motivated to pick up some weights. Lifting weights can benefit those of all ages.  However, strength training for women over 50 is especially important if we want to have that slim and toned appearance along with that boosted metabolism and stay strong!

Need a  jump-start? here is how to Vastly increase your energy in 7 days.

If you do strength training or just have a question please leave me a comment below.

 

This article has 2 Comments

  1. excellent weightlifting regimen, not just for women but for anyone interested in fitness. I especially like how on your about page you mention that your focus on abs is not just for aesthetic purposes but also to help the structure of your spine as well.

    I think you make a very good point because strength training should be more about structural integrity and less about vanity.

    1. Thank you for your comments Alec. Strength training for women over 50 also applies for all those interested in fitness. In addition it is especially important for the spine.I actually have a titanium rod in my spine. I had quite a rehab experience. I like being fit and looking good but the best part is for my health being strong as I age.

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