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5 Strength Workouts for Men Over 60 To Defy Aging

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5 Strength Workouts for Men Over 60 To Defy Aging

As men move past their 50s into their 60s, 70s, and beyond, their bodies begin to change rapidly. In fact, starting at around 40, you see an annual decline in strength, muscle mass, testosterone, and other related factors that correspond with the symptoms of aging. These changes in your body correspond to increased risks of falls, adverse health events, and a general decrease in day-to-day living abilities. Although growing older is an inevitable process of staying alive, the fact of the matter is that performing strength training can have a major impact on how rapidly this process occurs and how dramatically it affects your body. I’ve put together five strength workouts for men over 60 to defy aging.

I have male clients in their 60s and 70s who can outperform clients in their 50s, and in some cases, individuals in their 40s who do not perform strength training or follow a healthy diet. While the old adage that “age is just a number” is not entirely true, it certainly rings true when you compare men who lift weights with men who do not—especially as the effects of time and age begin compounding.

With that being said, I’d like to introduce you to my five top strength workouts for men over 60. Each workout has a slightly different focus, but collectively, they address the wide range of exercise needs humans face as they age if they want to maintain mobility, strength, and day-to-day functioning into their golden years.

I recommend choosing three out of five of these workouts to perform one time per week each. Add another day or two of lighter cardio per week, and take one to two full days of active rest throughout the week as well. After you follow this plan for six weeks, cycle in a different workout, and continue this pattern. Aim to follow a given workout for at least one to two cycles before switching it out. Always select a weight that allows you to execute the technique with the proper form, and be sure to eat a diet rich in lean protein, whole grains, fruit, and vegetables to maximize the impact on your health and anti-aging.

Keep reading for the five best strength workouts for men over 60 to defy aging, and when you’re finished, don’t miss The Ultimate Muscle-Building Workout Every Man Over 40 Should Try.

Workout 1: The Foundational

First up on this list of strength workouts for men over 60 focuses on the functional.

1. Barbell Back Squats

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Barbell back squats are critical to strengthening your lower-body muscles, primarily working the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, and calves, while also engaging your core for stability.

To perform a barbell back squat, position a barbell at shoulder level on a squat rack. If available, set the safety pins just above waist level. Stand facing the bar, step under it, and place it across your shoulders. Grasp the bar firmly with a wide grip, and lift it off the rack by straightening your legs. Step back to clear the rack, set your feet shoulder-width apart, toes slightly pointed out. Bend at your hips and knees to lower your body as if sitting back into a chair, ensuring to push through your full foot. Once your thighs are parallel to the ground, push back up to your starting position. Perform three sets of 10 repetitions each.

2. Bench Presses

barbell bench press illustration
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The bench press works your pectoral muscles, anterior deltoids, and triceps, making it a vital upper-body strength exercise.

To perform a bench press, lie back on a flat bench, gripping a barbell with your hands wider than shoulder-width apart. Lift the barbell off the rack, holding it straight over your chest with your arms fully extended. Lower the barbell to your chest by bending your elbows. Push the barbell back up to the starting position by fully extending your arms. Perform three sets of eight to 10 repetitions each.

3. Deadlifts

illustration of barbell deadlift
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Deadlifts are fundamental for improving functional strength. This exercise works your hamstrings, glutes, lower and upper back, as well as your core.

To perform a deadlift, stand with your feet hip-width apart, barbell at your feet. Bend at the hips and knees, and grip the barbell with your hands shoulder-width apart. Keep your back straight, push through your full foot, and stand up, lifting the barbell. Once fully standing, lower the barbell back to the ground by bending your hips and knees. Perform three sets of eight repetitions each.

4. Shoulder Presses

illustration of seated dumbbell shoulder press
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The shoulder press is excellent for strengthening the deltoids and triceps. It also challenges your core as you maintain balance.

To perform a shoulder press, sit on a bench with back support, holding a dumbbell in each hand at shoulder level. Press the dumbbells upward until your arms are fully extended. Lower them slowly back to the starting position, avoiding shrugging your shoulders throughout the movement. Perform three sets of 10 repetitions each.

RELATED: 5 Regular Strength Exercises All Men Should Do in Their 50s

Workout 2: The Functional

1. Goblet Squats

illustration of kettlebell goblet squat
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Goblet squats are an excellent exercise for the lower body, working primarily the quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes while also engaging your core.

To perform a goblet squat, stand with your feet hip-width apart, holding a kettlebell or dumbbell at chest level with both hands. Lower your body into a squat position, pushing through your full foot as if sitting back into a chair. Hold the bottom position for a second, then push through your full foot to return to the starting position. Perform three sets of 12 repetitions each.

2. Pull-ups

illustration of pull-ups exercise
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Pull-ups are a comprehensive upper-body workout, focusing on the latissimus dorsi, biceps, and rhomboids.

To perform a pull-up, grab the pull-up bar with your palms facing away from you and your hands shoulder-width apart. Hang onto the bar with your arms fully extended. Pull your body upward until your chin is over the bar, visualizing crushing a piece of fruit in your armpit as you retract your shoulder blades and squeeze at the end range of motion. Lower yourself back to the starting position with control. Perform three sets of as many reps as you can.

3. Walking Lunges

man doing forward lunge exercise
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Walking lunges are a fantastic functional exercise that targets your quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes.

To perform a walking lunge, stand tall with your hands on your hips or holding dumbbells at your sides. Step forward with your right foot, and lower your body until your right knee is bent at a 90-degree angle. Rotate your left foot inward slightly as you lower your left knee for optimal biomechanics. Push through your full foot of your right leg, rise up, and bring your left foot forward to step into the next lunge. Perform three sets of 10 repetitions per leg.

4. Dumbbell Rows

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Dumbbell rows are great for working the latissimus dorsi, rhomboids, and biceps, improving overall back strength and posture.

To perform a dumbbell row, stand with a dumbbell in each hand, feet hip-width apart. Bend at your waist and knees, keeping your back straight. Pull the dumbbells to your chest, keeping your elbows close to your body and visualizing crushing a piece of fruit in your armpit as you retract your shoulder blades and squeeze at the end range of motion. Slowly lower the dumbbells back down, maintaining control. Perform three sets of 10 repetitions each.

RELATED: 5 Nutrition Secrets for Men to Build Muscle & Lose Fat

Workout 3: Core Focus

Next up for these strength workouts for men emphasizes the core.

1. Planks

illustration of forearm plank
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The plank is a powerhouse move that engages your entire core, including your rectus abdominis, obliques, and lower back, improving stability and posture.

To perform a plank, assume a pushup position, but rest your weight on your forearms instead of your hands. Maintain a straight line from your head to your feet. Engage your core, and hold this position. Perform three sets, holding each plank for 30 seconds to one minute.

2. Russian Twists

man russian twist
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Russian twists are excellent for targeting the obliques, enhancing rotational strength and core stability.

To perform Russian twists, sit on the ground with your knees bent, pull your abs toward your spine, and lean back a few inches while keeping your back straight. Clasp your hands together at your chest, then twist your torso to the right, then to the left to complete one rep. Perform three sets of 15 repetitions.

3. Side Planks

man side plank
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The side plank exercise primarily targets the obliques but also engages the glutes, shoulders, and quadriceps, contributing to improved balance and core strength.

To perform a side plank, begin by lying on your side, ensuring your feet, hips, and shoulders are in a straight line. Prop yourself up on your bottom forearm, aligning your elbow directly under your shoulder. Engage your core, and lift your hips off the ground, maintaining a straight line from your head to your feet. Hold this position, making sure to keep your hips lifted and your body in alignment. Perform three sets, holding each side plank for 30 to 60 seconds.

4. Bird Dogs

bird dog exercise
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The bird dog exercise activates your abs, lower back, and glutes, enhancing balance and coordination.

To perform a bird dog, start on all fours with your hands directly under your shoulders and your knees under your hips. Extend your right arm out in front of you, simultaneously extending your left leg behind you. Hold for a moment, then return to the starting position. Repeat with your left arm and right leg. Perform three sets of 10 repetitions per side.

RELATED: The Best Core-Strengthening Exercises for Men

Workout 4: HIIT Blitz

1. Burpees

man demonstrating burpees exercise
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Burpees work your arms, chest, quads, glutes, hamstrings, and abs. They’re perfect for HIIT workouts due to their full-body engagement and cardiorespiratory challenge.

To perform a burpee, start in a standing position. Drop into a squat, and place your hands on the ground. Kick your feet back to move into a pushup position. Immediately jump your feet back toward your hands. Jump up from the squat position, reaching your hands above your head. Perform three sets of 10 repetitions.

2. Mountain Climbers

mountain climbers
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Mountain climbers target the core while also offering a cardio challenge, making them ideal for HIIT workouts.

To perform mountain climbers, start in a plank position. Bring your right knee toward your chest. Swiftly switch legs, bringing your left knee toward your chest while pushing your right leg back.
Perform three sets of 15 repetitions per side.

3. Jump Squats

illustration of jump squats
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Jump squats work the quads, glutes, and hamstrings while providing an intense cardio burst.

To perform jump squats, stand with your feet hip-width apart. Lower into a squat, pushing your hips back and keeping your chest up. Explode upward, jumping as high as you can. Land softly, immediately lowering into the next squat. Perform three sets of 15 repetitions.

4. High Knees

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High knees are a cardiovascular exercise that engages your core and strengthens your leg muscles.

To perform high knees, stand tall with your feet hip-width apart. Quickly drive your right knee up to meet your right hand, followed by your left knee meeting your left hand. Perform three sets of 20 repetitions per side.

RELATED: 6 Regular Strength Exercises All Men Should Do in Their 60s

Workout 5: Isolation Impact

The last of these strength workouts for men over 60 is all about making an impact with isolation exercises.

1. Bicep Curls

man dumbbell bicep curls
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Bicep curls are fantastic for isolating and strengthening the biceps, improving upper-body aesthetics and function.

To perform a bicep curl, stand with a dumbbell in each hand, arms fully extended, and palms facing forward. Curl the dumbbells up to shoulder level, keeping your elbows stationary. Squeeze your biceps at the top for about one second. Lower the dumbbells back to the starting position. Perform three sets of 12 repetitions.

2. Tricep Pushdowns

tricep cable pushdown
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Tricep pushdowns focus on the triceps, enhancing upper-body strength and tone.

To perform tricep pushdowns, stand at a cable machine, and grip the bar with your hands shoulder-width apart. Keeping your elbows at your sides, push the bar down until your arms are fully extended. Squeeze your triceps at the bottom for about one second. Slowly return the bar to the starting position. Perform three sets of 12 repetitions.

3. Leg Extensions

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Leg extensions isolate the quads, improving strength and stability in the lower body.

To perform leg extensions, sit on a leg extension machine, positioning your ankles under the lower pad. Extend your legs fully, squeezing the quads at the top of the movement for about one second. Slowly lower the weight back to the starting position. Perform three sets of 12 repetitions.

4. Calf Raises

calf raises
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The calf raise is a simple yet effective exercise that isolates and strengthens the calf muscles, which are critical for walking, running, and jumping.

To perform a calf raise, stand tall with your feet hip-width apart. You can hold dumbbells by your sides for added resistance. Slowly rise up onto your toes, keeping your abdominal muscles pulled in so that you move straight upward. Pause at the top of the exercise when your calves are fully contracted. Lower yourself back to the starting position under control. Perform three sets of 15 repetitions.

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