At any age, it’s important to have muscular strength. It’s going to protect your joints, it’s going to help you function more optimally with movement and it’s important for your bone and heart health. In this episode I talk about the best exercises to do to build strength even if you’re older and haven’t done much strength building before.
The mechanism responsible for making someone making it possible to build muscle is the same regardless of how old you are or how much strength building you’ve done in the past. Essentially everyone has skeletal muscles, and these muscles contract in response to a stress or load. The stressor load could be your body weight, gravity or a weight that you are lifting or holding.
If you’ve been sitting on a couch or sitting at your desk a lot and you haven’t done anything else, you have de-conditioned those skeletal muscles. They’ve been snoozing and aren’t ready to fire, and that puts you more at risk for injury. While you’re never too old to start, it’s important to go slow and gradually increase the demand on your muscles.
Great exercises for building strength are:
- Lifting kettlebells or sandbags
- Plank position
- Bear crawling
- Walking your feet up the wall
The big thing here is to move in a variety of ways. And to know that you need to continue to strength build with weight because you have to compensate for some physiological disadvantages like the decrease in testosterone, metabolism and protein synthesis that happens as we start to age.