Regular resistance training can strengthen muscles, improve balance, and boost your physical fitness. Everyone begins to lose muscle mass at around age 30 — as much as 3-5% per year. Just thirty minutes of high-intensity resistance training twice a week was found to improve functional performance and bone density, structure, and strength in women with low bone mass, a recent study in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research found.
Incorporating resistance training exercises, such as, planks, lunges and supermen into your fitness routine can help boost muscle mass, strength and power, and keep your body strong and healthy as you age.
Planks for a Tight Core
Planks are fantastic for the whole body — they strengthen your core, arms, legs, back and chest. In particular, planks target both your rectus and transversus abdominis (TVA) muscles. The rectus abdominis are the “six pack” muscles at the front of the abdomen which support your spine. The TVA muscles help create a tight waist and stabilize your core to support the lower back. To hold a plank, lie flat on your stomach and prop your upper body up with your forearms.
Lift your hips up off the ground while holding your lower back and shoulders tight. Hold for as long as possible — aiming for 30-45 seconds per rep — and perform five reps.
Learn More: Best Alternatives to Crunches
Lunges for Strong Legs
Lunges are a great cross training exercise, which strengthen all the major muscles in your legs: the hamstrings, quadriceps and glutes. Knee pain when performing lunges is quite common, so wear the types of knee supports worn in CrossFit training to protect your joints if you plan to make this a regular part of your routine.
Lunges also require balance, so you’ll end up strengthening your stability muscles (the glute minimus and medius). One study found forward and jumping lunges increased both hamstring strength and running speed over a period of six weeks. To perform a reverse lunge, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Take a step back with your right foot, and drop your body down, so your right knee kisses the ground.
Push back up through your front heel and stand back upright. Repeat on the opposite leg. Perform fifteen lunges with each leg. Be careful to keep your core engaged and your back straight.
Additional Information: Reverse Slide Lunge Benefits
Supermans for a Healthy Posterior Chain
The superman is a simple yet effective strength training exercise, which targets your posterior chain — the muscles along the backside of your body, including your erector spinae muscles, rotator cuff, lats, hamstrings, glutes and calves.
A strong posterior chain protects your knees and back, and reduces your risk of injury. To perform the superman move, start by lying face down on the floor with arms outstretched. Lift your arms and legs roughly four to five inches off the ground.
Hold for five seconds and lower. Repeat for ten reps.
See Also: The Best Posterior Chain Exercises
Concluding Thoughts – The Best Resistance Training Exercises
For best results, aim to exercise for about twenty to thirty minutes each day. However, be mindful not to exercise the same muscle group two days in a row.
Your muscles need at least 48 hours to recover and grow, so it’s best to alternate days.