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Staying fit and trim requires time and commitment, but it’s time well spent. As you age, you lose agility and stamina—especially after you turn 60, the National Council on Aging (NCOA) explains. You also begin to lose lean muscle mass after 30, and this decline speeds up after 60, making it much easier to put on unwanted pounds. Engaging in regular physical activity helps you sculpt stronger bones, boosts your mood, improves your immunity, and helps you avoid chronic health issues. Plus, it torches calories and promotes healthy weight management, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says. That’s why we’re here to share the five best floor exercises to stay lean as you age, so grab a floor mat and some motivation pronto!
A solid dose of the right exercises is so beneficial to your overall health and wellness. Not only will staying active and working out boost your energy and confidence level, but it will also enable you to live an independent lifestyle. As with kickstarting any new fitness routine, it’s always wise to check in with a healthcare professional first and foremost to ensure it’s the right step for you and your body.
Eat This, Not That! sourced the best expert-approved floor exercises to maintain a lean body that are convenient to do wherever you happen to be. Mike Bohl, MD, MPH, ALM—a member of our Medical Expert Board and a certified personal trainer and nutrition coach who has helped develop the Body Program at Ro, tells us, “Floor exercises are a great way to stay in shape because they can be done almost anywhere without the need for equipment like weights or bands. If you’re traveling—or even if you’re home and just don’t have time to go to the gym—you can always still do an effective floor workout.”
This particular grouping of exercises is super efficient, as it works many muscle groups simultaneously, giving you an all-around more productive workout. If this floor workout is your main source of exercise, Dr. Bohl recommends doing it around three to four times per week. Get ready to add much goodness to your body, starting now!
Keep reading for Dr. Bohl’s five top-recommended floor exercises to stay lean as you age, and next up, don’t miss The #1 Strength Workout to Reshape Your Body After 40.
Dr. Bohl explains, “Pushups are a closed-chain exercise, which means they are an exercise done against a stationary object.” In this instance, you will use the ground. Typically, closed-chain exercises are quite efficient, since they activate several muscle groups at once. “While pushups target the chest and triceps, they also require you to isometrically contract muscles throughout the body,” Dr. Bohl adds.
To set up for this bodyweight exercise, assume all fours with your hands just outside shoulder-width. Lengthen both legs so that they’re aligned with your back. Descend toward the floor so that both elbows form 90-degree angles. Activate your core, and press yourself back up to the top.
Another efficient closed-chain exercise that activates multiple muscle groups is lunges. “Specifically, lunges target the large muscles in the legs and buttocks,” Dr. Bohl points out.
When it comes to lunges, there are plenty of variations, including the forward lunge, reverse lunge, jumping lunge, and lateral lunge. If opting for a forward lunge, PureGym instructs you to position your feet shoulder-width distance apart. Take a big step forward with one leg as you lower the back leg and descend into a lunge. Press through your front heel to come up.
Some excellent floor exercises don’t include movement in order to be effective. “Holding a plank for 30 to 60 seconds is a great way to challenge your core with isometric contractions,” Dr. Bohl says.
In order to perform a full plank make sure your hands are under your shoulders and your legs are fully extended. Bend both elbows to lower into a forearm plank, PureGym explains. Maintain a tight core and a neutral spine as you hold the position.
Dr. Bohl suggests, “After doing a plank, straighten your arms but stay in relatively the same position and shift into doing mountain climbers.”
Mountain climbers are a great way to incorporate cardio into your floor workout. As Dr. Bohl says, you’ll assume a high plank. Your hands should be placed the distance of your shoulder span under your shoulders, PureGym explains. In a quick fashion, bring your right knee up to your torso before bringing it back and doing the same motion with your left knee.
Next on deck in our exercises to stay lean as you age is the donkey kick. Dr. Bohl tells us, “These help strengthen and tone the large muscles of the buttocks.”
According to Beachbody on Demand, you’ll start by assuming all fours with your knees under your hips and your hands under your shoulders. Keep your neck neutral, your back straight, your core activated, and your arms extended. First, “kick” your right knee up so that the sole of your foot is pressed up toward the sky. Once you reach the top of your motion, squeeze your glute. Bring your right knee back down to the floor, and repeat on the left side.