Six anti-aging exercises to boost your mobility and increase strength

These anti-aging exercises will help you build a more resilient body

Senior woman in pink vest doing yoga pose in park
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Anti-aging exercises can be a useful tool for staying in shape as your body gets older. Keeping active can help you combat age-related problems like osteoarthritis and higher cholesterol—but you don’t need to bench press your bodyweight to stay in shape.

A short daily walk, swimming a few lengths at the local pool, or working out with some of the best resistance bands will stave off age-related decline.

That said, if you are looking for specific exercises that will help to increase your longevity, look no further. Award-winning trainer Amanda Place has put together a six-move routine with healthy aging in mind. 

Headshot of Amanda Place
Amanda Place

Amanda Place is a qualified personal trainer and founder of Sculptrition. She has trained as a Health and Nutrition coach, an indoor cycling instructor, a teacher for Les Mills Tone and Bodypump, and a seniors' fitness instructor. She enjoys helping people find workout inspiration and achieve sustainable weight loss. 

Best anti-aging exercises

1. Squats

Man and woman on yoga mats in gym doing squats

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Sets: 3 Reps: 10

How to do it: To perform a squat, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, and lower your hips down and back as if sitting in a chair. Keep your knees in line with your toes and your chest lifted, and then stand back up. 

How it helps: Squats are one of the most effective exercises for building lower body strength, specifically targeting the glutes, quadriceps, and hamstrings in the legs. Squats can improve your balance, stability, and bone density and reduce the risk of osteoporosis, when done regularly. 

2. Lunges

Older woman in t-shirt and leggings doing a lunge exercise at home in living room

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Sets: 3 Reps: 10 on each leg

How to do it:  To perform a lunge, start in a standing position with your feet hip-width apart. Take a big step forward with one foot, bending both knees until your back knee nearly touches the ground. Push through the front foot to stand back up, and then repeat on the other side. 

How it helps: Lunges are another lower body exercise that can help improve strength and mobility. Lunges primarily target the glutes, quadriceps, and hamstrings, but also engage the core muscles for stability.  

3. Deadlifts

Senior man at gym doing a deadlift with heavy barbell

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Sets: 3 Reps: 10

How to do it:  To perform a deadlift, stand with your feet hip-width apart and place a barbell in front of you. Bend your knees and hinge at the hips to lower down and grab the weight, keeping your back straight. Stand back up, lifting the weight with your legs and glutes, and then lower the weight back down to the ground. 

How it helps:  Deadlifts are a full-body exercise primarily targeting the back muscles, glutes, and hamstrings. Additionally, deadlifts can improve grip strength and overall mobility. If you don't have access to a barbell, you can deadlift with dumbbells instead. 

4. Overhead presses

Woman doing overhead press with dumbbells in a gym

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Sets: 3 Reps: 10

How to do it:  Begin by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, and the dumbbells resting on your upper chest. Keeping your core engaged, press the dumbbells overhead by extending your arms straight up. Slowly release by bringing the elbows out to a 90-degree angle 

How it helps:  The overhead press works the deltoids (your shoulder muscles) and is great at building strength in this area. It also engages the triceps and upper back muscles, making it a great move to improve the ability to do functional tasks such as placing an object on a high shelf or lifting a heavy suitcase.  

5. Press Ups

Senior woman in workout gear on a yoga mat performing a push-up outside

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Sets: 3 Reps: 10

How to do it:  Start in a plank position with your hands shoulder-width apart and your feet hip-width apart. Lower your body down towards the ground by bending your elbows, keeping your body in a straight line, and then push back up to the starting position. To make this easier, try using an elevated surface, like a sturdy couch or bench, underneath your hands, or drop to your knees to lighten the load. 

How it helps: Press Ups are a classic exercise that can build upper body strength, specifically targeting the chest, shoulders, and triceps. Additionally, push-ups engage the core muscles for stability and can improve overall upper body mobility.  

6. Planks

A woman in workout clothing performs a plank exercise, on a yoga mat in her living room. A laptop is open in front of her and we can see an exercise ball in the background

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Sets: 3 Time: 30 seconds

How to do it:  Start in a push-up position with your hands shoulder-width apart and your feet hip-width apart. Hold your body in a straight line from your head to your heels, engaging your core muscles to keep your body stable. If you have joint pain in your wrist, try doing this exercise on your elbows. 

How it helps:  Planks are a core exercise that can improve overall stability and posture and reduce the risk of back pain. Planks target the abdominals, back muscles, and shoulder muscles, helping to build overall core strength.  

As research published by the National Library of Medicine shows, loss of muscle mass, decreased strength and limited function are all common side-effects of aging. But the good news is a few simple lifestyle changes can lessen the impact of aging and keep you limber for longer. 

“The more you stretch and move your body with exercise, the more your muscle tissue will lengthen and strengthen, increasing your range of motion and helping to avoid injury,” says Place. She also recommends adding yoga to your routine, which is a great low-impact and low-intensity way to maintain mobility, strength and flexibility as you age—so why not try this yoga over 50 routine?

Need some guidance on what mat to buy? See our guide to the best yoga mats

Jessica Downey

Jessica is an experienced fitness writer with a passion for running. Her career in journalism began in local news and she holds a Masters in journalism. Jessica has previously written for Runners World, penning news and features on fitness, sportswear and nutrition. 

When she isn't writing up news and features for Fit&Well covering topics ranging from muscle building, to yoga, to female health and so on, she will be outdoors somewhere, testing out the latest fitness equipment and accessories to help others find top products for their own fitness journeys. Her testing pairs up nicely with her love for running. She recently branched out to running 10Ks and is trying to improve her time before moving on to larger races. Jessica also enjoys building on her strength in the gym and is a believer in health and wellness beginning in the kitchen. She shares all of this on her running Instagram account @jessrunshere which she uses for accountability and for connecting with like-minded fitness lovers.