A quick Google search for the best fat-burning and muscle-building exercises always yields the same results: squats, bench press, rows, chinups, and deadlifts. The classic compound exercises that have probably served as the base of your workout for years.
We’re not going to say that those are bad choices, but they’re boring. Chances are, you’ve tried them all before — and if they worked as well as people say they do, why haven’t you gotten the results you want yet?
To burn fat and build muscle, you have to think outside the proverbial box. This goes double if you’re an experienced lifter, age 40 or older, who’s already working around some injuries and movement restrictions. More of the same exercises you did when you were younger (and felt invincible) probably won’t take your body to the next level now — and worse, they may hurt more and hold back your progress.
David Jack, creator of the Men’s Health Muscle After 40 (MA40) program, put together the following list of 25 moves that he says anyone can see great results with — especially older guys.
They don’t require heavy weights, complex movements, or special equipment, but they’ll speed up your metabolism and challenge your muscles as well as any other exercises you’ve tried. Better yet, they’ll probably shake up your stale routine.
“They’re fun to do,” says Jack. “Most of them will have you working on strength, balance, and conditioning all at once, and you can do them with just your body weight, a single band, and one or two pairs of light dumbbells.”
Create your own workout using the exercises listed. The movements are categorized by the muscle groups that they emphasize most (chest, legs, etc.), and some are full-body exercises.
To build your own workouts, simply choose one exercise from each category. Do the full-body move first, and then you can do the other exercises in any order you like. We suggest prioritizing them according to your goals or needs. In other words, if you know your legs are a weak point, do a leg movement next. If you want to focus on arms, do your biceps and triceps lifts early in the workout.
Perform reps for one move for 40 seconds straight, going at your own pace. Rest 20 seconds, and then repeat twice more. Do the same thing for each exercise. On exercises that are done one side at a time, work for 20 seconds on one side and then 20 seconds on the other. The next time you train, choose different exercises from each list.
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