They say 40 is the new 20, but is that really true? Well, if you do it right, your exercise routine will have you not only feeling like you can take on the world, but having you look your best too. The keyword in that last statement was “routine.” The exercises we have laid out below should be done on a consistent basis so that you can truly see a transformation, inside and out.
(Editors Note: As with any exercise regime, please consult your doctor before engaging in any strenuous activity.)
When done properly, squats hit all the major muscles of the lower body, particularly the glutes. Most women do not squat low enough or use enough resistance to see results. If your knees hurt (like mine!), start with a thorough warm-up (5 to 10 minutes of walking or biking) and a modified version and do them fewer times per week. Even once a week helps if you’re also doing cardio.
How to Do it:
-Stand with feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
-Engage (tighten) your abdominals and bring your arms out in front to counter balance.
-Keep your weight on your heels as you lower yourself towards the floor by bending at the hips and knees; push your glutes out as if you’re about to sit on a public commode.
-Continue squatting until thighs are parallel to the floor or until your heels begin to lift off the floor. Pause a second or two and then slowly raise back up, pushing through your heels.
You should feel this in the front of your thighs and glutes. Repeat 15 times for three sets. Add weight with dumbbells or a weighted bar as you progress.
Core strength is the foundation of all strength, and as you get older, working on your abdominal muscles plays a big role in stabilizing your back and hips.
How to Do It:
Place your forearms on the floor with your shoulders directly over your elbows and your hands flat on the floor. You can also clasp your hands together to make a fist. Tightening your abs, shoulders, back, and glutes, extend your legs back into a plank and hold for 30 seconds. Make sure not to raise your butt or allow your stomach to fall by bracing your core and tucking your pelvis in. Slowly work your way to holding a plank for a full minute.