How to Build Muscle After 50

How to Build Muscle After 50

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Is it possible to build muscles after 50? If you are searching for the answer to this question, it means you are taking a positive step towards healthy living. 

Physical activity helps you look and feel younger, keeps your body healthier, and reduces the risk of illness. You also get to feel better and have more energy.

5 Best Exercises to Build Muscles for Seniors

Any exercise is good exercise, but when it comes to building and maintaining muscle mass,  strength training is the way. Not only does lifting weights help build strong muscles and bones, but it also boosts your metabolism (the rate at which your body burns calories). 

Strength training helps you build muscle and bone mass while maintaining a healthy weight. 

When you start lifting weights after 50, you are able to win the fight against muscle loss and build muscles while at it.

Muscles help us age well and maintain overall well-being, yet you start losing lean muscles from your 30s onwards. 

It is important to build muscles as you age because:

  • Muscle growth improves your  balance, and you are less likely to fall
  • Muscles reduce arthritis pain
  • Muscles reduce symptoms associated with aging, like osteoporosis

Here are some strength training exercises to help you build muscles after 50:

build muscle

1. Squats 

Squats are a great way to exercise your core and lower body. This will make it easy to climb stairs and pick things up.

As a senior adult, the squats to chair technique is a great way to do your squats exercise. For a squats workout, you need to:

  • Position yourself in front of a chair with your feet apart
  • Extend your arms, so they are parallel to the ground
  • Keep your chest upright and push your hips back
  • Bend your knees so you can lower your body towards the chair (ensure your knees don’t extend beyond your toes)
  • Touch the chair with your bum and get back up to return to the start position

Tip: When doing squats, ensure you distribute your body over your heals and mid feet. 

2. Wall Push-ups

This is a friendlier strength training method compared to floor push-ups. Wall push-ups help you build your upper body strength (chest and arms).

For this work-out, you need to:

  • Stand two feet (60 cm) away from the wall
  • Put your hands against the wall (the hands should be shoulder height and width apart)
  • Bend your elbows and slowly lower your chest towards the wall (ensure your heels come off the floor) 
  • Push yourself back and strengthen your hands to straighten your elbows to return to the start position

Tip: Do the wall push-ups exercises until you feel challenged.

3. Side-lying circles

Side-lying circles help you strengthen your hips while improving your mobility. You will build your outer thighs and your gluteal muscles (found in the hips)

For this workout, you need to:

  • Lie on one side on the floor
  • Extend your bottom arm straight past your head
  • Use your bottom arm to rest your head
  • Squeeze your abdominal muscles to pull in your belly
  • Lift your top leg to hip height and  move your leg in circles (take turns doing both clockwise and anticlockwise circles)
  • Lower your leg to the start position and do the same exercise on the opposite leg


4. Side planks

Side planks help improve side-to-side core stability. This exercise helps strengthen your shoulder muscles, hips, and side cores. This is because the three have to fire and work together. You also get to stabilize your spine muscles, protecting you from back injuries.

For this workout, you need to:

  • Lie on your side and prop yourself up with your elbow directly below your shoulder
  • Choose to lift your body up with the sides of your feet or feet stacked on the floor (try both ways to find which works comfortably with you)
  • Brace your core and lift your hips off the floor to support your elbow with either your knees or your feet
  • Maintain this position for as long as you can (15-60 seconds) and lower your hips to return to the start position 
  • Do the same workout on the opposite side

Tip: Stop doing this exercise if you experience shoulder core, shoulder, or arm pain.

5. Dumbbell front raise

Yes! Seniors can still do dumbbell exercises as they are excellent for rebuilding muscles and boosting power. If it is your first time lifting weights, start with 5-pound dumbbells if you are a woman and 10-pound if you are a man. Gradually increase the weights as you gain strength in your upper body.

Front raises help build your upper body strength, prevent injury and improve stability and mobility. 

For this workout, you need to:

  • Stand straight with your shoulders straight and feet equal to your shoulder width
  • Hold the dumbbells horizontally between your legs with your palms facing down
  • Lift the weights upward as you inhale
  • Gently bend your elbows to relieve any joint pains
  • Stop when you feel your shoulders contract and when your arms are parallel or almost parallel with the floor

build muscle

Why You Should Exercise Regularly

All forms of exercise, be it endurance, balance training, moderate or vigorous, are good for your health. 

When you exercise, you help stop, delay, and sometimes improve serious illnesses like:

  • Heart disease 
  • High blood pressure 
  • Diabetes 
  • Stroke 
  • Alzheimer’s disease 
  • Arthritis
  • Osteoporosis
  • It helps your brain stay sharp

Key Takeaway

For an active lifestyle, it’s important to maintain strong muscles. This can make the difference between being limber or stiff, agile or slow, and having the energy to play with your kids. Vary your exercises to incorporate resistance bands where necessary to challenge your routines. You can get a personal trainer to help you with different forms of training to build those muscles.


At Send Me a Trainer, getting started is as easy as a phone call and downloading the app. You’ll let us know what your goals and current workout routine are, and we’ll find you the best match for your needs. You can visit the Send Me a Trainer website here or give us a call at 760-880-9904, and we’ll be happy to answer any questions you might have.

If you are in Palm Springs, Rancho Mirage, Cathedral City, Palm Desert, Indian Wells, La Quinta, Bermuda Dunes, or Indio, we can bring personal training right to your door!

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