Want to see how fit you really are? It’s time to test yourself to see if you’re at the right strength level for your age.
Max Zeumer, personal training manager at New York Health & Racquet Club 13th Street, shares exercises with Daily Mail that are must-dos for your decade.
Even if you don’t hit the gym as often as your should or don’t classify yourself a certified gym rat, mastering these few simple, age-appropriate moves can improve your overall level of health and lower your risk of illness or injury. Keeping active with these moves can help you age more gracefully, too!
The last thing you want is for your body to limit you from doing the things you enjoy, so keep it active!
First, test yourself with the moves that correspond with your age. If you can master them easily, drop down a decade and give those exercises a try. If you struggle to perform the appropriate moves for you, practice them at least three to four times per week to build up your balance and strength.
Your body will thank you!
If you're in your 20s now, it's the best time to get your body into shape and maintain its health. At this age, your body can handle more intense moves and your recovery time isn't as long. If you put in the work to up your strength now, it'll get easier as you progress into older age.
Overhead press: This move will help strengthen your upper body and core, helping you resist against future injury.
Hold a weighted bar (of appropriate weight for your body/fitness level) at shoulder height while standing. Using your arms, not your back, lift the bar up until your elbows are straight.
Lunge: Improve your balance and build up leg strength by performing alternating lunges. Building and maintaining muscle in your legs and keeping the hamstrings loose will keep your mobility solid as you age. Also, this move allows for modifications to increase difficulty! Start with your body weight, then progress with weights as needed.
Stand with your feet about hip-distance apart. Take a big step forward with one foot and bend both knees to a 90-degree angle, keeping your shoulders stacked over your hips and front knee behind the front toes. Use the front foot to press yourself back to standing. Repeat with the other foot.
Ab wheel: Bring in this piece of equipment to test your core strength, teach you proper form and give your body a much-needed stretch.
Hold the ab wheel equipment (a wheel with two sticks on the sides) with both hands, placing it on the floor as you kneel. Slowly push the wheel forward to reach a plank position, then pull yourself back to the starting position.
Barbell deadlift: Learn this move to work your total body. As you go through your busy 20s, this compound move will help you build your strength in a short time.
In a squatted position, grab a barbell with both hands from the floor and slowly raise if just below hip height, then lower it back down. Throughout the move, keep your back straight and your arms locked.
While you should still be able to perform the exercises from your 20s, be sure to master these moves that will help counter the weight your slower metabolism may be packing on.
Kettlebell swings: Use your legs, hips, core and arms to effectively knock out this move. As it becomes more difficult to fit cardio into your schedule, this exercise can raise your heart rate quickly for a solid calorie burn.
In a squatted position, lift a kettlebell off the floor. Swing the kettlebell in front of you to reach eye level, straightening your legs as it lifts. Swing it back down with control, and keep your arms straight and controlled throughout the move.
Planks: If you're used to crunches, it's time to switch to plank variations, says Harvard Health. This ab stabilization move will build your endurance and tone the core without harming your spine!
Lie face down, resting on your forearms. Push up off the floor, raising up onto toes and resting on the elbows. Keep your back flat, contracting your abdominal muscles while you hold your body in a straight line from head to heels.
Chin ups/Pull ups: While other moves may be easy to 'fake' by cheating on form, this move will truly test the strength of your back, arms and abs.
Stand at a secure bar, placing your hands slightly wider than shoulder-distance apart. Pull your body up to lift your chin to or above the bar, then slowly lower back down.
Don't let this milestone slow down your physical abilities! When you're in your 40s, focus on mastering these moves.
Squats: This move helps to open up your hips, plus it tones your butt and thighs. Performing this move regularly will vastly improve your hip and knee strength, which are crucial as you age.
Stand wide with your feet facing forward. Keeping your chest high and your knees behind your toes, bend both knees about 90 degrees. Press up to come back to starting position.
Split squats: A slight variation of the squat, this move tests your balance and strength one leg at a time.
Stand a few feet in front of a chair and rest one foot on the seat. Bend your front knee about 90 degrees into a squat, keeping the knee behind the toes and your shoulders stacked over your hips. Press up through the front heel to come back to standing position. Once you’ve fired up the muscles, switch to perform the move on the other side.
Dips: This move will test your upper body strength, keeping your arms tight to prevent sagging.
Hold your body above a set of bars with your arms locked as your feet leave the floor. Lower yourself slowly with your torso leaning forward around 30 degrees and your elbows flared out slightly. Press yourself back up until arms straighten again.
Zuemer notes that you should still do squats, deadlifts and presses to maintain optimum strength in your 50s. Still, he says, you should focus on allowing your body to recover from weightlifting properly. These moves will help you achieve that!
Farmer's carries: This move will help improve your posture and prevent injury as opposed to seated or lying positions.
Pick up appropriate-sized weights and walk as far as you can, holding them at your sides.
Weighted walking lunges: Keeping your back straight and lifted, this exercise will help maintain your overall strength and endurance.
Stand with your feet about hip-distance apart, holding weights at your sides. Take a big step forward with one foot and bend both knees to a 90-degree angle, keeping your shoulders stacked over your hips and front knee behind the front toes. Press up to stand as you simultaneously bring the other foot in front. Repeat the exercise while moving forward each time.
Pushups: Strengthen your upper body and core with this move. If you can't perform a full pushup, it's okay to drop to your knees.
From a plank position, bend your elbows to bring your face between your hands. Keeping your back straight, use your arms to return to plank.
Even at 60, it's no time to give up an active life! Be sure you can perform these moves.
Box step-ups: Build your endurance and practice proper balance with this move. It can also serve as a stationary walk to fit in some cardio and raise your heart rate!
With a box in front of you, step up onto it one foot at a time, then down one foot at a time.
Bird dog: This yoga move will help maintain your balance and will strengthen your core. At the same time, this exercise provides an excellent stretch for your body!
From a table top position with your hands and knees on the floor, lift one arm straight in front of you while simultaneously kicking the opposite leg back. Hold this position for a few seconds, then return to table top and switch sides.
Kettlebell deadlifts: This move allows you to practice solid hip movements while working on your arm strength. As you age and bending becomes more difficult or dangerous, mastering this hip-hinging motion can keep your body strong and healthy.
In a squatted position, grab a kettlebell with both hands from the floor and slowly raise it just below hip height, then lower it back down. Throughout the move, keep your back straight and your arms locked.