How to Lift Weights for Older Women to Increase Muscle Mass And Metabolism

How to Lift Weights for Older Women to Increase Muscle Mass And Metabolism

Weight training has many benefits for older women. Not only does it increase bone density and reduce the chance of getting osteoporosis, but it can also increase stamina and metabolic rate. Regular exercise, combining cardiovascular exercise and weight training, can help maintain weight and increase energy levels. If you do not work at building muscle, you will lose muscle, so commit to doing the exercises correctly and regularly. Ideally, women should start weight training from the age of 30.

Things You'll Need
  • Dumbbells
  • Hand weights
  • A chair or bench

Start by getting expert advice. Whether you have any underlying medical condition or not, if you are over 35 seek advice from your physician before starting any exercise routine. Once you have her go-ahead, consult a fitness professional to help you put a weight-training program together that is suited to your age, strength and level of fitness. Do weight training two to three times a week for 20 minutes, combined with cardiovascular exercise.

Warm up before you begin weight training by walking or jogging on the spot for five minutes, and doing some gentle stretching. If you have enough space, work out at home, otherwise go to your local gym. Use dumbbells, hand or ankle weights, or make use of soup cans from your pantry. Start off with weights that allow you to lift a set of 10 to 12 repetitions quite comfortably. Do two to three sets of each, and as you build strength and stamina, increase the weights accordingly. Keep knees soft throughout, breathe out on effort (lifting) and in on release (lowering). Expect some pain as you lift the weights, but beware of constant pain. After each set of repetitions, take a two-to-three-minute break.

For shoulder and back muscles, take a dumbbell in each hand, raise your hands straight out from your body until your hands reach shoulder height. Lower and repeat. Combine these exercises with upright row exercises. With weights in your hands, hold your hands close together in front of your thighs. Raise your hands up to chin level, lifting your elbows to your ears. Lower and repeat.

For triceps, take a weight in your right hand and support yourself on a chair with your left knee and left hand. Hold your right hand at chest level, elbow bent. Straighten your arm behind you, keeping your elbow still, and release. After a set, change hands, then take a short break. For biceps, sit on a chair with the weight in your right hand, right elbow on your right thigh, left hand on your left thigh. Curl the weight towards your right shoulder and lower. Change hands and repeat.

Dumbbell squats work both quadriceps and hamstrings. Take a weight in each hand, stand with your feet slightly apart, hands by your sides and palms facing inwards. Keep your heels on the ground. Lower your hands towards the ground and squat, sticking your bottom out. Keep your upper body upright. Stand up straight and repeat.