Living a fit and healthy life is a goal people strive for at any age. But when it comes to strength training in old age, concerns often surface. However, strength training in old age is actually of great importance in maintaining or even improving physical health and fitness. In this blog article, we will look at the topic of strength training in old age and show why it is anything but pointless and dangerous.

What is strength training?

Strength training is a training method in which muscles are strengthened through targeted resistance. It involves exercises with weights or your own body weight. The goal is to improve muscle strength and endurance.

It can target the entire body or specific muscle groups. Strength training offers benefits such as increased muscle strength, improved posture and metabolism. It can be used by people of all ages to improve health and fitness.


Why is strength training important even in old age?

Strength training – and also muscle building as we age – are important for several reasons:

  • Preservation of muscle mass and strength: With age, there is a natural loss of muscle mass and strength, which is known as sarcopenia. Strength training can counteract this muscle loss and maintain muscle mass or even build muscle.
  • Improve bone health: as we age, we are at increased risk for osteoporosis and bone fractures due to decreasing bone strength. Strength training, especially with weights, can increase bone stress and thus improve bone health.
  • Promote mobility and functionality: strength training in the elderly can help maintain or improve the ability to perform everyday tasks and activities. Strengthening muscles makes movements easier and reduces the risk of falls.
  • Increasing quality of life: strength training can increase physical performance, which can lead to a better quality of life. It allows older people to be more independent, have more energy and participate more actively in life.
  • Prevention of chronic diseases: Regular strength training can help reduce the risk of various chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and arthritis. It helps improve metabolism and insulin sensitivity.


What is there to consider when training muscles in old age?

There are some important aspects to consider when training muscles in old age. First of all, before starting training, you should consult a doctor or physiotherapist to discuss your own state of health and take into account any individual limitations. An adapted training program based on individual needs and abilities is crucial. It is advisable to start with moderate intensities and increase the load slowly to avoid overload or injury.

Correct execution of the exercises is another important factor. Incorrect execution can lead to injury and reduce the effectiveness of the workout. It is therefore advisable to have an experienced trainer or physiotherapist show you how to perform the exercises correctly.

Choosing the right load is also crucial. The weights and resistance should be appropriate for the individual’s fitness level. It is important not to overexert yourself and to increase slowly. The body needs time to adapt and get used to the load .

A proper warm-up should precede muscle training to prepare the body for the load and reduce the risk of injury. Stretching after exercise can improve flexibility and reduce muscle soreness.

Sufficient recovery after training is also important. The body needs time to regenerate. Breaks between training sessions are necessary to avoid overload and give the muscles enough time to recover.

Hydration and nutrition also play a role. Adequate hydration and a balanced diet with enough protein support muscle growth and recovery.

It is important to listen to your body and adjust training or consult a physician if you experience pain or discomfort. Individual limits should be respected to avoid injury. With proper precautions and individualization, muscle training in old age can help improve muscle mass, bone health, mobility and quality of life.


What exercises can seniors do to strengthen their muscles?

Seniors can perform various exercises to train their muscles. It is important to choose exercises that suit individual abilities and needs. Here are some examples that may be suitable for strength training for seniors:

  • Squats: Squats are an effective exercise to strengthen the leg and gluteal muscles. They can be performed with or without additional weights such as dumbbells or kettlebells.
  • Lunges: Lunges are a good exercise to work the leg muscles and improve balance. They can be performed with your own body weight or with weights.
  • Chest Presses: Chest presses aim to strengthen the chest muscles and arm flexors. This can be done with dumbbells, resistance bands or on equipment in gyms.
  • Rowing: Rowing is an exercise that strengthens the back muscles and helps improve posture. It can be done with dumbbells, on machines or with resistance bands.
  • Shoulder press: Shoulder press exercises the shoulder muscles and the upper arm muscles. It can be performed with dumbbells or machines.
  • Abdominal exercises: Exercises such as crunches, leg raises or planks can help strengthen abdominal muscles and improve core stability.
  • Arm curls: arm curls are an effective exercise to work the biceps muscles. They can be performed with dumbbells or resistance bands.

It is important to perform the exercises slowly and in a controlled manner to avoid injury. Seniors should listen to their bodies and adjust the workout if they experience pain or discomfort. If unsure, it is advisable to ask a trainer or physiotherapist for guidance.

What training equipment can support this?

There are several exercise machines that can help seniors exercise their muscles. Here are some examples:

  • Dumbbells: Dumbbells are versatile and easy-to-use pieces of equipment. They enable the targeted training of different muscle groups. By using different weights, seniors can adjust the intensity to their fitness level.
  • Resistance Bands: Resistance bands offer a gentle and low-impact way to resistance train. They are lightweight, portable and allow you to strengthen and stretch muscles. Bands come in a variety of strengths so they can be customized to meet individual needs.
  • Fitness Balls: Fitness balls provide an unstable surface that helps strengthen core muscles and improve balance. They can be used for exercises such as sit-ups, planks and back exercises.
  • Strength training machines: Strength training machines can be used in gyms or special facilities for seniors. These provide guided movement and make it easier to perform strength exercises.
  • Balance boards: Balance boards are useful for improving balance and coordination. They require activating stabilizing muscles and can be used in exercises such as standing balances or single-leg squats.
  • Weight cuffs: Weight cuffs are cuffs that are placed around wrists or ankles to provide additional weight. They can be used during walking, stair climbing or specific exercises to increase muscle intensity.

It is important to choose the right equipment according to individual abilities and needs. A trainer or physiotherapist can assist in the selection and correct use of exercise equipment.


Our TOGU experts advise:

Don’t let prejudice scare you away and dare to start strength training tailored to you. It offers a variety of benefits for your health and will help you keep your body fit and strong as you age. Seek out an expert to help you create an appropriate training program and make sure you’re performing the exercises correctly. With the right approach, regular exercise as you age can lead to an improved quality of life and an active lifestyle.


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