5 Best Exercises For Old Dudes
Old dudes got spunk. They also got bigger brains than the young dudes from years of experience. Being old is just a reason to keep training, keep striving, and keep getting stronger. Yes, the weight on the bar equates to strength, but old dudes realize the barbell makes people stronger in so many more ways. Lifting weights and exercising teaches the strength that comes from commitment, perseverance, and working through failure. Old dudes know this. With all of that in mind, let’s jump into the five best exercises for old dudes!
5. Trapbar Deadlift
One of the big things we like about the trapbar deadlift is that it allows for a decent range of motion. In addition, it is pretty easy on the posterior chain while lighting up the quads. One of the big key factors of the trapbar deadlift does not pull you forward because the bar is not in front of you. That makes it a lot easier on the lower back.
I recommend utilizing four to five sets of five reps, adding weight throughout the sets, building in intensity. Then maybe hit one or two drop sets at 50% of max for twenty reps. When feeling good, try to push heavier weight, just don’t go heavy more than twice a month because as we get old it takes longer to recover from heavy deadlift sessions.
4. Banded Neutral Grip Dumbbell Bench
I think this movement is really good for people with shoulder impingements. Think of people who are hunched over at a desk all day or benched their entire life never giving any thought to mobility or structural integrity. The band helps a lot. It forces the upper back to retract, putting you in a better pressing position by holding the band neutral.
At the top, the hands will want to come in. Instead, squeeze in the upper back to keep the tension in the band. It not only lights up the upper back but also keeps you in the proper pressing groove. Hit four to five sets of five to ten reps.
I pair this movement with the next one.
3. Reclining Row
A lot of old dudes, as they age, don’t want to do pulls or pull-ups because it either hurts their elbows, back or can’t do them. It is as if they are almost embarrassed. I like to utilize rings so that I get more range of motion when doing the reclining row. It also helps me feel the band even better when pressing. The upper back starts to retract and create the foundation for pressing.
If there is no access to rings, set up a bar in a squat rack and do reclining rows. Pull sternum to the bar. The sternum to the bar position puts you almost exactly where you will be benching. The reclining row is a great exercise that helps you use the lats while feeling the bottom position of the bench as the whole shoulder girdle stays nice and healthy.
Do the reclining row for four to five sets of five to ten reps.
2. Backward Sled Pull
Sled pulls do not always need to be backward. I like to train to pull the sled backward because it helps with stability, coordination while aging, and is easier on the knees and Achilles tendon. Do this for four to five sets of 10-20 meters.
Having access to a sled and a turf area is helpful. Not only can we pull backward, but we can also push forward or pull forward. The sled is an easy way to gain strength without having an eccentric load. That’s a big factor. So if your knees are fatigued, squatted yesterday, or the lower back is stressed, we can still increase the strength of the anterior sequence and the posterior chain by doing sled work.
1. Reverse Hyper
I love the reverse hyper with a locked-in-foot position. Yes, it can still be done with just a strap, but the locked-in foot position gives better traction. The big factor is to squeeze through the belly button and push down into the pad. Try to arch at the top while keeping the ankles dorsiflexed. Think about everything pulling from the lower back, glutes, and hamstrings.
The reason why I love the reverse hyper is that it is the best thing to open up the lower back and help with posture. Utilize this movement all the time and as much as possible. If you don’t have access to a reverse hyper, do banded good mornings with PowerLastics, glute hams, or back extensions. As good as the replacement movements are, they don’t replace the reverse hyper–they will suffice though.
My big recommendation is to get access to a reverse hyper as an old dude.
Old dudes who want to stay in shape, get in shape, and feel healthier, need to add these five movements into their training regiment. The movements allow for recovery, keep the body healthy, and will continue to improve physical strength. Old dudes who want to stay strong, get strong, or just stay healthy need these five exercises in their life. Give them a go and let us know how it goes!
Dane Miller is the owner and founder of Garage Strength Sports Performance. He works with a select handful of clients on building comprehensive programs for fitness and nutrition. Several times a year he leads a workshop for coaches, trainers, and fitness enthusiasts.