Age Specific Exercises For Arms And Abs

Fitness guru and personal trainer, Kathryn Freeland gives us her top age-specific exercises for arms and abs.

exercises for arms and abs

The plank

Why it’s effective

It’s all about core strength. This exercise is one of the best ways to work your core muscles which are crucial for good posture and balance.

The basic move

Start on elbows and knees, face down. Engage your stomach muscles, extend legs and push up on to toes while on elbows, making a straight line from ears through to the shoulders, hips and heels.

If your bum is too high, you won’t feel it in your tummy and if your bum is too low, it’ll hurt your back. Keep your hands relaxed, eyes looking straight down. Start with 10-15 seconds, and work up towards a minute. If you can’t manage a full plank, start with the modified 60s version below and build up.

In your 40s

Start with a basic plank but once you’ve mastered it for one minute, add a toe tap. Move one leg to the side, tapping the toe out about 10cm. Bring it back in without bouncing. Do 8 times on each side.

In your 50s

Try a basic plank, then move on to the 40s version if you want more of a challenge

In your 60s

Do the plank on your knees and elbows, really pulling your tummy in tight, unless you’re fit enough to do the full plank.

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The waist whittler

Why it’s effective

This is one of the best exercises to work the waist and core in one go.

The basic move

Stand with feet hip width apart on a resistance tube or theraband From R200, at Sportsmans Warehouse

Holding an end in each hand, with hands at sides, tilt from the waist to the right side as far as you can, keep facing forward – then come up. Avoid tilting forwards or backwards.

Your waist should be doing all the work, not your hands. Do 8 repetitions on each side. This is a move without momentum, so keep the pace slow and controlled. Pull in tummy muscles and engage your pelvic floor.

In your 40s

Take a hand weight in each hand, then do the basic move, while also holding a resistance tube. Bring your feet wider apart, as this will make it harder.

In your 50s

Without the tube, take a weight in each hand and tilt from the waist to the right side as far as you can. Do 8 on each side. See the basic move for complete instructions.

In your 60s

Without the weights or tube, stand with your feet hip-width apart and lean to the side as far as you can without coming forwards or backwards from the body.

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Box push-ups for toned arms

Why it’s effective

Works your chest and triceps, then also your shoulders and a bit of your core. (Avoid tricep dips because they’re very easy to do wrong, leading to shoulder injuries).

The basic move

Start on all fours with hands about shoulder width apart, and parallel with fingers facing forward. Don’t push your bottom into the air or elbows out sideways. Lower your chest to the floor. Do this 16 times.

Keep your neck relaxed and your head in line with your spine. Don’t be tempted to lower your head to touch the floor (that’s cheating!).

In your 40s

On all fours begin with the basic box push up. Once you feel strong, add a clap as you come up between each push-up, pushing harder off the ground. Work up to 16 reps.

In your 50s

Start with hands touching and do one push-up, then move hands out a hand-width apart and do another push-up. Repeat until hands are just over shoulder-width apart, then do in reverse. Work up to 16 reps in total.

In your 60s

Place hands on a wall and take a couple of steps back to make a diagonal line with your body. Keeping your body in a straight line and hands flat on the wall, tummy tight, and body and legs straight, bring yourself all the way to touch your nose to the wall and back up. Do 16 in total.

 

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