Longevity Workout for Men
Working out for men is not always about strength and building muscle definition. For men who are no-longer, or less focused on getting as strong as possible, but want to improve their overall health, there is a great workout program I recommend from Men’s Journal. Coined “The Longevity Workout”, this plan will help you stay healthy and strong for the long haul. It focuses on strength and conditioning and will fortify the stabilizer muscles in your core and hips.
As men age, they may find themselves dependent on medications for things like heart disease, diabetes, cholesterol, or bone density. Men who want to be stronger and healthier so they are less dependent, or not dependent at all on these medications, will benefit from this workout program. It can be implemented to help improve cardiovascular health and circulation, improve glycemic control and insulin sensitivity, and increase bone mineral density. I know it is sometimes more appealing to “take a pill” for something, but if you can fix what’s ailing you as you age through movement and exercise, why wouldn’t you try it?
This workout has a nice focus on stabilizing muscle work, which is so important, especially as we age. Stabilizer muscles are smaller, and lie deeper than the big prime mover muscles that take up most of the attention. Whereas a prime mover’s job is to produce force and thereby movement, a stabilizer’s job is to resist excess movement of a joint by creating stability around the joint during a prime mover’s motion. Strong stabilizer muscles are what keep us from getting injured.
Lastly, this Longevity Workout is one full-body workout that can be done multiple times a week. Unlike more intense strength and muscle building workouts, this program does not require periods of rest for certain muscle groups. It is a steady, reliable and effective plan to keep you moving and healthy.
Workout plan courtesy of Men’s Journal
1. Lateral Band Walk
Reps: 10 (each direction)
Rest: 30 sec.
How to do it: Wrap an elastic band around your ankles and step sideways for 20 feet, then come back, keeping tension on the band throughout.
2. Trap-Bar Deadlift
Rest: 60 sec. Use 60-70% of 1-rep max.
How to do it: Use a trap bar and stand with feet hip-width apart. Hinge at your hips and grasp the handles. Keep the natural arch in your lower back as you drive through your heels to stand. Extend through your hips and knees, then lower down under control.
3A. Neutral-Grip Dumbbell Bench Press
Rest: 60 sec.
How to do it: Hold a dumbbell in each hand and lie down on a bench. Hold the dumbbells at shoulder level with palms facing each other. Press them over your chest.
3B. Suspension Trainer Row
Rest: 60 sec.
How to do it: Hold the handles of a suspension trainer and lean back with arms extended so your body is supported by the trainer and only your feet are on the floor. Brace your core and hold your body in a straight line. (The lower you set the handles, the harder the exercise; you can elevate your feet to make it even harder.) Keep your palms facing together as you row your body up.
4. Calf Extension on Leg Press
Reps: 8 (each leg)
Rest: 90 sec.
How to do it: Sit at a leg press machine with your feet on the platform about shoulder-width apart. Raise the platform until your legs are straight without locking out your knees. Place your feet on the platform so your heels are over the edge. Drive through the ball of your foot without bending your knee.
5A. Kettlebell Swing
Rest: 45 sec.
How to do it: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, toes pointed out. Hold a kettlebell with a two-handed, overhand grip. Hinge at your hips to bring the kettlebell between and behind your legs. Squeeze your glutes and extend through your hips to swing the weight up. Let it swing back between your legs as you bend your hips and knees slightly.
5B. Alligator Crawl
Reps: 20 feet
Rest: 45 sec.
How to do it: Start in a high plank and walk hands forward while maintaining a perfectly straight line between head and feet. Resist the urge to sway your hips as you go. Your feet should drag in a straight line, not wriggle back and forth.
5C. Farmer’s Walk
Reps: Walk for 30 sec.
Rest: 45 sec.
How to do it: Stand holding two dumbbells at your sides with your shoulders pulled back and down. Brace your abs and slowly walk forward, keeping the weights close to your body. After 15 sec, turn around and walk back to start.