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Aging Gracefully

7 Exercises for Muscle Maintenance

Improve your strength and achieve optimal muscle tone with this workout.

By Sally Solo
Dumbbells and measuring tapeBeatriz da Costa

Exercise 3: Modified Push-Up

Works: Chest, abdominals, shoulders, and arms

  • Lie on your stomach, knees bent and ankles crossed. Place your palms on the floor a bit to the side and in front of your shoulders. Tuck your chin a few inches into your chest so your forehead faces the floor.
  • Straighten your arms and lift your body so you are balanced on your palms and knees, abdominals tight. Be careful not to lock your elbows.
  • Bend your elbows and lower your entire body at once. Rather than trying to touch your chest to the floor, lower just until your upper arms are parallel to the floor. Push back up.


Exercise 4: Shoulder Press

Works: Shoulders, arms

  • Hold a dumbbell in each hand and sit up tall on a chair that has firm back support. Place your feet on the floor, hip-width apart. Pull your abdominals in so there is a slight gap between the small of your back and the back of the chair.
  • With palms forward, bend the elbows and raise the dumbbells up so they are level with your ears. Elbows should be at or just below shoulder height.
  • Straighten arms up over your head, without locking elbows, then slowly lower to start.


Exercise 5: Biceps Curls

Works: Biceps

  • Hold a dumbbell in each hand and stand with your feet hip-width apart. Let your arms hang down at your sides with your palms facing in. Pull your abdominals in, stand tall, and keep your knees relaxed.
  • Curl your right arm up, fist close to your shoulder, twisting your palm so that it faces the front of your shoulder at the top of the movement. Slowly lower the dumbbell back down, then repeat with your left arm. Continue alternating until you've completed the set. (One rep consists of a bicep curl with each arm.)
  
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