5 strength training workouts for men over 60

Losing muscle mass increases the risk of falling and can make it difficult to do day-to-day activities

As we age, muscle mass declines by 3-5% per decade. Decline for men starts to happen around age 60, according to Matthew Accetta, MS, ACSM-CEP, CSCS*D, CSPS, an exercise physiologist at the Hospital for Special Surgery.

“Once you hit age 60, the rate of muscle mass decline goes up, and you’ll lose even more muscle mass because you’re getting older, not producing as much testosterone, and you’re not as active,” Accetta told HSS.

Losing muscle mass increases the risk of falling and can make it difficult to do day-to-day activities such as walking, sitting, getting up and more. Although you can’t avoid getting older, there are exercises to help get stronger as you face the next stage in life.

Here are five strength training workouts for men over 60 to help increase strength and balance.


The single-arm row helps with posture by working the back muscles that help with sitting or standing upright. We row every day, from opening the door to the refrigerator to leaving the house to even picking up something from the ground.

So if you have a set of dumbbells, here’s how to do the exercise properly:

  • While using a bench or a chair for assistance, start by holding a dumbbell in the right hand with the opposite leg, either on the bench or slightly in front of the right leg.
  • Then imagine a string attached to your elbow slowly pulling it back.
  • Keeping the core engaged let the dumbbell reach the side of your body and then return to the starting position and repeat on the other side.


According to AARP, squats are the No. 1 exercise to keep doing as you age.

“When you have to go to the washroom, that’s a squat. When you get in the car, that’s a squat. Every time you sit down or stand up, that’s a squat. If you don’t do them well, it affects the way you live,” Eric Daw, a personal trainer dedicated to older adults and founder of Omni-Fitt, told AARP.

Here’s how to properly do the exercise:

  • Decide how you want to squat: using a chair, free-standing, ropes, etc.
  • With feet shoulder-width apart, begin to lower the body with the back straight, chest up and heels planted, then repeat.

Bird Dogs

Bird dogs work the spine, abdominals and glutes while enhancing balance and coordination. Here’s how to properly do the exercise:

  • While on the floor or mat and get on all fours.
  • Keep hips level and try not to rotate the pelvis keeping the spine aligned.
  • With the right hand coming forward, raise the left leg backward. Return to the start position and repeat on the other side.

The exercise seems simple enough, but it shouldn’t be rushed. Take your time to work on balance and coordination.


No matter how you choose to do planks — from using your knees, toes or assisted — you’re working the entire core, thighs, back, arms, glutes and more. It’s the ideal exercise for strengthening the whole body while building endurance.

Here’s how to properly do a plank:

  • Lie on the ground with your stomach on the floor or a mat.
  • Then assume a push-up position by placing your weight on your forearms or palms.
  • Hold the position for a few seconds, then slowly lower to the floor and repeat.

Standing dumbbell press

This exercise targets the lower back and shoulders and helps to improve balance. While doing standing dumbbell presses, it’s important to engage the core, keeping it tight to help prevent injury in the lower back.

Here’s how to properly do the exercise:

  • Stand with feet hip-width apart.
  • Bring each dumbbell to shoulder level with your palms facing forward.
  • Gently extend the arms above the head, slowly bring the weights down to the shoulder position and repeat.

When doing this exercise, it’s important to keep the range of motion controlled and not overextend the weight above the head.

These exercises not only build strength but also increase balance, posture and mood. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, adults 65 and older should work out for 30 minutes a day, five days a week, to strengthen muscles.