RIHMwZeEcFEThe Best Workouts for Athletes Over 40 Funk Roberts May 16, 2020 Athlete Profiles, Featured, Health 1755 If you’re 40 years of age or older – ‘over the hill’ as they often call it, this does not mean your chance of seeing fitness improvements is over. In fact, furthest from it. For those who work hard and attack their goals with all they’ve got, success can certainly still be yours. This said, you probably will need a different approach. Those over 40 have a different set of concerns than those in their 20’s and 30’s, so a plan that addresses those concerns while still helping you come out on top is what you’re after here. Let’s go over what the best workout for you must have and how to ensure you achieve it. Balance First, as an athlete over the age of 40, you must strive for balance. You don’t want to be weak in any given area as this will not only hinder your athletic performance in the game, but it can also set you up for an injury. Being well-balanced both in terms of being strong in all key muscle groups as well as being sure that you’re doing activities that satisfy all ends of the spectrum of physical performance will be vital. This means having exercises that target cardiovascular conditioning (typical cardio training), explosiveness (such as speed training), agility (such as plyometrics), strength (such as weight lifting), as well as flexibility (stretching) will be key. If your program is missing one of these – say flexibility, you’re likely to be tense, tight, and may pull a muscle when doing speed training. Likewise, if you’re not ever training for speed, you’ll have a harder time doing anaerobic cardiovascular activities. If you can find a routine that touches upon all of these, you’ll be off to a great start. Bodyweight Focus What I recommend all athletes over 40 do is take a bodyweight focus. Why bodyweight? In the past, you may have associated bodyweight training with beginner training. After all, it seems elementary to not use any weights as you go about your routine. Let me tell you though, it’s anything but elementary. With bodyweight training, it all comes down to how you do the bodyweight training. If you just do bodyweight squats for instance, it probably won’t be all that challenging. But if you do jump bodyweight squats moving directly into a wall squat hold, it’s a different story. The nice thing about bodyweight training as well is its less stress on your joints, which I think we can all appreciate at this stage in the game. Having sore, achy joints is no fun and if you’re doing too much repetitive exercise with high loads, you’ll be more prone to joint pain. Bodyweight training also allows you to easily transition from strength focused exercises to cardio focused exercises because there’s no plate weight to take on or off for instance. Additionally, in many cases, the bodyweight exercise you use for cardio will also be the same bodyweight exercise used for strength training. This allows you to achieve multiple goals at once, making better use of your time. We all lead busy lives and you want to reap as many benefits with as little time as possible. Your 16 Minute Circuit Workout To help illustrate this concept at work, I’ve put together a workout for you that’s just 16 minutes long but will help you condition your body, burn fat, and build strength all at the same time. It also has excellent transferability to any sport you might be doing, ensuring that you’re going to see excellent benefits from including this in your workout routine. This workout will follow the tabata workout protocol where you’re going to do each exercise for 40 seconds and then rest for 20 seconds. Then move to the next exercise and repeat. You’ll work your way through the circuit until the 16 minutes is finished and you’ve done 4 straight rounds. The exercises you’re going to perform include: Side to side burpees Plank Hip Dips (4) followed by Plank Raise (2) Jumping Jacks (4) to Tuck Jumps (2) Walkout Push-ups When doing this circuit, it is very critical that you are paying attention to good form. Because you aren’t using free weights, some people have the tendency to let themselves get sloppy, but this is precisely what you don’t want to be doing. Strict form is a must. If you need to stop and pause during that 40 seconds of rest to catch your breath, feel free to do so. This said, remember that the more you pause, the less you’re getting out of the workout. It is only going to last for 16 minutes total, so push yourself to the limit here. Finally, remember that once this is all over, you should get some stretching activities in. This will not only help you remove some of the lactic acid that developed in the muscles since this is a high set scheme, but also help to prevent unwanted muscle soreness and lower your resting heart rate. Spend five minutes or so stretching at the end before you wrap up your workout routine. So there you have a great workout to do if you’re an athlete over 40 looking to improve your athleticism and see better results with your training. You don’t always need to be training hard and heavy to get results. In almost all cases, smarter training is going to yield you better results.