If you're celebrating your 50s or 60s this year, you have many more important things to do than eating cake and popping some bubbly. You want to ensure that you age well, so the best birthday gift you can give yourself this year is fitness maintenance. First on the to-do list is to improve your core strength as you age with this floor workout.
We hate to be the bearers of bad news, but with each birthday you celebrate, you start to lose muscle mass and strength, according to the Cleveland Clinic, along with anaerobic power and endurance. Many people also begin to experience back pain, too. If you're wondering why that happens, it's the result of not doing anything to preserve your core and glute strength. These two areas of muscles are extremely important in helping you stay pain-free and injury-free.
If you're looking to keep fit and continue your quality of health, then you need to start performing strength training exercises—not only to keep your muscle mass, but also your core strength. One of the best ways to improve your core strength is by incorporating floor exercises into your fitness routine. They're an excellent supplement to your strength training, and the good news is, you can do them anywhere, so you have absolutely no excuse not to get them done. They can be performed as a warm-up or as a standalone workout on your off days.
Here's a sample floor workout we've put together that you can do to help you improve your core strength as you age. Aim for three to four sets of the following exercises.
Hollow Body Hold
Lie down flat on your back for the hollow body hold. With your arms extended over your head and your feet straight out and together, press your lower back into the floor, slightly curl yourself up, lifting your legs and arms above the air. Your body should be in the shape of a banana.
Be sure to keep tension in your core at all times, and try not to overcompensate with your lower back. You can regress the exercise by raising both your legs and arms higher until you get the strength to keep them lower. Hold the pose for 20 to 30 seconds.
Side Plank Leg Raise
Get into a side plank position with your shoulder in line with your wrists and your feet stacked. Lift your hips up and forward, and brace your core. Leading with your top leg, raise from the heel up as high as you can, flexing your glute at the end of the movement. Lower your leg under control back to the starting position before performing another rep. Perform three to four sets of 10 reps for each leg.
Start reverse crunches by lying down with your lower back flat on the floor. Keep your core tight, raise your feet back toward your body, and flex your abs hard. Lower your legs slowly, maintaining tension in your core before performing another rep. Perform three to four sets of 10 to 15 reps.
Plank Hip Extensions
Get into a plank position for this movement starting with your shoulders in line with your elbows and your feet together. Keeping your core tight, take one leg and raise it up while keeping it straight. Flex your glute hard at the top of the motion, then bring it back down to the ground before switching to the other side. Perform three to four sets of 10 reps for each leg.