You’ve heard time and time again that physical activity and exercise are good for your health, especially in your 60s.
It’s often recommended that you aim to make them part of your lifestyle.
While it’s true both physical activity and regular exercise will help you age better and maintain your independence, some exercises can also be harmful.
As you age, your body will go through some changes. You may lose some muscle mass, experience a slowdown in metabolism, and see a decline in balance and stability.
It’s a harder challenge to stay fit after 60 and maintain the functionality and performance you once enjoyed in your 30s and 40s.
Also, if you haven’t been active, you may feel aches and pains in places like your lower back, joints, and neck. You may even find the most common of exercises harder to perform.
If this is you, it’s just as critical to know what exercises come at a higher risk and when to avoid them.
It’s also just as important to know how to train for strength, performance, and mobility while staying pain and injury-free.
Here are 4 common exercises anyone over 60 should avoid and why.
1. Dumbbell or Barbell Deadlifts
The deadlift is a dynamic exercise that’s known as one of the best moves to strengthen your lower body.
But what often gets overlooked is that this effective leg exercise requires a good balance to perform correctly and safely.
For many seniors, balance is one area they begin to struggle with age. What’s more, when it involves heavy weight like a barbell and dumbbells, it can become even more hazardous.
The deadlift has you bent at your hips and use your lower back, glutes, torso, and core to pull the weight up from the ground.
If you lack adequate balance and core strength, it’s very easy to compensate with back muscles and cause a strain on your back.
Instead, practice this move with just your body weight to gain balance and train the target muscles.
You may also target the same muscle groups using safer exercises like bodyweight squats.
2. Upright Row
The upright row is one excellent move to strengthen your back, shoulders, and core. But for many seniors with a sedentary lifestyle, this move can bring more risks than rewards.
If you aren’t actively using and training your upper body, the chances are you have a stiff back and tight spine stabilizing muscles.
The limited functionality in your back, core, and shoulders can not only restrain your rowing movements but also strain your back.
3. Behind-The-Neck Lat Pulldowns
This is one exercise you want to definitely avoid in your 60s. Doing the lat pulldowns behind your head can put a lot of stress on your neck and shoulders. Over time, it can even lead to straining of these muscles, especially the anterior portion of your shoulders.
I would even recommend people younger than 50 avoid this exercise. Most middle age people don’t have enough flexibility in their shoulders and thoracic mobility to do this move.
Instead, do the regular lat pull down in front of your body, where you lean back slightly and pull the bar to your upper sternum to work your lats and upper back.
4. Bench Dips
Another exercise you should avoid is the bench dips, while the exercise itself is not bad, but is not the best exercise to do when you are over 60.
Chances are, you have a slouched forward shoulder posture, and bench dips force your shoulders to rotate internally even more. As you lower yourself down, the humerus glides forward too much, placing extra stress on your shoulder joint.
As you age and experience a natural decline in muscle strength and flexibility, it’s essential to avoid exercises that are hard to execute.
Also, popular moves such as sit-ups and crunch are familiar and simple, yet they are too easy to hurt your back. If you are re-starting an exercise routine in your 60s, be sure to consult with an expert to construct a plan that’s safe and effective.