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Strength Training for Older Adults

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Older adults of all ages and abilities can benefit from regular strength training. Fran, 69, of Charlotte, NC, stumbled into the benefits of strength training. Years ago, she tripped over a bedspread and twisted her knee. During rehab, she was given a set of weight-based exercises to help strengthen her leg muscles and speed her recovery. Fran had always been active, but she felt better after doing these exercises.

Strength training can boost your health in many ways, such as:

Focus on Your Muscles

A strength-training routine should focus on the major muscles in your body. These are found in your arms, legs, chest, back, and abdomen. You may think that your daily activities are enough to work them, but strength-training can target muscles and push them to become stronger. Here are just a few of the exercises:

Getting Started

Before you start:

Keep these tips in mind when you are ready to start:


American Council on Exercise

National Institute on Aging


Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology

Healthy Canadians


Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans; Chapter 5: active older adults. US Department of Health and Human Services website. Available at: Accessed November 2, 2021.

Exercise and phyical activity. National Institute on Aging website. Available at: Accessed November 2, 2021.

Growing stronger: Strength training for older adults. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: Accessed November 2, 2021.

Last reviewed November 2021 by EBSCO Medical Review Board  Last Updated: 11/2/2021