In an ideal life, exercise would have been as much a part of your routine as sleeping, eating and working. But the years can get away from you and before you know it you’re 50. Committing to a fitness program at your age might not only add a few extra years to your life but will set you up nicely to enter your senior years full of vim and vigor. Including ab exercises will strengthen your core muscles, which help protect your back from strain. Ab exercises for men older than 50 are an investment you can’t afford to ignore.
The front plank targets your rectus and transverse abdominis muscles. Lie on your stomach on the floor. Bend your elbows, positioning them under your shoulders, and hug them to your sides. Push your shoulder blades down your back and curl your toes under. Contract your abs and upper thighs, and then on an exhale lift your body off the floor. Adjust your body until it forms one straight line from the back of your head to your heels. Hold for up to five seconds and then lower down to the floor in a slow and controlled manner. Work your way up to 10 repetitions over time.
Lie on your back on the floor and maneuver both your hands underneath your lower back, palms touching the floor. Inhale and then lift both your legs at once off the floor to a 60-degree angle. Exhale and bring your knees close to your chest. Inhale and straighten your legs once again to a 60-degree angle off the floor. Breathe out and lower your legs until they are hovering a couple of inches off the floor. Repeat the whole sequence up to 10 times, working your way up to 20 reps over time. Concentrate on keeping your navel pressed back towards your spine throughout the exercise.
Flying Cross-Legged Pose
Master yoga teacher Rodney Yee created the Flying Cross-Legged pose as a slow burn ab exercise that looks simple but feels as though you’re slowly carving yourself a six-pack. Sit on the floor or a yoga mat with your legs extended in front of you, feet flexed upward. Lengthen your spine in order to sit up as tall as you can and place your hands by your hips. Start slowly bending your knees and lifting your feet off the floor while crossing your left ankle over your right ankle. Bring your knees as close to your chest as you can, and then slowly release your legs back to the ground, straight in front of you. Repeat on the other side and work up to 10 reps over time.
Modified Boat Pose
Sometimes the ab exercises that appear the easiest, like the Boat, are the ones that give you the most benefit. Full Boat pose in yoga can be achieved through stages. If you haven’t exercised your abs in a while then start off with a modified version. Sit on the floor with your hands by your hips and lean back. Keep your back straight throughout this exercise. Bend your knees and lift your feet off the floor, making sure that your lower legs are parallel to the ground. Release your hands and float your arms up to shoulder height. Hollow your abs while breathing normally. Stay in Boat pose for up to a minute and repeat twice more.