Strength training is an important component of a well-rounded exercise routine, especially for older adults. As we age, we naturally lose muscle mass and bone density, which can increase the risk of falls and fractures. Strength training can help slow down this process and improve overall physical function.
When it comes to selecting weights for older adults, it’s important to start with lighter weights and gradually increase the resistance as strength improves. This is particularly important for older adults who may have limitations or health concerns that could affect their ability to lift heavier weights.
Here are some recommended weights for older adults, starting with 1 through 5 pound weights. I have purchased all of these sizes & I personally use them.
For most of the women 50+ & older adults, I recommend purchasing 1 set of each size: 1 lb, 2 lbs, 3 lbs, 4 lbs & 5 lbs. However, not everyone wants to start with this many. I suggest purchasing at least 3 sets!
1 Pound Weights
1 lb weights are great for beginners AND as you become stronger they are beneficial when held during a cardio class for extra sculpting/toning of the arms & shoulders. These are a good starting point for older adults who are new to strength training or have limited mobility. They can be used for exercises such as arm circles, bicep curls, and lateral raises. Also recommended pushing up overhead.
2 Pound Weights
2 lb weights are great for beginners AND as you become stronger they are beneficial when held during a cardio class for extra sculpting/toning of the arms & shoulders. Once an older adult has built some strength and feels comfortable with 1-pound weights, they can progress to 2-pound weights. These can be used for exercises such as overhead presses, tricep extensions, and front raises.
3 Pound Weights
3 lb weights are great for beginners to be your heaviest weight for exercises such as bicep curls AND for the more advanced they become your overhead weights. As strength continues to improve, an older adult can move up to 3-pound weights. These can be used for exercises such as chest presses, bent-over rows, and shoulder shrugs.
4 Pound Weights
4 lb weights become more useful as you become stronger & are ready to advance from 3 lbs up to 4 lbs for bicep curls. For older adults who are looking for a greater challenge, 4-pound weights can be used for exercises such as lunges, squats, and calf raises.
5 Pound Weights
5 lb weights become more useful as you become stronger & are ready to advance from 4 lbs up to 5 lbs for bicep curls. The heaviest weight recommended for older adults is 5 pounds. These can be used for exercises such as deadlifts, bicep curls, and shoulder presses.
It’s important to remember that the weight selection will vary based on an individual’s strength level and physical ability. It’s always recommended to consult with a healthcare professional before starting a new exercise routine or if you have any concerns about selecting the appropriate weight.