Ab Exercises for Older Men

Exercise your abdominal muscles to stay healthy, strong and mobile.
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Most people of all ages want a flat, sexy stomach. As people age, belly fat can accumulate around the midsection, causing a myriad of health problems, such as heart disease and diabetes. Older men can also develop osteoporosis, which can lead to weak bones and a risk of fractures. Ab exercises for older men not only strengthen the core for improved balance, better posture and core stability, but also increase bone density, diminish belly fat and reduce the risk of lower-back pain and muscle injuries. Strong abdominal muscles can also improve breathing, protect the internal organs and support the back muscles, especially trunk motions such as bending and twisting.

Front Planks

Plank exercises work the transverse abdominis and the rectus abdominis muscles. Lie on the floor on your stomach. Bend your elbows and place your forearms on the floor with your palms down. Keep your elbows positioned under your shoulders and close to your body. Straighten out your body and support your legs on your toes. Tighten your abdominal muscles as you exhale and then lift your entire body off the floor using your arms and toes. Keep your entire body straight from your head to your heels. Hold the position for at least five seconds and then inhale as you relax as you lower your body back to the floor. Hold the plank position for 15 to 30 seconds. As you get stronger, you can increase the hold time to one minute or longer.

Leg Lifts

Leg lifts primarily target your lower abs, hip flexors and lower back. Lie on your back on the floor with the palms of your hands underneath your lower back. Keep your back flat against the floor, and hold your legs close together. Inhale and squeeze your abdominal muscles. Keeping your legs straight, lift both of your legs upward toward the ceiling as high as possible without causing pain. Do not allow your back to arch. Exhale as you raise your legs up, and inhale when you lower your legs back down. Keep your legs slightly elevated off the floor when you return to the start position and do another 5 to 10 repetitions of this exercise. To make this exercise a little easier, raise one leg at a time until you’re strong enough to lift both legs at the same time.


The crunch exercise targets both the upper and lower core muscles. Lie on your back with your legs bent and your feet flat on the floor. Place your feet about hip-width apart on the floor. Place your hands behind your head near your neck and lace your fingers together. Squeeze your abdominal muscles as you exhale and lift your upper body toward your knees. Do not pull your head toward your knees, but use the abdominal muscles to lift your upper torso. Hold the position for five seconds and then inhale as you relax and lower your upper body back to the floor in a slow, controlled rolling motion using the abdominal muscles. Start with 10 to 12 crunches.

Hip Rotations

Hip rotations increase flexibility while working the transverse abdominal muscles. Hip rotations are also a good warm-up exercise to prepare for more strenuous abdominal exercises. Begin in a push-up position on the floor supporting your body on your hands and knees. Keep your feet together and place your palms on the floor underneath your shoulders. Shift your weight toward the front of your body until your shoulders are directly over your hands. Squeeze your abs, thighs and buttocks to straighten your body. Breathe out and bring one knee toward your armpit. Keep your body as straight as possible during this phase of the exercise. Next, rotate your hips until your bent knee crosses your torso toward the armpit on the opposite side of your body. For example, if you bend your right knee, rotate your right knee toward your left armpit. Hold the position for five seconds and then rotate your hips in the opposite direction to bring the knee out and away from the body. Hold this position for five seconds and then return to the start position. Repeat this exercise using the other leg.

Safety Considerations

Consult your doctor before starting any new exercise program, especially if you have been diagnosed with arthritis or osteoporosis. Do an easy 5- to 10-minute cardio warm-up, such as walking or biking, to prepare your muscles for the abdominal workout routine. Start with easier exercises, like the basic crunch, and gradually increase to the more intense abdominal movements once you master proper form and technique. Do not overdo it, and keep your movements slow and controlled.

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