If you are over 50 you should never do these exercises

Walking and exercising is important at all ages but some experts warn that, after the age of 50, it would be good not to practice certain exercises.

Moving is essential to keep us healthy and, of course, we can be more or less trained even at 50 years of age. Generally, however, after a certain age it is good to be careful, avoiding some exercises that could expose us more to injuries and problems.

So, if we are over 50 and not particularly trained, we try to avoid too demanding exercises. This is even more true if we have high blood pressure, joint problems or loss of muscle mass due to too much sedentary lifestyle.

Here are the exercises to avoid, according to experts.


  • Shoulder press 
  • Leg extension
  • Burpees
  • Marathon
  • Box Jump
  • Crunches and V-Up Abs
  • Lifting excessive weights
  • Exercises with too intense levels of cardio
  • Running on hard surfaces  

Shoulder press

These are different exercises done with weights in which the load is pushed directly upwards. Allan Misner, certified personal trainer, about this type of training in a podcast said:

At age 50, most of us develop some poor movement patterns, which cause us some muscle imbalances and joint problems. Any exercise that stresses these joints can be a cause for concern. In some cases, the bump can become severe enough to tear the muscle (rotator cuff tear).

Leg extension

It is an overload exercise practiced with the help of a machine. As former bodybuilder, fitness and nutrition coaching expert Ashlee Van Buskirk said:

This weight training machine is great for strengthening your quads and even your glutes. Unfortunately, it puts a lot of stress on the kneecaps, which are often a sweet spot for people over 50. If you have had knee problems in the past or suffer from chronic inflammation, avoid the leg extension machine. 


The burpees is a high-intensity exercise, suitable only for well-trained people and a bit problematic for those over 50.

Caley Crawford, certified personal trainer, said in this regard:

Burpees can be a great full-body exercise for increasing heart rate while exercising, however, exercise can cause some wear on the knees. Knee wear is typically caused by the downward ‘squatting’ motion before bringing your legs back behind you. If a burpee is done correctly, finding the bottom of a good squat before placing your hands on the ground is much softer on your body. The problem lies with many people who don’t have the mobility to get their hands off their squat, so what ends up happening is that their knees go over their ankles, their heels go up, causing excessive compression and stress on the knees. . In addition, this exercise is often done quickly, which doesn’t help.


Running is fine but the marathon is not recommended. According to Mindy Pelz expert in functional medicine:

Over the age of 50, you shouldn’t run a marathon, do long cardio workouts. These types of exercises are more harmful to the cardiovascular system than not exercising at all.

Like many experts, Pelz advises those over a certain age to move from more cardio-based exercise to resistance training.

Muscles are your organ of longevity, and you have to fight a lot more for muscles as you age. When people do cardio, they create more strain and stress on their cardiovascular system. 

Box Jump

A challenging exercise that involves jumping on a box, that is a rise or a box, landing correctly.

Box jumps can be great for improving your explosive power, however, there are a few things to watch out for as you age. There is the box itself. If it’s a wooden box, chances are you’ll end up with bloody shins eventually. Even the strongest athletes sometimes slip when tired.

Also, there is the problem of landing and how to descend:

Whether it’s a hard or soft box, the way your foot hits and lands matters. The goal is to land as soft as possible all over the foot, however, what you see happening are people who barely make it and land more on tiptoe, knees bending and knees going forward past the ankles. Too often people try to speed up their repetitions, which puts a lot of pressure on ankles, knees, calves, shins. Unless you’re training for a professional sport and that’s specific to your training program, my suggestion would be to avoid box jumps altogether.

Crunches and V-Up Abs

Many people over 50 suffer from back pain and, as dietitian Diana Gariglio-Clelland explains :

Exercises like crunches and V-sit ups can put a strain on your lower back and hip flexors compared to actually strengthening your abs. While these exercises can be helpful when your core is already strong, they are best avoided if you are working on building your core muscles.

Lifting excessive weights

Lifting excessively heavy weights could be a bad idea, especially if you have high blood pressure. As athlete Van Buskirk stated:

While weight training is one of the best ways to build muscle mass fast, it also comes with some inherent risks. That extra weight can put a strain on your entire body, including your cardiovascular system. If you have high blood pressure (> 180/110 mmHg), be sure to speak to your doctor before doing any weight lifting.

Exercises with too intense levels of cardio

Women approaching menopause should avoid exercises with too intense levels of cardio. This is declared by Mahri Relin, certified personal trainer and specialist in corrective exercises:

We work a lot with women who are going through perimenopause and beyond. In this period of life, it is not the best idea to engage in high levels of cardio. Extra-intense cardio can significantly increase cortisol levels, which affects sleep and can contribute to increased hormone imbalance and cause adrenal fatigue. High cortisol levels can also lead to increased inflammation and increased fat around the abdominal and diaphragmatic areas, which can increase the risk of heart disease and contribute to metabolic syndrome. Perimenopausal women who train too intensely and increase cortisol levels which may already be high due to stress are likely to experience greater anxiety.

Running on hard surfaces

Running on hard surfaces, if you are not already sufficiently trained, can have repercussions on the joints. As Dr. Gariglio-Clelland explained.

If you are not already a trained runner, it is best to do your runs on a softer surface such as on a dirt road. Repeated stress on joints due to hard surfaces can lead to joint pain, while softer surfaces are more tolerant.

by Abdullah Sam
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