As we get older, our bodies begin to change. Our hormone levels go down, our metabolism goes down and it becomes more difficult to maintain our lean muscle mass. Also, depending on the lifestyle you have lived, you may feel muscle and joint pain that makes even the most common exercises more difficult to perform.
That said, there are some exercises and movements you may have been used to doing during your 20s, 30s, and 40s that you probably shouldn’t be doing after age 50. Because? Well, they just aren’t good for your joints and the last thing you need to do now is potentially damage your joints. Plus, fitness is one of those healthy habits that you should be able to enjoy into old age, so you need to be smart now to continue being pain-free and injury-free.
The following are the four exercises I recommend you stop doing if you are 50 or older. And on top of that, check out the top 3 secrets for living to 99, according to Betty White.

1 flat bench with barbell


Although the barbell bench press is a common exercise used around the world, if you are over the age of 50, it is not the best movement to build your chest. When you grab the bar, you are stuck and, for many people, this targets more shoulders rather than arms, which can cause pain and injury (especially when done with improper shape and configuration).
Instead, I recommend that you use the dumbbells above the barbell. It’s more joint-friendly, you can control both arms independently, and it’s a better tool for building your chest.

2. barbell oars


The barbell row can be a great exercise for building your upper back and lats. However, as they get older, many people lack the mobility to put themselves in the correct position for this exercise. This can lead to unnecessary stress on the spine.
A good alternative would be a row with chest support using dumbbells or a T-bar.

3. bench dives


While bench dips are a common exercise performed all the time, they are not the best exercise to do if you are over 50. Chances are you have a forward lean shoulder posture, and bench dips force your shoulders to internally rotate even more. When you bend down, the humerus slides too far forward, putting additional stress on the shoulder joint.
Instead, do regular dips or tricep extensions with dumbbells.

4. Lat pulldown behind the neck


This exercise can strain the wrong areas (mainly the neck and front of the shoulder). Most people under the age of 50 don’t have enough chest and shoulder mobility to begin with, so this should definitely be dropped once they are past that age.
Instead, lean back slightly and pull the bar towards the top of your sternum to work your lats and upper back.
For more information, check out this 5-step home workout that will help you build strength and lose weight.