The Best 5-Minute Mat Exercises to Stay In Shape in Your 50s – Getting a healthy fill of physical activity as you grow into your 50s is not a question—it’s a necessity. And as Harvard Health Publishing points out, bodyweight exercises, specifically, come in clutch with a whole host of benefits. Whether you’re pressed for time, traveling, don’t want to pay for a costly gym membership, or simply want to work out at home, mat workouts are here to save the day and keep you fit. We chatted with Anthony J. Yeung, CSCS, a fitness expert and the founder of GroomBuilder, the go-to destination for men who want to transform their bodies for their wedding day, who shares the ultimate five-minute mat workout to do regularly in your 50s to stay in shape.
Yeung raves about adding mat work to your routine, telling us, “Mat training is great because you can get an incredible bodyweight workout to strengthen your muscles and burn calories almost anywhere and without any equipment.”
Perform Yeung’s circuit as many times as you’re able to within a five-minute timespan, resting as needed. He recommends doing this five-minute mat workout three to four times a week, and you’ll quickly see noticeable results!
To set up for the reverse lunge, take a long stride back. Your knees should form two 90-degree angles once you lower down into a lunge. Use your front leg to press yourself back up. Perform five reps per side.
For a spin on traditional pushups, Yeung recommends kneeling pushups. To set up, assume a standard pushup/high plank, placing your hands about shoulder-width distance apart. This time around, your knees should be on the floor. Make sure your hips don’t sag and your lower back stays flat as you descend into a pushup. Your elbows should remain close to your body. Complete five reps. And if you’d rather complete classic pushups, Yeung encourages you to go for it!
For the hip bridge, you’ll start by lying on the floor, bending both knees, and keeping your feet flat. Squeeze your buttocks and press through your heels to raise your hips. Keep in mind that you shouldn’t use your lower back in order to push your body up. Complete 10 reps.
For the last exercise in this five-minute mat workout, get ready for the dead bug. Dead bugs begin with you lying flat on your back. Your arms should be extended with your fingers pointing toward the ceiling and your legs assuming a tabletop position. Press your lower back into the floor, and raise your buttocks. Then, exhale as you lower your right leg so that it’s fully extended and your left arm is lowered overhead. Switch sides.
Make sure your lower back remains in contact with the floor throughout this exercise. Complete five reps per side.