mature woman wearing orange shirt and grey leggings does hip flexor lunge stretch on yoga mat in her living room

Photo: Shutterstock. Design: Eat This, Not That!

Fact: The right exercises can help you feel young and athletic—especially as you get older. But the keyword here is “right.” Because to feel youthful, it’s not really about building big muscles or benching 500 pounds; it’s about feeling strong, flexible, and energetic. That’s why I’ve rounded up 10 of my best-recommended daily bodyweight exercises to feel youthful and fit.

As you age, your movement abilities naturally decline. As a result, your muscles and joints become tighter and stiffer. It’s hard to feel “youthful and fit” when it’s a struggle to bend down and pick up something. (Even worse, if you don’t prevent this, it becomes more challenging to return to normal.)

To turn the tide, I have 10 of the best bodyweight exercises to feel youthful and fit. The below exercises activate weak muscles and lengthen tight muscles in your body so you can feel more balanced and pain-free. In addition, they can improve your posture and overall strength to boost your athleticism. Finally, there are even a few “dynamic stretches,” which improve your joint and muscle mobility and get your heart rate going in a low-impact way.

Put together, these exercises will transform your body and make you feel a lot younger and fitter. Even better, you can do these every day so you can enjoy faster improvements that last.

Continue reading for the 10 best bodyweight exercises to feel youthful and fit. And when you’re finished, don’t miss these 10 Functional Strength Exercises To Boost Mobility as You Age.

1. Hip Flexor Stretch, Sets: 3, Reps: 30 seconds per side

hip flexor stretchhip flexor stretch


Get on one knee with your feet in line and your hip directly above your knee. “Posteriorly tilt” your pelvis by lifting your belly button up. Then, push your hip forward until you feel a light stretch in the front of your hip. Hold that for 30 seconds, and breathe.

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2. Hip Bridges, Sets: 3, Reps: 10

illustration demonstration of how to do a hip bridgeillustration demonstration of how to do a hip bridge


Lie on the ground with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Drive through your heels, and squeeze your glutes to push your hips up. Repeat. Do not use your lower back you pull yourself up.

3. Pushups, Sets: 2 to 3, Reps: 6



Get in a pushup position with your hands about shoulder-width apart. Keep your lower back flat, and don’t let your hips sag. Lower yourself, and keep your elbows close to your body as you descend. If you can’t do them from the floor, do them from an elevated surface like a table, bench, stairstep, etc.

RELATED: 6 Best Pilates Exercises to Improve Your Balance&Coordination

4. Bird-Dog, Sets: 3, Reps: 8 per side

illustration of how to do the bird dog exerciseillustration of how to do the bird dog exercise


Get on your hands and knees with your hands below your shoulders and your knees below your hips. Keep your lower back flat. Reach with opposite arms and legs. Think about kicking out your heel until you feel your glute turn on. Repeat.

5. Wall Slides, Sets: 3, Reps: 10

Stand with your head, shoulders, and glutes against a wall. Press your forearms flush against the wall. (There should be no space between your skin and the wall). Squeeze your glutes, and press your lower back against the wall while sliding your forearms up and down the wall.

RELATED: 10 Best Low-Impact Exercises To Melt Belly Fat

6. Band No Money, Sets: 3, Reps: 15

Hold a resistance band with your palms up in front of you while keeping your elbows tucked into your torso and your shoulder blades squeezed together. Spread the band while keeping your elbows against your body until your forearms are parallel to each other. Return to the starting position, and repeat.

7. Bear Crawls, Sets: 2 to 3, Reps: 10 yards

illustration of woman doing bear crawlsillustration of woman doing bear crawls


Get on all fours with your hands under your shoulders and your knees under your hips; keep your knees an inch above the ground. Crawl forward by taking a small step with your right arm and left leg at the same time, and alternate. Keep your hips low and your head up.

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8. Pec Stretch, Sets: 3, Reps: 20 seconds

Place your forearm and elbow along a wall or doorway so they make a 90-degree angle. Keep your elbow around shoulder height. Then, lean forward until you feel a gentle stretch in your chest. Hold that stretch. Repeat on the other side.

9. Spiderman Lunge With Reach, Sets: 2, Reps: 5 per side

With your left leg, lunge forward and left about 30 degrees. Place both hands on the ground while keeping your elbows locked, and press your trailing knee to the ground. Squeeze the glute of the rear leg, and extend your right arm to the sky while watching your hand with your eyes. Maintain a neutral arch in your lower back throughout. Stand up and switch sides.

RELATED: 10 Best Compound Exercises for a Fit&Lean Lower Body

10. Walk, 30+ total minutes a day

illustration of woman on a brisk walkillustration of woman on a brisk walk


This is a must for anyone who wants to feel healthy, active, and energized. The benefits are fantastic and they range from your heart health to your mental health. It doesn’t matter if you did a hard workout in the gym or it’s your “day off”; you should walk every single day. Aim for at least 30 total minutes. If you can’t do it in one walk, spread it throughout the day.

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