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Workouts for women – whatever your age

Workouts for women should vary with age, says leading trainer Kelly Du Buisson who specialises in short, high intensity workouts. Here, she reveals the best workouts for your 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s.

Workouts are a priority at any stage of your life but as you get older the way to exercise and stay healthy will change. This doesn’t mean you can start saying ‘I’m too old for that’ you are never to old to exercise and your 40s and 50s are when it really becomes a necessity. Just little tweaks and attention to detail can make all the difference. Here I’ve created four workouts for women at every stage of their lives

In your 20s – what’s going on?

In your 20s you may feel you can do anything whilst staying up late, drinking and eating whatever. But this decade is when you really set your body up for the future.

Osteoporosis, diabetes and weight gain can all be prevented in the future by things you do in your 20s.

Firstly, the biggest mistake this decade makes is doing lots of cardio but no resistance, muscle and bone density reaches a peak in the 20s and then steadily decreases by five per cent a year from your 30s. Resistance exercises using weights such as squats, lunges and dead lifts keep your bones strong and protected. Taking a calcium supplement is also recommended as many in this decade lack the correct amounts of calcium in the diet. Constant cardio is stressful on the body and will eventually begin to break down muscle mass leaving you at risk of osteoporosis and weight gain in the future.

Green vegetables, Workouts to benefit your age, by
If you’re in your 20s, make sure you stock up on your greens

This is also the decade of yo-yo and fad dieters who steadily deplete their bodies of essential vitamins and minerals leaving you at risk of heart disease and diabetes. Make sure you eat plenty of green vegetables, lean protein, lots of healthy fats and drink plenty of water! Be adventurous with your exercise, try different sports and classes to see what suits you best. If you find something you like now you are more likely to stick with it in the future.


Workout for your 20s

Deadlift x 8 Stand with a barbell or weights across hips and knees soft. Keep knees soft as you lean forwards from the hips keeping the chest lifted (don’t round the spine) and abs tights. Push off heels and lift back to standing

Lat pull downs x 8 Using a machine or a broom stick, pull bar towards chest keeping neck inclined and squeezing shoulder blades together.

Kelly Du Buisson demonstrating Lat pull down, position one, Workouts to benefit your age, by
Lat pull down, position one


Kelly Du Buisson demonstrating Lat pull down, position two, Workouts to benefit your age, by
Lat pull down position two

Place barbell across front of shoulders crossing arms over to hold. Sit back into heels keeping knees behind toes as you squat down then drive back up to standing.

Front squat x 8 Place barbell across front of shoulders crossing arms over to hold. Sit back into heels keeping knees behind toes as you squat down then drive back up to standing.

Kelly Du Buisson demonstrating front squat, Workouts to benefit your age, by
Front squat

Shoulder press x 8 Weights in each hand hold arms to 90 degrees and push to ceiling. Lower carefully keeping abs tight (don’t sway back).

Kelly Du Buisson shoulder press, Workouts to benefit your age, by
Shoulder press

Repeat all four times followed by a 20 minute jog

In your 30s – what’s happening:

woman turning off alarm, Workouts to benefit your age, by
30 year olds need more sleep

As you reach your 30s, weight doesn’t shift so easily, especially if you’ve been inactive in your 20s. Get plenty of sleep. You burn the most calories whilst you sleep and this gives the body time to recover from the stresses and strains of the day.

Exercise regularly alternating cardio and resistance. Muscle mass will start to decrease in your 30s and therefore your basal metabolic rate (the amount of energy needed at rest) will drop meaning you don’t need so many calories to live. Your figure will start to look ‘soft’ which in the future can lead to bad posture so make sure you maintain lean muscle mass by incorporating power (jumping squats, burpees, sprints) into your resistance routine. High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) and circuit training are great at this age as it’s fast, maintains and builds lean muscle and generates power leaving you full of energy. Do this three times a week with one or two resistance training sessions in between.

Workout for your 30s

Burpees x 1 minute Place hands to floor and jump both feet back into a plank position before immediately jumping feet forwards to fingers and leaping up to standing bringing feet off the floor.


Kelly Du Buisson demonstrating burpee position one, Workouts to benefit your age, by
Burpee – position one
Kelly Du Buisson demonstrating burpee, position two, Workouts to benefit your age, by
Burpee, position two


Kelly Du Bussion demonstrating burpee position three, Workouts to benefit your age, by
Burpee, position three

Squat jumps x 1 minute Sit into heels bending knees to squat then leap up to standing jumping feet off the floor. Immedielty return to squat position as you stand.

Kelly Du Buisson demonstrating squat jumps, Workouts to benefit your age, by
Squat jumps

Press ups x 1 minute In a plank or a three quarter plank position with arms wide of shoulders, lower nose towards floor keeping abs tight. Drive back to start position.

Sprints x 1 minute On the spot or round the garden, lift knees and pump arms fast

Mountain climbers x 1 minute – In plank position keep shoulders over wrists and run alternate legs out and in quickly.

Mountain climbers


Repeat all of the above three times.

In your 40s – what’s happening  

In your 40s you can start to slow down the routines (although this is not necessary!). Resistance a few times a week as well as short bursts of cardio will keep the body in shape. A healthy diet consisting of plenty of green vegetables are essential to stave off weight gain. Hormones, gravity and the constant decrease of the metabolism really start to hit home over the next ten years. Pilates is great at this age to keep everything pulling up and in. Focus on flexibility especially in the shoulders, try holding a towel over the head with both hands and rotate your arms behind as far as you can to stretch the chest. Years of sitting at a desk or driving a car can round the shoulders and as you hit your 40s this can really age you and cause massive discomfort. If you’ve had children your pelvic floor may be fairly weak and Kegel exercises are essential. Sitting tall and pulling the navel up and away from your waistband helps to keep the muscles that support your lower back engaged and strong as well as pulling the skin back to the muscle. Try kettlebells as the momentum and cross vectional rotation of your muscles will keep the body trim.

women with kettlebells, workouts for women, by featured
kettlebell workouts are great for your 40s

Workout for your 40s

Ttry and take two long jogs or fast walks a week or about 30-60 minutes.

Kettlebell swing x 15  With a kettlebell held between both hands step feet wide (you can use one 3-5 kg dumbbell if you don’t have a kettlebell). Swing the kettlebell between legs squatting down and popping hips forward to stand. Legs are doing the work, not arms.

Kelly Du Buisson demonstrating Kettle bell swing, position one, Workouts to benefit your age, by
Kettle bell swing, position one


Kelly du Buisson demonstrating kettle bell swing position two, Workouts to benefit your age, by
Kettle bell swing, position two


Renegade row x 15 In a plank or a three quarter plank position with a kettle bell (or dumbbells) in one hand, row kettlebell up and down sliding elbow up the side of the body.

Renegade row


Kettlebell side lunge and snatch x 15 Feet together and kettle bell in one hand. Step off to the side lunging onto outside leg. Step back to the centre and thrust kettlebell up to the ceiling. Lower weight and continue on same side.

Wood chop x 15 Stand with feet wide apart and kettlebell in both hands. Twist to one side bending knees, then immediately throw kettlebell up over the shoulder to the other side of the body. Return to start position. Make sure to pivot on toes and do not twist knees.

Kelly du Buisson demonstrating wood chop position one, Workouts to benefit your age, by
Wood chop, position one


Kelly du Buisson demonstrating woodchop position two, Workouts to benefit your age, by
Wood chop, position two


Repeat all three times.

In your 50s – what’s happening?

Woman about to run on street, Workouts to benefit your age, by
50 is the year to getting your running gear on

In your 50s, you start the countdown to menopause averagely hitting at about 52 for most women. Weight gain and mood swings increase and oestrogen levels decrease. Regular exercise increases your levels of serotonin (the happy hormone) and will keep your muscles firm and strong. You need plenty of good fats in your diet including an omega 3 supplement as this will actually help to shift body fat, especially around the middle. Running and Pilates are great; intervals can still be included as well as longer slower cardio. Backs of arms, back and abdomen really start to pack on the weight at this age and small Pilates moves such as arm circles, side leg lifts and abdominal twists not only keep the muscles toned they also draw the skin back to the muscle eliminating overhanging muffin tops or bingo wings.

Kelly Du Bussion headshot,  Workouts to benefit your age, by Healthista.comKelly Du Buisson is a leading London trainer specialising in short, high intensity workouts that get her clients super-fit, super-fast. She is also the creator of The 7 Minute Workout, The Fastest Way to Shred Fat and Change Your Body Shape for Good, available from Amazon. Kelly is also the owner and creator of The City Workout a revolutionary online workout program for busy business men and women to get lose weight and build lean muscle. Kelly is also the Fast Fitness blogger for and the creator of the Healthista 30 Day Squat Challenge

Click here The 7 Minute Workout: The Fastest Way To Shred Fat And Change Your Body Shape For Good to buy your copy of Kelly Du Buisson’s DVD.


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