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What Is The Best Workout For Women Over 40?

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As we age, the type of workout we need changes. We’re going to outline the best at home workouts from women over 40 and why they work well into your 50s and 60s too!

We’ll look at the best cardio for over 40 and why building muscle is critical as we age.

collage of 2 women working out at home - top picture woman is lifting a weight for a bicep curl and the lower picture the woman is in a side plank. In the middle the words read "The Best Home Workouts for Women Over 40"

Prefer to listen? We also did a podcast about the best workouts for women after 40!


You may be worried that your 40s or 50s are too late to get into shape, but it’s completely possible! Don’t fall pray to stereotypes; there are plenty of super fit, gorgeous ladies well over 40 and 50!

home workouts for women over 40

Questions about Workouts for Women Over 40

As a general rule, we recommend talking to your doctor before starting any new exercise or diet routine. 

How do I start working out at 40?

At any age, when you start working out you’ll want to look for a program that fits your schedule and goals.

After 40, we recommend looking for a program that includes high intensity, low-impact cardio and strength training. 

What is the best exercise for a 40+ year old woman?

Women begin to lose muscle mass starting at 30 which also slows down our metabolism. This is why strength training is the best exercise for women over 40.

We also like to include high intensity interval training (HIIT) because it’s been linked to higher fat burning and increased stamina during recovery.

How Often Should I Work Out?

We suggest doing at least 4 strength workouts a week followed by a short HIIT session. It’s also great if you can stay active on the other 3 days by biking with your friends, going for a walk after dinner, or doing some yoga or light stretching.

This suggestion also aligns with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. This guideline suggests getting at least 150 minutes of exercise weekly, and 300 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise each week.

How can I tone up in my 40s?

We start to lose muscle mass at 30, and our hormones begin to change in our 40s and 50s. Both of these can make us feel a little softer than what we are used to.

The best way to tone up in your 40s is with strength training. We suggest using heavier weights (think 8, 10, 12, 15, 20, etc versus 1-5lbs) to tone up in your 40s and beyond.

Are there any exercises women over 40 should avoid?

Besides avoiding any exercises that don’t use proper form, we also suggest steering away from heavy cardio programs. Cardio has it’s place in your routine, but it’s not going to get your the most bang for your buck goal-wise.

Collage of a woman holding pink hand weights in a pink sports bra with the words "home workouts for women over 40" in the middle

The 5 Best Home Workouts for Women Over 40

Now that we've discussed a little bit about getting the most out or your workouts after 40, we want to share some of our favorite home workouts for women. We'll focus on strength training and HIIT workouts.

 You will need dumbbells for all of these programs.

Equipment You’ll Need

We’ve talked a lot about lifting weights to build our lean muscle back up.

With that said, you’ll need some weights.

healthy gift ideas bowflex selecttechs-


We typically use 5-15lbs on our upper body and 10-30lbs on our lower body.

Dumbbells can really start adding up in price and take up space, so we invested in Bowflex SelectTechs which start at 5lbs and go up to 52lbs!

You can check out our BowFlex SelectTech Review or View Them on Amazon Here

Home Gym Essentials - Make your workouts better at home with the best home exercise equipment!

Home Gym

We also put together a full list of items we keep in our home gym that you may find helpful.

Beachbody on Demand Review

Beachbody on Demand

If you’re debating on which workout is best for you, why not try Beachbody on Demand?

A membership includes access to LIIFT4, ChaLEAN Extreme, and 80 Day Obsession plus 100s of other workouts.

You can try it free for 2 Weeks and then it’s $39.95 per quarter after that.  You can learn more about what is included and what devices stream to you TV here.

Try Beachbody on Demand Free for 2 Weeks


Your Diet Matters

As we age, our nutrition matters more than ever. Women over 40 may have to change up their diet to see the same results they had when they were younger.

With that said – it is absolutely possible to lose weight after 40. Don’t let others make you feel like it’s impossible.

Why is it so hard to lose weight after 40?

After 40, we tend to slow down in our activity. Instead of going out and dancing or chasing around our kids, we may have a glass of wine on the back deck or see a great show. So we’re not burning as many calories outside of our workouts as we once did.

Our bodies, hormones, and eating habits also change as we age which can play a role in our weight loss.

What is the best way for a woman over 40 to lose weight?

The best way for a woman over 40 to lose weight is to exercise and eat a healthy diet full of whole foods. We also find tracking our calories and macronutrients to be helpful.

The good news?

Essentially, we recommend following the same nutritional guidelines whether you’re in your 20s, 30s, 40s, or 50s+. It’s just you may have more wiggle room at 25 than at 45 for treats.

Here are a few tips to help you get started:

  1. Skip processed foods and added sugars – These lead to cravings and energy crashes and usually just leave us feeling more hungry than we started.
  2. Stock up on whole food rich in protein, healthy fats, and fiber — These types of foods will help you stay full and fight cravings. You can grab our healthy shopping list for specific food ideas.
  3. Don’t eat too little – While it may be tempting to skip a meal or two, we usually pay for it long term. You may find yourself over-eating at your next meal.
  4. Focus on what you do each day – Don’t let a girls’ night out or a weekend get-away derail you. Focus on what you can do today to stay on track.

How can I speed up my metabolism after 40?

Strength training, as well as, getting in your water, getting enough sleep (7-8 hours a night), and stocking up on healthy foods can all help rev your metabolism at 40, 50 and beyond!

Breanne Freeman's Ultimate Girls Guide Ebook Cover

Diets We Like

If you’re looking for a specific plan to help you get started, here are a few things you might like:

Kim and Kalee Sorey Beachbody Coach

Need a community for support? US TOO!

Check out 21 Day Challenge

(Spoiler Alert – you can stay in our year-round group forever!)

Have questions on At Home Workouts for Women Over 40? Let us know below!

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  1. Hey!
    Thx for your info on great workouts for women over 40!

    Do you think Turbo Fire would be ok, or too much cardio for women over 40?

    Or what about Turbo Fire/Chalene Extreme Hybrid?

    1. We’d recommend a TurboFire/Chalene Extreme Hybrid so you get in some strength training. :) Turbo’s HIIT classes are great for over 40 — even if you don’t jump, and ChaLEAN’s strength is great! You can also totally do the TurboFire classes in there too — it’s just cardio alone may not be enough to get you to your goal — thus the hybrid :)