Free Workouts – BoomerMuscle

Category Archives for "Free Workouts"

February 28, 2018

Build Muscle even with a Bad Knee

glute kicks

Building muscle when you’re over 60 is tough enough. It gets even harder when age-related issues like arthritis get in the way. I got some bad news recently. I’m going to need a knee replacement surgery. I’ve had a bad knee, bone-on-bone, for nearly 40 years. Arthritis finally got the better of it. Muscle building has had to take a backseat to pain for the past month.

Previously, the knee has “gone out” on me a few times every year but usually came back after a few weeks rest. Not this time, it’s not coming back and has left me limping around in constant pain.

So for the past few weeks, I’ve barely worked out at all. That is really making me crazy! So, I spent some time researching lower body exercises for people with bad knees. I’m going to do those on Leg Day instead of my usual routine.

The rest of my workout I can still manage as usual, at least until surgery time. But here’s my new Leg Day routine. No weights or machines, just gentle body weight. And as with any exercise, don’t do it if it hurts. Either modify and limit the motion, or drop the exercise and try another. No Pain!

I believe this type of “gentler” approach could be adapted for any other area of the body: Shoulders, Arms, Back, etc. If there’s interest at looking at other alternative workouts, I’ll follow-up on those next time. Let me know.

Bad Knee Workout

Quadriceps (front of thigh)Here, I normally do seated leg extensions on the stack machine. Those are out for now. Instead:  

Lying One Leg Raises

  • Lie on your back on the floor
  • Bend one knee and keep that foot flat on the floor
  • Keeping the other leg straight, raise it so the knee is at the same height as the bent leg.

ALTERNATE 1: If that is too painful for your bad knee:

  • Place a foam roller or rolled up towel under one knee
  • Straighten the leg and hold the contraction for a few seconds, repeat 10 times
  • Do 3 – 5 sets of either of the above

Alternate 2: Wall Squats

Wall Squats

A regular squat under a load of weight is a tough movement. This is designed to be more of an isometric move. Only move up and down as you are comfortable. My doctor recommended this for me, but suggested I do it stationary and feel the burn from the isometrics.

  • Place your back firmly against a wall
  • If you are able, you can move but only as far down as you are comfortable
  • You can instead remain stationary and feel the Quad muscles tensing.

Hamstrings (back of thigh)

Lying Leg Curls

I normally do these on the weight stack machine while standing up. Not for now though.

  • Lie on your stomach
  • Keeping your feet together, bring your heels up toward your butt
  • Slowly lower and repeat
  • 3 – Sets 10 – 15 Reps

ALTERNATE: If the above position is uncomfortable:

Standing Leg Curls

  • Stand while holding the back of a chair for support
  • Slow raise one heel toward your butt, lower and repeat
  • 3 – 5 Sets of 10 -15 reps

You can add ankle weights or use resistance bands if the movements are too easy and your knees can take it.

Glutes (butt): I normally do Glute Kickbacks while standing using the weight machine for resistance. It’s one of my favorite exercises, but it’s out for a while. You can mix the following in any combination that feels good to you.

Lying Leg Raises

  • Lie on your stomach
  • Focus on your butt and back thigh muscles
  • Raise one leg up, tighten those muscles, hold for a few seconds
  • Lower and repeat for 12 or more reps
  • Switch legs. Repeat for 3 – 5 sets for each side.

ALTERNATE 1: If you can handle getting on your hands and knees

Glute Kickbacks

  • Assume the doggy-style position (sorry, it was the fastest way to describe)
  • Gently kick on leg back until straight (or as far as you can comfortably)
  • Feel the tension in your butt muscles
  • Lower and repeat for 12 or more reps
  • Switch legs. Repeat for 3 – 5 sets for each side.

ALTERNATE 2: Lying on your side

Side Leg Raises

  • Lie on one side with your legs stacked.
  • Bend the bottom leg for support.
  • Straighten the top leg and raise it as high as you can comfortably can.
  • Hold for 5 seconds, lower and relax briefly, then repeat 10-15 times.
  • Switch sides and start over. 3 – 5 Sets each side

ALTERNATE 3: Lying on your back

Glute Bridge Raises

  • Lying flat on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the floor
  • Raise your butt up as high as you comfortably can, lower and repeat 10 – 15 times
  • 3 – 5 Sets

ALTERNATE 4: Lying on your stomach

Glute Flutter Kicks

  • Lying on your back or your stomach, raise your legs up slightly and flutter kick as if you were swimming.
  • Focus on the feeling in your butt muscles.
  • Continue the motion until you feel “failure”
  • Rest and repeat 3 – 5 sets

Calves: I normally do calf raises while using the leg sled with lots of weight on it. I could maybe manage that even now with the bad knee since this move is very limited. But, I’d rather be safe than sorry. So, I’m trying this…

Calf Raises

You can do these simply standing straight up, or using the back of a chair for support — or standing on a stair and using the banister for support. If you can handle more weight, grab a pair of dumbbells and hold them at your side as you raise up.

  • Slowly raise up on your heels as high as you comfortably can, hold then lower back down
  • Focus on feeling the calf muscles contract
  • 3 -5 Sets of as many reps as you can to “failure”

Please share your thoughts below, or drop me a line:

December 19, 2017

Best exercises to improve posture

The best exercises to improve posture focus on strengthening your neck, shoulders and back. Those are among the most neglected and abused muscles in your body. They pretty much define the need for chiropractors and massage therapists.

This article will show you how to make all these muscles stronger, which will improve your posture and change your appearance from pear-shaped to V-shaped.

These muscles function the same in men and women, so the exercise routines are unisex.

There was a time when women could opt for torture devices like girdles to achieve that look, but this is a much healthier, long-lasting solution that will make you look and feel good.

Neck (trapezius)

Our necks are weak. Partly they are victims of modern work habits. Many of us sit all day, slouched over and staring at computer screens. Our kids and grandkids do this as they play video games, too.

There’s even a recognized condition called “Computer Neck Syndrome” that describes this lack of proper alignment.

Shoulders (deltoids)

Whether it’s lifting a grandchild to your face for a kiss or hoisting a suitcase into the overhead bin, you can’t do it without strong shoulders. These are the most moveable and unstable joints in the body, very susceptible to injury.

The shoulder is a delicate joint. All of these exercises should be handled with care — that means don’t try to lift weights that are too heavy. Go for the ‘exhausted’ feeling with 8 – 12 clean reps. The exercises here will strengthen the shoulder and the small rotator cuff muscles that protect your shoulder joint.

I know from too many years of too-heavy weight lifting, your shoulders can be easily damaged and require careful attention.

Back (latissimus dorsi)

Another neglected area that is critical to our general well being. Your Lats are the largest muscles in your upper body.

The lats have a direct impact on our neck, shoulders, elbow, lower back and even your posture as you walk.

This big muscle system connects at five different points including the spine, pelvis, ribs, scapula, and upper arm. They play a big role in how your arms move and work.

How to Strengthen these Muscles

I like to group these muscles together into a single workout. You can do that, or take each area one workout at a time. Whatever best suits your fitness level and schedule.

Here are some specific exercises for each muscle group. I’m going to lay this out in a basic way, so if you’re an advanced lifter/trainer, this may be too basic for you.


Assume that you can do these movements with Resistance Bands, dumbbells, barbells or machines. How you create resistance does not matter. The key is using just enough to take the prescribed number of reps to ‘failure’ with good form

Sets & Reps

The Neck and Shoulders should be treated carefully, so I don’t recommend over-working them the way you might chest or arms.

Adjust the amount of resistance you are using so that you can do 8 – 12 Reps per set. The last rep should be difficult so that doing another cleanly is not feasible. Don’t cheat.

2 – 3 Sets for each exercise

8 – 12 Reps per Set

The back is a big muscle and can take some extra work, so I recommend:

3 – 5 Sets for each exercise

8 – 12 Reps per Set

Neck Routine

Start by stretching your neck. You can do this by simply using a hand to pull your neck gently toward each side. Or you can lean back on a wall and stretch your head/neck back against the surface.


Using any form of resistance — Resistance Bands, Dumbbells, Barbell or Machine.

Grasp the resistance with your hands at your sides (dumbbells) or in front of you (barbell). Now, Simply “shrug” the weight upward using only your neck and shoulder muscles.

The weight won’t travel very far. You will “bunch” the shoulders closer together as you do this. Hold it for a moment or two at the top, then release and repeat the motion.

There are variations of these movements you can try. For example, you do this move with a barbell and hold it behind your back if you prefer. But the shrug is the basic movement to strengthen your neck muscles.

Upright Row:

You’ll also feel this in your shoulders.

Grasp a light pair of dumbbells as shown above and carefully raise them up with elbows positioned as pictured. Hold for a moment, then lower and repeat. Alternately, you can do this movement with Resistance Bands. Grasp the resistance with your hands in front of you, then raise it up in front of you to about shoulder height. Hold it for a moment then slowly lower and repeat.

two hand band raise

Focus on the feeling in your neck muscles as you do the motion. This is another staple move for the neck muscles. You can also perform this with a barbell or kettle bells. The type of equipment is not important. The feeling in your target muscle is all that matters. Make those Traps (neck) muscles do the work.

Shoulder Routine

Rear Delt Rows:

You can do this lying facedown on a bench using dumbbells. Or standing crouched over, by bending forward as pictured below.

Raise the weight smoothly up to parallel and then slowly lower it again and repeat. Feel it in your shoulders. Make them do the work, not your arms.

Lateral Raises:

These moves target the middle area of your shoulder muscles. Again, you can use any form of resistance you have available: Resistance Bands (above), Dumbbells (below) or Machine (bottom).

two arm raises

Choose one form of resistance to perform your 3 sets, or mix things up. But stick to only 3 sets to protect these delicate muscles.

Front Delt Raises:

This move will target the front of your delts. Again, take care with the amount of weight used. Focus on good form and feeling the sensation in the target muscles.

Use whatever is most convenient/feels best: Dumbbells (above), Barbell (lower left), Resistance Bands or Machines (lower right).

Back – Lats Routine

These moves will target the lats, but you’ll also feel it in your Neck and Shoulders. Your lats are a big, powerful muscle group and can take a little more work than the delicate deltoid/shoulder area.

Do 3 – 5 Sets of each of these exercises for 8 – 12 reps to failure.

Lat Pullownslat pulldownA classic Lat move, typically performed on a machine as shown, but you can also use Resistance Bands anchored above your head in a strong door. You could sit on a chair as you do this. Basically, you’re recreating the setup of a gym machine (see instructions in your set of Bands).

Focus on the feeling in your back muscles as you do this. Do not rock back and forth to move the weight. It’s not about how much weight you are using, but that good form that focuses all the effort on the back muscles.

Seated Lat Pulls

This is a variation on the above and also targets the mid back area. You can do this on a machine or with Resistance Bands anchored in a sturdy door, while you sit on the ground.

Focus on the feeling in your back. Try not to let your arms do too much of the work. Make those big back muscles work!

Upright Rows

You can do this movement best with Dumbbells. Putting one hand and one knee on a bench to steady yourself. Raise the dumbbell straight up the side of your chest, keeping your arm close to your side.

Focus on the back muscles as you do this. Feel it. Squeeze them as you contract at the top of the movement. Try not to use your arms much but keep the tension on the back.

You could also instead use Resistance Bands to perform this move if you don’t have access to dumbbells.


You don’t need to join a gym or spend a ton of money on equipment to do this workout — so no excuses! You can do most all of these moves with inexpensive Resistance Bands or dumbbells. Most can be mix and matched with those and or barbells and machines.

You can read a review of a few sets of Bands here. I strongly urge getting a set of them, even if you have a large gym setup like I do. They’re a great addition to any workout.

It’s not the equipment used that matters, it’s the user — you. Best of luck in your training!

If you have any questions or comments, please add them below. I’ll get back to all. If you’d like you can drop me a line at

Click here to get your FREE copy of the 5 Keys to Feeling Stronger – Right Away! You’ll get immediate access to a video with accompanying checklist on the 5 Keys, plus a special report detailing proof that lighter weights and higher reps really works to build muscle – especially in us older people.