This is another post in our series of Fitness Saturday exercises—workouts appropriate to women in the second half of life. Personal trainer Brooke Marrone, president and founder of Brooke Marrone Fitness, in New York City, is our fitness guru.


As we continue to build our foundation for a healthy body, we shift our focus this month from the core to the heart.  February is American Heart Month, and it’s a great time to check in with yourself and see if you are taking the necessary steps to keep your heart healthy and strong.

Being physically active is, hands down, one of the best ways to help prevent heart disease and improve your overall health at any age. This can be anything from dancing, swimming, biking, and gardening to hiking, jogging, etc. Start by finding an activity you enjoy and go from there. Adults should be doing a minimum of 30 minutes of moderate to intense physical activity on most days, and at least two days a week of strength training. Strength training involves activities that promote cardiovascular health and help prevent muscle and bone loss, a goal that is especially important post-menopause.

Chris Freytag demonstrates the Body Squat.

The exercise of the week is the Body Squat. This is a great example of a strength training exercise that can be done just about anywhere, with no equipment. The body squat is one of the best functional exercises for building lower-body strength, improving balance and coordination, and increasing bone density.

  1. Place your feet shoulder-width apart, toes slightly turned out.
  1. Tuck in your belly, keep your chest open, shoulders down and back, and eyes forward, not down.
  1. You can bring your arms straight out in front of your body at shoulder height, or bent in front.
  1. Bend at the knees and drop your hips as far as you can while keeping good form, aiming to get your lower body parallel to the floor.
  1. Make sure you keep your weight in your heels and that you don’t shift forward onto your toes.
  1. At the bottom of the exercise, hold for two seconds and push from your heels back up to your starting position.

Try two sets of 15 reps.

Beginners: Start with chair squats. If you have bad knees, place a small ball or towel in between them and it will help take the pressure off and, hopefully, allow you to complete the exercise without any pain. Try two sets of 10.

The Body Squat is a multi-joint exercise that targets a variety of muscle groups. The muscles worked are the quadriceps, hips and buttocks, calves, hamstrings, core, and lower back. The Body Squat also strengthens bones, ligaments, and tendons throughout the lower body.


Start the conversation

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.