6 Strength Exercises a 69-Year-Old Instructor Does To Stay Fit

Get into shape in your 60s with these tried and true strength exercises.



In the opinion of Steve Krum, rowing is the #1 best total-body exercise in the world. It is not only a great cardiovascular workout but also a fantastic strength workout. It utilizes 86% of the muscles in our bodies in one complete stroke. This is crucial for Krum, as maintaining muscle mass is a top priority for him. Krum rows five to six days each week, with two to three days dedicated to teaching rowing.

Krum compares strength training to The Wizard of Oz's 'Tin Man' because the process of moving lubricates tendons, joints, and other tissues, just like the oil can used by the Tin Man. Strength exercises are beneficial for range of motion, movement, and blood flow, especially as our bodies naturally tighten up and lose flexibility.

He believes in the saying 'Use it or lose it,' and his dedication to rowing is a testament to that mantra.

Stair Climbing

Similar to rowing, stair climbing is excellent for maintaining the hamstrings, calves, quads, and glutes. It is also effective for cardiovascular health. Krum finds that stair climbing is a safe alternative to heavy weight lifting exercises for muscle atrophy, as it reduces stress, lower back torque, and impact. He climbs stairs twice a week, reaching around 2,000 stairs per session, leaving his legs shaking on the way home.

Maintaining lower body strength is crucial as we age, and stair climbing provides an effective and challenging workout.


Classic pushups are a simple yet effective way to utilize your body weight for strength training. Krum performs three sets of 200 pushups twice a week. In a high plank position with hands shoulder-distance apart, he bends his elbows to lower his chest towards the floor and then pushes his body back up, engaging his core throughout the movement.

Pushups target multiple muscle groups, including the chest, shoulders, triceps, and core, making them a versatile exercise suitable for any age.


Bench Dips

Similar to pushups, Krum incorporates bench dips into his routine to maintain a full range of motion and proper form. Using his body weight and a workout bench, he performs 200 reps of bench dips twice a week. With his hands placed on top of the bench and legs extended in front, he lowers his body by bending both elbows until his arms are parallel to the floor, then pushes back up to the starting position.

Bench dips target the triceps, shoulders, and chest, providing an effective upper body workout without the need for heavy weights.