Resistance Training for Skin: A Proven Anti-Aging Solution

Imagine a workout that not only builds strength and tones muscles but rejuvenates your skin as well. Resistance training for skin is no longer a fantasy; it’s a scientifically backed approach, leading the way in both fitness and anti-aging skin care.

Key Finding

Resistance training is a science-backed method to enhance skin’s thickness and firmness, offering a unique solution to anti-aging skin care.

Actionable Insight

Incorporate two to three sessions of strength rating a week, focusing on progressive resistance to ensure continuous growth and adaptation. By gradually increasing the weight or resistance level over time, you’ll be on a promising path to stronger muscles and more youthful, firm skin.

We’ve all heard that exercise is good for our health, but did you know it can also be a vital part of your skin care routine? The circulation boost from a good workout can bring necessary nutrients, oxygen, and minerals to your skin, giving you that desirable “post-workout glow.” It’s not just a temporary flush either; exercise can play a significant role in healthy skin aging. But not all workouts are created equal, especially when it comes to skin care.

The Best Exercise for Aging Skin: Aerobic vs. Resistance Training

For a long time, aerobic exercise has been praised for its skin benefits. But what about resistance training? Until recently, there hasn’t been much research to compare the two.

In a recent study published in Scientific Reports1Nishikori, S., Yasuda, J., Murata, K. et al. Resistance training rejuvenates aging skin by reducing circulating inflammatory factors and enhancing dermal extracellular matrices. Sci Rep 13, 10214 (2023). Source , scientists decided to investigate. They worked with 56 healthy but inactive middle-aged Japanese women and split them into two groups for a 16-week program: one for aerobic training and the other for resistance training.

The findings were illuminating: both types of exercise improved skin elasticity and upper dermal structure, but resistance training had an edge. It increased dermal thickness, a key factor for supple, firm skin. The researchers pinpointed molecules called biglycans linked to skin firmness and a decrease in molecules like cytokines that inhibit biglycans.

Why Resistance Training Stands Out for Anti-Aging Skin Care

While both aerobic training and resistance training were found to be effective in improving skin health, resistance training for skin specifically led to an increase in the thickness of the inner skin layer. This is an essential aspect of the anti-aging process as it helps in maintaining skin’s youthful appearance.

We have discussed earlier that resistance training is one of the cornerstones of an effective longevity exercise routine for maintaining important muscle mass. It’s a vital component of a healthy aging strategy, supporting functional independence and metabolic health. And now, new evidence brings to light how resistance training for skin may tighten and tone not just muscles but also the skin itself, offering a multifaceted approach to anti-aging skin care.

What Exactly Did the Participants Do?

The specific workout program that participants in the resistance training group followed is a shining example of how exercise science can translate into real-world benefits for our skin. Here’s a more in-depth look at what they did:

  • Warm-Up:
    • 5 reps on various weight machines at 50% strength, including:
      • Leg curl
      • Leg extension
      • Arm curl
      • Rowing
      • Shoulder press
      • Chest press
    • Purpose: To prepare the body for the main workout, improving blood flow and reducing the risk of injury.
  • Main Program:
    • 3 sets of 10 reps on the following machines, with a 2- to 3-minute rest between sets:
      • Leg curl
      • Leg extension
      • Arm curl
      • Rowing
      • Shoulder press
      • Chest press
    • Strength Progression for Anti-Aging Results:
      • 50% strength during sessions 1 and 2
      • 60% strength for sessions 3 to 6
      • 70% for sessions 7 to 10
      • 75 to 80% for sessions 11 to 32
      • After that, the loads increased in 5% increments each session.
    • Purpose: A gradual increase in resistance training for skin supports continuous improvement and contributes to anti-aging effects.
  • Increasing the Load:
    • Importance: A gradual increase in weight load is essential to ensure continuous improvement regardless of whether it’s lean muscle mass or supple, firm skin.

Whether you choose to follow this specific workout or your favorite resistance exercises, the message is clear: movement matters. It’s not just about looking good; it’s about rejuvenating your skin.

Remember, the journey to youthful skin is not just about creams and serums; your workout routine can be a powerful ally in your skincare arsenal!

The original paper’s abstract summarizes it well: Aerobic training has been known as an effective anti-aging strategy for skin aging, but now, resistance training also shows promising effects on skin rejuvenation. It’s an exciting development, especially as it’s the first report to identify the key factors involved in resistance training-induced skin rejuvenation.

In conclusion, in an era where longevity and healthy aging are central to many individuals’ wellness pursuits, resistance training emerges as a potent tool in this endeavor. Its benefits extend beyond mere muscle maintenance, reaching into the realms of skin health and rejuvenation.


  • 1
    Nishikori, S., Yasuda, J., Murata, K. et al. Resistance training rejuvenates aging skin by reducing circulating inflammatory factors and enhancing dermal extracellular matrices. Sci Rep 13, 10214 (2023). Source

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