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How resistance exercise helps with osteoporosis

What is osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis translates as “porous bones”. It occurs when the holes in bone become bigger, making it liable to break easily due to a fall. Osteoporosis happens when the growth of new bone fails to keep up with the loss of old bone. The result of this are thin and weak bones which are prone to breaking which typically occur in the hip, wrist, or spine. Bone mass peaks around 17 to 30 years and lasts until around age 50, after which rapid loss can occur. Aerobic exercise and strength training can improve bone mass from the teen years to age 30; however, adults ages 30 to 50 need more weight-bearing exercise.

Weight bearing exercises

Weight bearing refers to activities that require you to bear your own weight. Swimming allows the water to bear some of your weight. Biking allows the bike to bear most of your weight. Walking and jogging are activities that you must bear all your weight.

Aerobic recommendations

According to the Physical Activity Guidelines, adults should do at least 150 minutes to 300 minutes a week of moderate-intensity or 150 minutes of high-intensity aerobic physical activity. To increase the benefit for bones, try to make most of your exercise weight-bearing if possible. Walking for moderate-intensity and jogging, rope jumping, or climbing stairs for high-intensity are great choices.

Resistance exercise recommendations

Resistance training may help with building bone. It is recommended to do 2 sets of 8 to 10 repetition, 2 to 3 days/week for all major muscle groups. For osteoporosis prevention, focus on improving trunk, hip flexor/extensors, back and abdominal muscle strength. Improving the strength in these areas may assist in preventing falls. Flexibility activities should be done at least once a week. Balance training should be done daily.

Balance training

  1. Do this every day

  2. Stand behind a sturdy chair or countertop so you can grab on when needed

  3. Imagine you are standing on a high wire with the back toe touching the front heel

  4. Standing tall and focusing on a single spot, let go of the countertop and hold for :10 building to :30. Perform 3 sets on each side

  5. Once achieved try to perform this exercise by looking up then slowly looking down building to 5 repetitions on each side and building to 3 sets

  6. After this becomes easy try the movement with the eyes closed building to the same repetitions

This improves proprioception, or your body’s awareness of itself in space and it’s ability to sense movement.

Stand Up Str8 has invented a device to strengthen the muscles between your shoulder blades that are connected to your spine. Check it out here.


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