This page includes the osteoporosis exercise plan for Exercise for Better Bones — my book on osteoporosis exercise. I have organized this osteoporosis exercise plan page into six sections:
- Tips and Suggestions: These are exercises in the osteoporosis exercise plan that I have published on my website that are not in the Exercise for Better Bones program. Many people contact me and ask my opinion on different exercises that are not in the Exercise for Better Bones program and I use the inquiry as an opportunity to discuss a specific exercise.
- Osteoporosis Exercises from Exercise for Better Bones: These are the exercise videos of the various exercises in the Exercise for Better Bones program.
- Osteoporosis Exercise Contraindications: I provide a link to a blog that lists ten exercises to avoid with osteoporosis.
- Weight Bearing Exercise Recommendations: I present several weight bearing exercises to help you build bone.
- Osteoporosis Exercise Guidelines: I describe how the Exercise for Better Bones osteoporosis exercise plan meets and even exceeds the guidelines provided by Osteoporosis Canada and the National Osteoporosis Foundation.
- Osteoporosis Exercise Intensity Guidelines: I discuss recent research on recommended exercise intensity levels for women with osteoporosis and specifically how it affects their osteoporosis exercise plan.
In most of the postings I have included the video demonstration and a description of the exercises — in many cases using the transcription from the video or a detailed account of the exercise.
The Balance Exercises from the Exercise for Better Bones can be located in the Balance Exercises for Seniors guide.
1. Tips and Suggestions
This section includes exercises that I have posted on my site after a client asks me to clarify how to do a specific exercise that is not in the Exercise for Better Bones osteoporosis exercise plan as well as tips and suggestions on how to do certain exercises.
- Safe Squat
- Proper Leg Press Form
- Tricep Cable Pulldowns
- Lat Pulldown Proper Form
- Why is Grip Strength Important
- Senior Warm Up Exercises on an Exercise Ball
- Proper Chest Press Form on Resistance Machine
- Physiotherapy Exercises for Thigh Muscles • Inner Thigh Exercise
2. Osteoporosis Exercise Plan Videos
This section includes exercises from the Exercise for Better Bones osteoporosis exercise plan and is organized by level and class of exercise. The Exercise for Better Bones osteoporosis exercise plan includes all of the exercise details and workout schedules for each level.
2.1 Exercise for Better Bone (Beginner)
2.1.1 Beginner Strength
- Energy Tree • Warmup 1
- Curtsy Lunges • Warmup 2
- Marching in Place • Warmup 3
- Wall Ball Squats with Stability Ball
- Reverse Fly Exercise
- Reverse Lunge
- Horse Stance Exercise • Vertical
- Physical Therapy Bridge Exercise • Beginner
- Bow and Arrow
- Alternating Leg Lifts in Prone Position
- Side Lying Leg Lift • Side Leg Lifts
- Angels in the Snow
- Push Ups Variations • Wall Push Ups
- Bicep Curl Variations • Standing Biceps Curl
- Tricep Extensions • Supine Tricep Extension • Beginner
- Heel Drop Exercise
- Abdominal Exercises for Osteoporosis • Beginner Level
2.1.2 Beginner Level — YouTube Playlist
2.2 Exercise for Better Bone (Active)
2.1.1 Active Strength
- Energy Tree • Warmup 1
- Curtsy Lunges • Warmup 2
- Marching in Place • Warmup 3
- Chair Squats
- Osteoporosis Exercises for Spine • Prone Exercise
- Forward Lunge Exercise
- Horse Stance Exercise • Horizontal
- Physical Therapy Bridge Exercise • Bridge with Weight Exercise
- Row Exercise • Bent Over Row Exercise
- Osteoporosis Exercises for Hips • Hip Raise Exercise • Feet on Chair
- Side Lying Leg Lift with Weight
- Floor Pullovers
- Push Ups Variations • Step Push Ups
- Bicep Curl Variations • Alternating Bicep Curl in Standing
- Tricep Extensions • Supine Tricep Extension • Active
- Step Up Variations • Step Up Exercise
- Abdominal Exercises for Osteoporosis • Leg Drops for Active
2.2.1 Active Level — YouTube Playlist
2.3. Exercise for Better Bones (Athletic)
2.3.1 Athletic Strength
- Squat with Weights
- Osteoporosis Exercises for Spine • Ball T, M and Y Exercises • Athletic
- Forward Lunge Exercise • Lunge in Line
- Step Up Variations • Step Ups with Dumbbells • Athletic
- Physical Therapy Bridge Exercise • Bridge Exercise Up 2 / Down 1
- Row Exercise • One Arm Dumbbell Row Exercise
- Osteoporosis Exercises for Hips • Hip Raise Exercise • Feet on Ball
- Band Walks Exercise
- Osteoporosis Back Exercises • Swiss Ball Pullover with Single Dumbbell
- Push Ups Variations • Floor Push Ups
- Bicep Curl Variations • Single Leg Bicep Curl
- Tricep Extensions • Stability Ball Tricep Extension • Athletic
- Squat Jumps • Double Leg
- Abdominal Exercises for Osteoporosis • Leg Drop 90/90 • Athletic
2.3.2 Athletic Level — YouTube Playlist
2.4. Exercise for Better Bones (Elite)
2.4.1 Elite Strength
- Lateral Lunge • Warmup 1 • Athletic and Elite
- Hip Hinge Exercise (Bird Nod) • Athletic and Elite
- Step Lunges • Warmup 3 • Athletic and Elite
- Single Leg Wall Squat with Stability Ball
- Osteoporosis Exercises for Spine • Ball T, M and Y Exercise • Elite
- Dumbbell Walking Lunge
- Step Up Variations • Step Ups with Dumbbells • Elite
- Osteoporosis Exercises for Hips • Hip Raise Exercise • Feet on Ball • Position A
- Osteoporosis Exercises for Hips • Hip Raise Exercise • Feet on Ball • Position B
- Osteoporosis Exercises for Hips • Hip Raise Exercise • Feet on Ball • Position C
- Row Exercise • Single Leg Row
- Side Lying Leg Lift on Stability Ball
- Osteoporosis Back Exercises • Swiss Ball Pullover with Two Dumbbells
- Push Ups Variations • Twist Push Ups
- Bicep Curl Variations • Side Lunge with Bicep Curl
- Tricep Extensions • Stability Ball Tricep Extension • Position A
- Tricep Extensions • One Arm Tricep Extension on Stability Ball • Position B
- Squat Jumps
- Abdominal Exercises for Osteoporosis • Leg Drops • Advanced
2.4.2 Elite Level — YouTube Playlist
3. Osteoporosis Exercise Plan • Contraindications
I have prepared a detail blog post on osteoporosis exercise contraindications in which I cover exercises to avoid with osteoporosis.
4. Weight Bearing and Cardiovascular Exercise
You build bone with weight bearing activities and exercises. In this section I touch on several weight bearing exercises. In the Exercise for Better Bones program, I describe more weight bearing exercises you can do based on your assigned exercise level (based on fracture risk and activity level).
- Rowing Machine Form
- Is the The Elliptical a Weight Bearing Exercise
- Clock Lunges
- What Effect Does Regular Weight Bearing Have on Joints
- Weight Training and Osteoporosis
- Running and Osteoporosis?
- Free Weight Exercises for Osteoporosis
5. Osteoporosis Exercise Plan • Guidelines
How does the Exercise for Better Bones osteoporosis exercise plan compare to the guidelines provided by leading organizations?
I am pleased to say that the published guidelines from these two organizations agree with the MelioGuide Exercise for Better Bones osteoporosis exercise program. The main difference between the guidelines published by Osteoporosis Canada and the NOF and the MelioGuide Exercise for Better Bones Program is that the MelioGuide is more specific about the exercise by fracture risk and activity level.
5.1. Osteoporosis Canada and the National Osteoporosis Foundation
Releases that came from the top organizations on osteoporosis in both Canada and the U.S., so Osteoporosis Canada and the National Osteoporosis Foundation, both of which chose the summer of 2014 to release their exercise guidelines, where they give specifics on strength training, on posture, on weight-bearing, on balance.
I’m really excited to say that here at MelioGuide, we’ve had those same guidelines for the last seven years, and so, you know, you now have, as listeners, the added reassurance that these big organizations are following the MelioGuide guidelines.
The difference being is that here at MelioGuide, those of you who have gone into the programs, or worked with me individually, or have spoken to me by the phone through consultation, you know that we also look here at MelioGuide at your activity level at your start, as well as your fracture risk.
5.2. Published Osteoporosis Exercise Guidelines
6. Osteoporosis Exercise Plan • Intensity Level Guidelines
A recent study shows that age does not affect exercise intensity among women and this has significant implications for exercise for women with osteoporosis.
Should you modify an exercise program for a woman based on her age? As a woman gets older, should you expect her to make less progress and achieve smaller increments than a younger woman? Should a woman with osteoporosis follow an exercise program? Should she modify her program? Will she see the same exercise results and progress as a younger woman?
6.1 Age Does Not Affect Exercise Intensity
A new study published in this month’s Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research (1) has demonstrated that healthy women who have not had prior training can exercise safely and improve their heart and muscle strength at any age.
The study was conducted “to examine the possible influences of age on exercise intensity progression in healthy women” by researchers at the University of Sao Paulo.
6.2 Exercise for Women With Osteoporosis
Quite a few of my clients are “Fifty Plus Women” who live independent, productive and active lives and want to stay that way as they move forward in life. They want to be Fit Past Fifty.
I also have young athletes (often the children of the “50 Plus Women”) who want conditioning programs. Generally, I provide exercise programs and establish fitness goals for both groups that are very similar. I have seen results similar to those determined by the authors of the research study.
Can women with osteoporosis or low bone density expect similar results? Should their exercise programs be modified to account for the fragility of their bones?
I believe that exercise is essential to someone with osteoporosis. When done properly, it improves the quality of bone — thereby strengthening the bone and making it more resistant to fracture. Further, a well designed exercise program improves balance, flexibility and body awareness — all essential to fall reduction and overall well being.
I work with many clients who have osteoporosis or low bone density and develop exercise programs that are safe for their bones and allow them to attain their fitness goals. These programs are part of the MelioGuide Exercise for Better Bones Program for clients and are all part of the Building Better Bones training program for Health care professionals.
6.3 Study Summary
Two groups of women underwent 13 weeks of exercise training. They both followed the same exercise program and results documented and recorded during the study period. The two study groups were:
- Seventeen young women (29.1 years old, plus or minus 5.7 years)
- Sixteen older women (64.5 years old, plus or minus 4.5 years old)
The 13 week exercise program (for both groups) consisted of :
- Stationary cycling (known as cycle ergometry)
- Whole body resistance training. Specific exercises included bench press, leg press, seated row, knee curl, shoulder press, calf raise, triceps push-down, bicep curls, and abdominal exercises.
- Stretching exercises
The exercise program for women was designed to develop aerobic capacity, muscle mass and strength, and flexibility and was performed twice a week during the 13 week study period on all participants. The exercise intensity of the aerobic and resistance training was increased whenever an individual displayed improved performance.
A comparison of the progressions across all of the individual exercises between the two groups was not significantly different – meaning that the performance improvement of the older group was not that different than that of the younger group.
I believe that the implications of this study are very significant for women with osteoporosis. They should expect that they can make significant progress in their overall fitness, reduce their fall risk and improve their bone health – provided they follow a safe and effective exercise program for osteoporosis.
- Ciolac, EG et al. (2010) Age Does Not Affect Exercise Intensity Progression Among Women. The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research Vol 24, Number 11: 3023-3031.
The osteoporosis exercise plan listed on this page is based on the Osteoporosis Guidelines I have described on this website.