Today I am going to discuss osteoporosis exercise guidelines and the key principles of an effective osteoporosis exercise program. How do you strength train and, at the same time, build bone when you have osteoporosis, osteopenia, or low bone density?
Later in the lesson you will find a strength training exercise that challenges your hip bones and muscles.
Table of Contents
Osteoporosis Exercise Guidelines
Studies have shown that for an osteoporosis exercise program to be effective it must incorporate four key osteoporosis exercise guidelines:
- Exercise needs to be site specific. In other words, if you want to increase bone density in your arm, you should do exercises that stress or target the arm.
- The weight needs to be heavy enough to challenge you. Passive exercise is not effective.
- Weight-bearing exercise is more effective than non-weight-bearing exercise for building bone.
- Change and novelty is important. Keep changing your exercise patterns to challenge your bones.
Osteoporosis Exercise Guidelines Explained
Hi, welcome back to MelioGuide. I’m Margaret Martin and today we’re going to cover the key principles that we need when it comes to strength training and building bone.
Four Osteoporosis Exercise Guidelines for Bone Building
When I look at studies that do a large analysis of all the different research on bone building, these are called meta-analysis, and what they found is that there are four key principles that are important for building bone.
Guideline 1: Site Specific
One of the first ones is that exercise needs to be site specific. By that I mean that if you want to build the bones in your arms, you need to stress the muscles in your arms so that the muscles are pulling on the bone, and hence you build bone in the arms.
Similarly, if you’re wanting to stress the muscles in your hip and the bones in your hips, you need to do exercises that specifically target your hip. Squats, lunges and the whole list of exercises.
Guideline 2: Weights Need to be Heavy
The second principle that studies have shown needed for bone building is that the weight needs to be heavy. You need to feel challenged when you’re lifting that weight.
Guideline 3: Weight Bearing More Effective Than Non Weight Bearing Exercises
The third principle is that weight bearing is far more effective than non-weight bearing exercises when it comes to bone building.
Guideline 4: Exercises Need to be Novel
The fourth principle is that your bones need to be kept on their toes, meaning that if you do the same thing day in day out, you enjoy going to curves, great for the social element but not enough of an altered stimulus for your bones.
I demonstrate the side lying leg lift with weights exercise and provide step-by-step instructions on form as well as suggested modifications to ensure that you keep your hips and legs aligned while doing the exercise. I use an adjustable weight that can fit your leg.
Core Strength Foundation
We don’t have enough time in today’s tutorial to go into each of the four principles in great detail, but what I’d like to go through right now is the foundation that these principles need to build on.
As you know, yoga and Pilates are very popular these days and for good reason. They’re built on a strong foundation of breathing and activation of your deep abdominals or using your core.
A couple of the key principles that are essential to a bone building program are:
- Proper breathing technique.
- Activation of your deep abdominals or incorporating your deep abdominal muscles into an exercise program.
Those two elements alone are very essential to the foundation of a strength training program. In lesson seven I will go into more detail on Core Strength and Osteoporosis. This is an important, but often overlooked, part of a comprehensive exercise program. I cover core strength for people with osteoporosis in my book Strengthen Your Core … more on that later!
20 Minute Sample Workout
This 27 minute sample workout is taken from the Beginner level title for Stronger Bones, Stronger Body. Give it a try! You can find the complete Stronger Bones, Stronger Body — Beginner Level here.
Tomorrow’s Lesson • Comprehensive Exercise Program Components
Well, that’s all for today and tomorrow we’re going to be covering the components of a comprehensive exercise program when it comes to osteoporosis and low bone density. Look forward to seeing you tomorrow.