Osteoporosis Exercises

Osteoporosis exercises should be weight-bearing. Weight-bearing means that you're doing an activity that works your bones and muscles against gravity. 

Everyone needs to do weight-bearing exercise to build and maintain healthy bones. 

Especially girls and young women need to concentrate on building strong bones now to help decrease their risk of developing osteoporosis later in life. Osteoporosis is largely preventable if you get enough weight-bearing exercise when you're young, stay active and continue other healthy habits as you age. 

Osteoporosis Exercises

Weight-bearing osteoporosis exercises and bone remodeling

Your osteoporosis exercises routine needs to be made up of exercises that are weight-bearing. This is important for the process of constantly breaking down bone and building it up. This is called bone remodeling. When you do weight-bearing exercise, your bone adapts to the impact of weight and pull of muscle by building more cells and creating stronger bone. 

Beginning strength training

If you're just starting out resistance training, first start with one or two pound weights. If you can't comfortably do 8 repetitions with a certain weight, the weight you're using is likely too heavy. If you can do more than 15 repetitions, it's likely the weight is too light. For some people, they may not need any weight when first starting out. Just focus on building strength at your own pace. 

Also, some osteoporosis exercises require more weight than others. For example, single joint exercises such as bicep curls and tricep kickbacks require less weight because you're working an isolated muscle during the movement. Multi-joint exercises such as squats and overhead presses work multiple muscle groups so you need heavier resistance to get a good workout. 

Tips to using weights

The following are some guidelines for osteoporosis exercises using weights. 

  1. Take 3 seconds to lift the weight, and then hold for one second. For example, during a bicep curl, it should take 3 seconds to move from the bottom to top position. You should then hold at the top position for 1 second, then take 3 seconds again to move back to the start.

  2. Breathe slowly, exhaling as you lift and inhaling as you lower the weight.Generally, it's best to breathe in and out through your nose. You don't want to be chest breathing or panting like a dog. Inhale bringing air into your stomach and exhale out through your nose. 

    Also, you should be exhaling during the effort. For example, during a push up you should be exhaling when you are pushing your body up to the start position and inhaling as you lower yourself down.

  3. Do one set of 8 to 15 repetitions, starting with 8 to 12 repetitions and working up to 15 repetitions.

  4. Rest for 30 to 60 seconds, and then do a second set. Generally, if you are doing more repetitions using a lighter weight, you should take less rest between sets of repetitions. For example, if you are doing sets of 15 repetitions, you may only need to rest for 30 seconds. Whereas, if you are doing sets of 8 repetitions, you made need to rest for over a minute.

Exercises for osteoporosis prevention

Understanding strength training and osteoporosis prevention is important for menopausal women. The following are some basic osteoporosis exercises for improving bone strengthen and muscles. 

Bicep Curls 
Hold a dumbbell in each hand and stand your feet as wide as your hips. Keep your arms at your sides with palms facing your body. Keep your elbows close to your body during the entire exercise. 

To start the exercise, bend your right arm up and keep it close to your shoulder. Turn your palm as you lift so it's facing the shoulder at the top of the movement. 

After you've finished the desired number of repetitions for that set, lower the dumbbell slowly and repeat with the opposite hand. 

If you're doing it correctly, your elbows are held close to your body, your knees are relaxed, and your back is straight. 

Triceps kickback 
Hold your dumbbell in your right hand and stand with your left side next to your bench, or whatever you're using to lean on. 

Lean forward until your hips are at a 45 degree angle. Use your left hand to lean on the support. 

Bend your right elbow so that your upper arm is parallel to the floor, your forearm is perpendicular, and your palms face in. 

Now straighten your arm until the end of your dumbbell is pointing straight down. This should be done while your upper arm is held still. 

Slowly bend your arm to lower the weight. 

If you're doing it correctly, your abdominals are pulled in and your knees are relaxed. You're holding your upper arm still while straightening your arm. Your shoulder is kept above waist level. 

Overhead Press 
The overhead press is one of the great osteoporosis exercises because not only is it weight-bearing, but it's also a multi-joint movement. Stand with feet slightly apart. Hold a dumbbell in each hand with arms at shoulder height. Slowly lift the weight over your head with your arms becoming straight. Hold for a second at the top and return to the starting position. 

Be sure to keep your back straight and knees relaxed. At the start of the movement, elbows should be bent with palms facing forward. 

Hip Extensors 
Holding onto a chair, bend forward at the waist to about a 45 degree angle. Slowly lift a leg up behind you as straight as you can and high as possible. Slowly lower your leg back down to the floor. Repeat 8 to 15 times with each leg. 

Hip Flexors
Important for osteoporosis prevention, osteoporosis exercises need to have movements that work hip flexors which help strengthen your hips and legs. While holding the back of a chair, slowly bring your knee as close to your chest as you can without bending your other knee or your waist. Slowly lower back to the ground and repeat 8 to 15 repetitions. 

Leg Lifts
Sit on a chair and slide forward until your buttocks are near the edge of the seat. Lift both feet together until they are 3 inches off the floor and continue to hold together. Slowly lower legs to the floor and repeat for 8 to 15 repetitions. 

› Osteoporosis Exercises

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