Strength Training and Osteoporosis

Strength training and osteoporosis prevention is a common topic discussed by menopausal women. 

Building bone through strength training

Strength training using weights has many benefits other than just improving strength. When you lift weights, muscles contract and pull on the bone which they are attached. This stimulates bone to build in the area that's being trained. For this reason, it's important to maintain fitness by using exercises that will stimulate your entire skeleton. To help prevent osteoporosis, emphasize the areas of the skeleton that have a higher risk of fracture. 

You must stress the skeleton

From a skeletal point of view, as long as the exercise doesn't involve any sudden or excessive strain on the bones and is compatible with a person's general health, then the more exercise the better. Many experts agree that people should alternate their exercise routine so that the muscles and bone receive a varied workout. 

Throughout your lifetime, it's important your bones go through a process called, bone remodeling. Bone remodeling is a dynamic, lifelong process in which old bone is removed from the skeleton and new bone is added. 

This is why exposing yourself to alternative strength training exercises is so important. Basically, the more you can surprise the bone in the way you load it, the better you can continue to stimulate more bone mineralization and bone strength. 

Fewer repetitions with a higher load

It's generally better to lift heavier weights with fewer repetitions than it is to lift a lighter load with more repetitions. 

A recent study found that a strength program involving heavy amounts of weight significantly increased bone density at the hip and forearm sites, whereas an endurance program that was made up of lighter amounts of weight and high numbers of repetitions had no effect. 

Strength Training and Osteoporosis

Designing a program

Most experts agree that it's best to establish a routine that works all of the different muscle groups at least once during the course of a week. It's also a good idea to add new exercises that will work your body in a slightly different way. 

Many women are afraid that weight training makes you bulky. This shouldn't be a big concern. A woman's body will respond differently to weight training than a man's because of the hormonal differences. The hormone testosterone plays a major role in muscular development. Because women have less testosterone than men, women tend to not "bulk up" with weight training. 

Benefits of strength training

Weight training allows you to be specific about the bones you want to strengthen. Forosteoporosis prevention, you want to add exercises that target your hips, spine, and arms because these are the most frequently fractured sites in osteoporosis. 

Strength training and osteoporosis exercises can be a much more natural alterative than your doctor prescribing drugs for osteoporosis

Many people can be intimidated when first starting out lifting weights. Weight training can be very simple and you don't even need to buy weights. You can use anything that's easy to hold, as long as you can have two of them so you work both arms equally. For example, canned soup can be used as resistance. Milk jugs are examples of objects that can provide heavier resistance.

Strength Training and Osteoporosis Exercises

The exercise you do for strength training and osteoporosis isn't that much different than what the average gym goer would do. The following are osteoporosis exercises that cover all the major muscle groups. 

  • bicep curls with dumbbells

  • triceps kickback

  • overhead press

  • knee extensors

  • hip extensors

  • hip flexors

  • leg lifts

  • squats

  • glute bridge

› Strength Training and Osteoporosis

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