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Build Better Bones

Principles of exercise for bone health

Bone is changeable tissue that responds to variables in mechanical loads by altering its mass, structure and/or strength. Today's blog will explore some of the key principles behind exercise for bone health.

Principle of Specificity: The way bones change in relation to loading is site-specific and not systemic in nature. In other words, when your physiotherapist prescribes exercises, they must include targeted activities that are known to directly or indirectly load the bones giving trouble. The most common sites of fractures are the hips, the spine and the wrists.

Principle of Progressive Overload: The load put on bone, either directly or indirectly, must push a little bit further than what we are used to during everyday activities. Bone is adaptable. If you lift at the same weight session after session, you will be unlikely to see any improvements. If you lift a little bit heavier each time, you will notice changes in lifting capacity and muscle definition. The same happens with bones, if you don’t progressively overload them - nothing will change!

Principle of Reversibility: any positive bone adaptations resulting from exercise training will be progressively lost once the exercise is stopped.The findings from a 16-year non-randomized study involving a “multimodal exercise program in early postmenopausal women with osteopenia found that at least two sessions per week was the minimum effective dose to positively influence bone over the long-term”.

So… Now you know the importance of exercise for healthy bones, but what can you do? Take a look at our suggestions below of exercises for bone health!

Exercises for bone health:

It is recommended to have a mix between weight-bearing and resistance based exercises for best bone health.

Weight-bearing exercises

● Walking

● Hiking

● Jogging

● Climbing stairs

● Playing tennis

● Dancing.

Resistance based exercises:

● Lunges

● Deadlifts

● Squats

● Rows

● Flys

● Overhead pres

Exercises for bone health

If you have a bone density deficiency or want to prevent it, check in with a member of our team here at Physio K to see how you put the steps in place to lead a stronger, healthier and happier life!


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