Osteoporosis is certainly not a sentence to a life of agony, sitting, and non-stop doctor appointments. In fact, far from it. However, if ignored, the activities and the simple pleasures in life that require stable movement and slivers of endurance can become a distant memory. 

This all too common condition is simple to address and should be confronted with optimism. There are millions or women who are living proof you can continue living life as they see fit, but you’ve gotta stay fit in order to do that. 

What are good exercises for building bone density? 

Good exercises challenge muscle strength against gravity. This is important because it helps us build stronger bones. 

We’re going to lean on The Bone Estrogen Strength Training study by University of Arizona. This study has long term follow-up data (which we like for strong evidence something works or doesn’t work).  

The following is the exercise program used in the BEST study. The study was supervised by a trainer for all exercise sessions. Each trainer had a degree (B.S. or M.S.) in exercise science and certification by a nationally recognized fitness and strength-training organization. 

  1. Warm up
    • walking
  1. Progressive weight bearing
    • Weighted walking
  1. Resistance exercises with large muscle groups
    • Machines and free weights 
  1. Resistance exercises with small muscle groups
    • Resistance bands or stability ball
  1. Abdominal strengthening
    • Focus on the lower extremities with spine stabilization
  1. Strengthening and balance

My Takeaway

This is a good strength training program in general. Each participant completed 3 supervised workouts a week for a year. This certainly made each participant more strong and flexible.

It is a relatively easy protocol to replicate, especially if you have accountability. 

If you or a loved one have osteoporosis I highly recommend reading the study and implementing the exercises they used into the weekly exercise routine.