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Putting the "oomph" into bone health

Osteoporosis, a condition characterized by low bone density and increased risk of fractures, affects millions of people worldwide. While medications and dietary adjustments play a role in managing osteoporosis, exercise is a potent way to increase bone strength and density. Many people are told to perform weight bearing exercise to increase bone health, but recently there has been substantial evidence that highlights the importance of performing high intensity resistance training (HiRT) and impact loading exercise which has a greater effect at increasing bone mineral density in people with low bone density (1). In this article, we will demonstrate the techniques we use to safety perform impact loading exercise into the bone density programs we use.

1. Stomping Bridge

- Come to the to of a bridge and waiting the hips in the air throughout the exercise.

- Lift one leg up like you are performing a marching action

- Stomp the leg down onto the ground with a flat foot. Repeat on the otherside.

2. The Boogie Man

- Start by standing tall and feet under the hips.

- Quickly drop into a 1/2 squat and stomp your feet on the ground to catch yourself from squatting any deeper.

- Return to the top and repeat

3. Stomping stand up

- Start by sitting on a chair to bench which is not too low. You can hold some dumbbells on the shoulders for extra intensity if needed.

- Lean back slightly to initiate the movement, then rock forward, stomp your feet down as you stand up tall.

- Sit down and repeat

4. Hip Drops

- Come to a side plank position on your knees.

- Start by lifting your hips and pelvis up off the ground and then letting it drop onto the ground with a thud

These exercises are specifically designed to introduce significant impact landing to our skeletal system in a safe manner. They can be performed by most levels of ability and can be incorporated into a holistic management plan for managing one's bone density.

Before adopting a new exercise regime, especially if you are unfamiliar, it is recommended that you consult with an exercise physiologist to determine what is right for you and your circumstance.

1. Watson SL, Weeks BK, Weis LJ, Harding AT, Horan SA, Beck BR. High-Intensity Resistance and Impact Training Improves Bone Mineral Density and Physical Function in Postmenopausal Women With Osteopenia and Osteoporosis: The LIFTMOR Randomized Controlled Trial. J Bone Miner Res. 2018 Feb;33(2):211-220. doi: 10.1002/jbmr.3284. Epub 2017 Oct 4. Erratum in: J Bone Miner Res. 2019 Mar;34(3):572. PMID: 28975661.


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