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Want to provide guidance to kids in need? Women and Weight Training for Osteoporosis Strength training can help prevent bone loss. This article is from the WebMD Feature Archive WebMD archives content after 2 years to ensure our readers can easily find the most timely content. To find the most current information, please enter your topic of interest into our search box. Studies show that strength training over a period of time can help prevent bone loss — and may even help build new bone. Beatrice Edwards, MD, MPH, associate professor of medicine and director of the Bone Health and Osteoporosis Center at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. That explains why we feel weak and tired as we age, and we can prevent some of that with weight training.
Getting Started on Weight Training for Osteoporosis How should you start weight training for osteoporosis? Focus on the back and the hip, says Don Lein, MS, PT, a physical therapist at the University of Alabama-Birmingham’s Spain Rehabilitation Center and its Osteoporosis Prevention and Treatment Clinic. Good exercises include hip extension, hip abduction and adduction, and hip flexion — anything that works around the hip,” he says. Sit on a bench or chair with 5-pound weights strapped to each ankle. Then “march” in place, lifting the knees alternately. You’re working the hip flexor muscles, which are attached to both the back and hip, which leads to improved bone and muscle mass in both areas,” explains Lein.
Work under the supervision of a qualified, certified personal trainer, especially at first and particularly if you have any medical issues. Do one exercise for each major muscle group, for a total of eight to 12 different exercises. Do one or two sets of eight to 10 repetitions for each exercise. This decreases the likelihood of injury while helping to recruit the muscle better. Don’t use other muscles to compensate.
You should only be moving the muscle you’re supposed to be moving! Tighten abdominal muscles to help protect your spine. Periodically consult with a trainer about increasing the amount of weight you lift as you become stronger. You may have to find one, like Lein, at a medical center with an osteoporosis program. If you have osteoporosis in your spine, don’t lift more than 20 to 25 pounds with your arms or against your trunk, and avoid movements that have you twisting your trunk or bending forward extensively. Bending back is fine, says Lein.