Advertisement

How much weight do I need to lift to build bone density?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Performing strength training (or resistance training) is a great way to increase your bone density-but you need to use enough weight so that your bones get the message.

How much is enough?

Make the weight heavy enough so that you can perform a maximum of 8 to 12 repetitions of the movement. For reasons we don't yet fully understand, this amount of resistance training-called "at threshold," in which your muscles fatigue to the point of failure at 8 to 12 repetitions-puts your bones under the stress they need in order to re-grow, maintain, and build their density.

A little goes a long way, too. Just 30 minutes of weight-bearing exercise a week is all you need to maintain and build your bone density-and impart a RealAge effect of making you nearly two years younger. And you needn't do it all at once; you can split the 30 minutes into three 10 minute sessions to gain the maximum benefit. You'll be reaping the benefits exponentially.
YOU: The Owner's Manual, Updated and Expanded Edition: An Insider's Guide to the Body that Will Make You Healthier and Younger

More About this Book

YOU: The Owner's Manual, Updated and Expanded Edition: An Insider's Guide to the Body that Will Make You Healthier and Younger

Between your full-length mirror and high-school biology class, you probably think you know a lot about the human body. While it's true that we live in an age when we're as obsessed with our bodies as...

Continue Learning about Exercise & Bone Strength

How does exercise affect bone health in men?
Int'l Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA)Int'l Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA)
According to the International Osteoporosis Foundation, one in five men over 50 years old will exper...
More Answers
Do I have to do a certain type of exercise to stop bone loss?
Howard S. SmithHoward S. Smith
Exercise does not have to be excessive or strenuous to stop or reverse bone loss. Two studies in...
More Answers
How can cycling contribute to lower bone density?
Dole Nutrition InstituteDole Nutrition Institute
For all its benefits, cycling as your sole exercise may leave your bones vulnerable to osteopenia, a...
More Answers
Which exercises help increase bone mass?
National Academy of Sports MedicineNational Academy of Sports Medicine
Weight bearing exercises are extremely important to help you maintain bone mass. A sedentary lifesty...
More Answers

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.