Can resistance training increase my bone density?

Yes - Research shows that weight-bearing exercises increase bone density and improve bone health, reducing the risk of bone injuries (including stress fractures.) Any exercise that places a force on the bone stimulates the bone-building process and strengthens the bone.

Benefits can be achieved in 10-20 minutes of weight-bearing exercise, 2-3 days per week.

Recommended types of exercises to increase bone density and prevent bone loss are:

  • Weight training
  • Plyometric exercises
  • Body weight exercises
  • Running
  • Walking

(Swimming and bicycling are not weight-bearing exercises, therefore not listed as exercises that increases bone density.)

Although evidence shows that exercise may help build and maintain bone density at any age, it is important to start this process early in life. It is also important to get adequate amounts of vitamin D and calcium in your diet.

Yes, resistance training can help increase bone density. When our muscles pull on the bones they attach to during  resistance training it actually causing stress to the bones.  As a result, the body responds to this stress by making our bones thicker and more dense along the lines where our muscles attach.  Because the increased density is specific to where the bones experience stress, it is important to incorporate different exercises into your resistance training routine, as each one will stress your muscles and as a result, your bones differently.

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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.