Strength Training for Bone Density
Strength training is really important for many physiological reasons, one of the main aspects is improving/retaining our bone density. When people perform load bearing exercises such as weight training, your muscles pull on the attachment point via a tendon which connects to a bone, this stimulates them to become stronger and denser, resulting in a strong and healthy skeletal system.
This becomes increasingly important as we get older as our bone density naturally decreases. By carrying out some form of strength training activity, you can help to prevent common conditions such as osteoporosis, back pain, obesity and generally help maintain healthier bones and posture.
- Exercises such as squats and deadlifts (or other similar compound activities) are great to include within your strength training routine. These exercises target main areas of the body such as your hips, spine and legs which commonly weaker with age. An alternative to this is water-based exercises, which are better for people who suffer with joint issues.
- You want to aim for at least two to three load bearing sessions per week focusing on different muscle groups to ensure you do not overload your joints.
- Gradually overtime you should have some progressive overload. This includes increasing the volume or intensity (repetitions or weight) which will continue to challenge the areas you are working on, thus gaining more strength.
- Remember to always use proper form and technique to minimise the risk of injuring yourself. Picking up an injury and recovering from it could be a lengthy process and may mean you will have to start your conditioning from the beginning. Injury prevention and slow progression is a better option.
- You can always consult with a fitness professional or a doctor if you have specific conditions such as osteoporosis, certain injuries or other complications before embarking on certain type of activities you are not sure about or it is new to you.
- Warming up at the beginning of your session, per-workout and post-workout stretching and mobilising is key when executing load bearing type of training. When you train regularly your muscles can become hypercontracted overtime and tight due to the training stimulus. If we don’t incorporate regular stretches to our warm up and cool down sections we are at an increased risk of injury.
If you would like some ideas on how you can structure a session to help increase your bone density or improve your health and wellness, please contact your fitness team.