So often the fitness world places a focus on muscle strength, fat loss, muscle building, and/or performance.
Although all of these are front and center in the world of fitness on a regular basis, what about bone strength and integrity?
People seem to only ask this question when they unexpectedly get injured in training while practicing a sport or even just training in the gym. By this point, it is too late and they have to rehab the injury and then work to learn from their mistakes to prevent the same thing from happening in the future.
If you’re reading this now, it’s probably because you’re either in the boat above, or you are interested in incorporating the proper proven means to avoid bone fractures.
Well… we’ll save you quite a bit of digging because we’ve looked extensively into this topic and have found studies that link to all sorts of benefits that arise from practically any form of resistance training. From elastic bands to kettlebells, and even to machine exercises. All of which demonstrated favourable results for healthier bones.
With all of this being stated, this is the part where we let the, “Cat out of the bag”, and let you know that we found that strength training demonstrates its superior means of improving bone strength and reducing the risk of fractures. More specifically, heavy lifting that puts a load on the spine (e.g. Squats and deadlifts).
In one case study, two women who were active powerlifters for over 30 years had their bone mineral density scanned and the results were astounding! Both women scored well above the average results for women between the ages of 20 and 29, yet one woman was 48 years old, and the other was 54!
So what does this all mean? What are the take-aways from these studies?
- The earlier we start engaging in heavy lifting, the stronger our bones will become over time.
- Squats, Bench Presses, and Deadlifts (three classics) are integral exercises that allow for heavy lifting loads that are implicated in bone strength improvement.
- Any exercise that loads the spine can have a similar effect on strengthening bone density (such as running, stair climbing, and jump squats)
Before closing off this article, we want to add that elite athletes understand this information and that is why they work with high level strength and conditioning coaches that incorporate proven exercises and methods that increase bone density while allowing for continued improvements in exercise performance. This information is not, however, only beneficial to elite athletes. It should be known accounted for as soon as possible by all people that exercise and want to enjoy longevity in strength, health, and overall wellbeing.