Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Osteoporosis & Exercise Rehabilitation

Morgan Walker B.S., ACSM EP-C

Past the age of 40 years, small amounts of bone mineral density (BMD) are lost each year.  Even though the disease affects both genders, the lesser bone mass and accelerated loss of BMD following menopause cause women to be prone to osteoporosis.1 Proper mineral supplementation and/or pharmacotherapy is often the first step physicians take to minimize bone loss in their clients.  Exercise rehabilitation for these clients is also part of the prescription.  

Resistance training that places an overload on the spine stimulates osteoblast activity within bones.  Osteoblasts are the cells responsible for creating bone tissue.  Spinal overload exercises are those where core stabilization is necessary (standing and overhead exercises).  With these in mind, more details on the FITT(frequency, intensity, time, and type) Principle for Osteoporosis are in the table below.

Training Type
5 d/wk
Moderate 11-13 on RPE Scale
Accumulate 30 min/d
2 d/wk
15 reps of 8-10 exercises
1-2 sets or 30-60 minutes
Range of Motion
5-7 d/wk
Stretch to maximal ROM without pain
15-20 minutes

Training not only increases bone mass, it improves muscle strength and flexibility which decreases likelihood of falling.  For these reasons, exercise rehabilitation for people with osteoporosis is the best course of action.  Exercise physiologists must understand which resistance training methods help build BMD while keeping the client safe.


1Ehrman J., Gordon P., Visich P. & Keteyian S. Clinical Exercise Physiology-3rd edition. 2013.


  1. This was a good and informative blog. I think it is important for people to understand that lifting weights isn't just to get big but can be beneficial for healthy lifestyle.

  2. I really enjoyed the information you provided in your blog. Lifting weights contributes to a healthy lifestyle.