Many gym osteoporosis exercises are excellent for building bone strength, improving balance and strengthening muscle. A well designed gym exercise program incorporates weight bearing exercises and strength training for osteoporosis. However, certain exercises, when done improperly, can increase your risk of fracture.
Eight Exercises for Osteoporosis
- Lat Pull Down: I demonstrate both the wide grip and reverse narrow grip lat pull down. These are excellent weight training exercises. A couple of points: First, with the lat pull down you need to pay attention to the bench height. Many times the bench height has been set higher for men and you will need to make the appropriate adjustments. Second, avoid drawing the bar down behind your neck. This is bad and can cause stress on the neck and the shoulders and can increase the amount of flexion in the back.
- Preacher Curl and Standing Biceps Curl: The Preacher Curl puts the spine into a compromised position and can increase flexion. This curl should be avoided. Instead I recommend the Standing Biceps Curl. The biceps curl is a great weight training exercise.
- Rowing Machine: The Rowing machine is a great cardiovascular weight bearing exercise. I demonstrate how to set up and execute the row.
- Leg Press: A nice alternative to the squat and a great weight training exercise. You need to pay special attention to the seat arrangement to make sure you are not leaning forward and make sure you maintain good alignment and posture throughout the exercise.
- Tricep Cable Pull Down: This is an excellent weight training exercise and a great alternative to tricep extensions on the floor or on the ball. Pay attention to your alignment, isolate the triceps and try to avoid overloading the weight.
- Elliptical Trainer: The elliptical trainer provides a great cardiovascular exercise workout and is an excellent weight bearing exercise. Make sure you avoid leaning forward as you hold the upright bars. Keep your posture perfect.
- Chest Press: The chest press is an alternative to the push up and a weight bearing exercise. However, it can compromise your posture. There are a few modifications you need to be aware of: keep your alignment, do not let your elbows come back past your shoulders and push forward with your arms and chest – not your abdominals.
- Free Weights: Free weights are a weight bearing exercise. However, you must handle the free weights with proper body mechanics. In the video I demonstrate some important tips on handling free weights.
If you follow these guidelines you will improve your bone health (and overall health) while practicing safe exercise habits. For a more comprehensive osteoporosis exercise program, I encourage you to consult the MelioGuide Exercise for Better Bones program. Good luck with the gym exercises for osteoporosis!