Last Updated on November 4, 2021 by Andrew Blakey
Weight Bearing Exercises Explained
Before we dive in and start talking about what specific exercise to do in order to strengthen bones, let’s first break down what are weight bearing exercises?
Weight bearing exercises are exactly what they sound like. Exercises that involve us to move and bear our body with our weight.. In one article in particular, they define weight bearing exercises as exercises that are on our feet while fighting gravity.
High Vs Low Impact Weight Bearing Exercises
Typically these weight bearing exercises can be separated into high vs low impact exercises.
High impact exercises are movements that cause a higher impact or force to our muscles, bones and joints.
These would include things such as:
- Jump Squats
Low impact exercises are movements that are generally safer for older adults and are great movements to start with when beginning training for an older adult or someone who is untrained.
Using low impact exercises are a great start for strengthening bones through weight bearing exercises.
These exercises include things such as:
- Going up and down stairs
How Can we Strengthen our Bones?
Believe it not when we do strenuous or weight bearing exercise, our bodies are able to promote the strengthening of bones within our bodies.
We call this repair and strengthening of bones “osteogenesis” made of the latin words osteo – bone, and genesis – create.
Now it’s important to note that although walking is a form of weight bearing exercise, it typically doesn’t provide the impact or force needed to promote the process of Osteogenesis.
When we do these weight bearing exercises we’re able to not only minimize the natural weakening of our bones due to age, but we can also help to regain some of this lost strength and bone density.
Who is most at risk for bone loss?
Although everyone goes through some form of bone weakening / bone loss, due to aging; typically post menopausal women over the age of 50 are most at risk.
This means that those belonging to that demographic should be paying extra attention to maintaining strong bones through exercise, proper nutrition, and a continued consistency to their routine.
Keep in mind that anyone over the age of 50 is much more likely to suffer from bone loss, not just women.
3 Exercises To Add To Your Routine
Below are three great exercises that you can start performing at home in order to promote the positive adaptations associated with weight bearing exercises.
Keep in mind that if you’re new to exercise or are older in age, take special precaution and I highly recommend working with a trainer or coach to ensure that you’re doing exercise properly, and to an intensity that is right for you.
Some Sort of Knee Dominant Exercise
Knee dominant exercises are typically movements that involve the working of muscles surrounding the knee joint. Think things such as chair squats, lunges, split squats, etc.
Start with using your body weight before increasing the intensity and impact to something like a jump squat or skipping.
You can even try stair climbing, and if bone strength isn’t enough of a reason to start taking the stairs – read these other 5 ways that taking the stairs can help benefit your health.
High knees are a great exercise that will give your body a higher impact to your body without doing jumping.
It’s a great medium between walking and jumping which will allow you to get the benefits of weight bearing exercise without aggravating any existing issues.
Skipping rope is not only a fantastic way to burn calories, it’s also a high impact weight bearing activity that can help promote strong bones, balance, and coordination.
Skipping rope is a fairly advanced exercise and is something you should ease into regardless of physical fitness level.
Again, gauge your fitness level and if skipping is something that may be a bit out of reach for you right now – try doing high knees, or wall sprints to help you get similar benefits with lower impact to your body.
Want To Know More About Utilizing Exercise During The Aging Process?
While many of us use exercise as a way to get bigger biceps, or lift more weight – many of us out there are simply looking to maintain our independence and live a healthier life.
If you’re someone looking to implement some better habits and use weight training as a way to move better, feel stronger, and live a more carefree life – reach out to us and see what we can do to help you during this process!