Bone-Building Exercises


By: , – Margit Feury Ragland, Family Circle
  :  16 comments   :  11,347 Views

Think popping a calcium supplement is all you need to ward of osteoporosis? Think again. Check out what exercises you should add to your routine to help build better bones.

In Your 30s: Must-Do Moves

For fitness, the more "good" stress you put on your skeleton, the stronger it becomes. Try these moves from Ellen Barrett, a personal trainer and member of the Family Circle Health Advisory Board, with the heaviest weights you can manage.

Canoe Move: Strengthens your entire lower body

Starting position: Stand upright with feet together, holding one 5- to 8-pound weight in each hand at your left hip. 

Canoe Move Action
Laterally jump to the left, "canoe-ing" the weights to the right hip. Repeat 20 times, alternating side to side.

Click here for more exercises from Family Circle

Related Stories from Family Circle:
What exercises do you do to improve the health of your bones?
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  • 16
    Anything weight bearing. My mom grew up on a dairy farm and definitely consumes her calcium and she has osteopenia, so I have to be careful. - 1/14/2013   7:36:06 PM
  • 15
    Walk and strength training at least 2x per week using free weights at home - 10/19/2011   12:15:37 AM
  • 14
    tried this. didn't work. hit myself with the weight and now am nursing a very sore hip and rather large bruise - 10/13/2011   11:14:27 PM
  • 13
    Thanks for sharing this article
    I'll be able to cope with the over-50s, and most of the over-40s. I could give some of the in-your-30s a go, just modified somewhat! - 10/12/2011   5:34:56 PM
  • 12
    oh and Im glad that someone finally spoke up and wrote an article about the BENEFITS of adding a little jumping to your routine. Turbo Fire has alot of jumping, in the begining my joints hurt too bad and there was no way so I had to modify everything and only barely pretended to jump, but now [50 lbs lighter/later] I'm jumping over 50 % of the workout and my joints are stronger than ever! I'm learning that everything I THOUGHT I knew was either WRONG or fueled by FEAR. I'm glad I was brave and didnt hold back. Its just like how they USED to say lay around in bed if your back hurts, but now they say- UM NO! Try to move--- well now they realize the same is true with jumping dont they? lol I'm living proof! - 10/12/2011   10:58:01 AM
  • 11
    Ty for posting this! I am now more confident than ever in the Turbo Fire work outs that I already do! I know that I'm ALREADY doing all these wonderful things for my bone health, including the supplement advice and diet choices! Thanx again! - 10/12/2011   10:52:17 AM
  • 10
    My doctor has told me repeatedly that walking is the best exercise to fight Osteoporosis, perhaps that because of my other health issues and the fact that walking is difficult for me, i can't imagine jumping. maybe next year. - 10/12/2011   9:54:21 AM
  • 9
    I agree with Sunnyarizona...this exercise won't work for me. - 10/11/2011   9:11:08 PM
  • 8
    . - 10/11/2011   12:48:52 PM
  • 7
    It's only a 5-8 pound weight, I can't see that inviting injury. I jumped around with 35 pounds of added weight (my own excess body weight) when I began SparkPeople (and Zumba class) and never had an injury.

    And it's not a core move, it's for the lower body. - 10/11/2011   12:47:00 PM
  • 6
    I strength train twice a week. - 10/11/2011   12:01:16 PM
    I walk quite a bit. Walking is a great bone building exercise. I also strength train regularly.

    Also, I don't know about that canoeing maneuver. We regularly tell people to NOT walk or run with hand weights or ankle weights. So, why are we jumping with them ? Won't that cause stress to our joints ? I can see the benefits of lateral jumping. However, I'd ditch the hand weights while doing the move. That really does set a person up for an injury.

    There are better moves to strengthen the core that don't involve jumping with weights. - 10/11/2011   9:52:15 AM
  • 4
    That is a move specific to someone in their 30s. If you are interested in the other moves for other age groups, click on the link in the blog that says "Click here for more exercises from Family Circle" - 10/11/2011   9:31:59 AM
  • 3
    I'm with you. Jumping might work if I were 20 years younger and 50 lbs lighter. My bones cringe at the thought of being jarred like that. much less the effort of just getting off the ground! However, I do a spine twist/stretch that I think is great for my back. I stand feet apart, weight in each hand and gently twist torso from side to side, letting the momentum of the weights help me stretch. - 10/11/2011   8:58:44 AM
  • 2
    I like any help I can get to strengthen my bones. But this jumping side to side could not be it for me, in that I have a bladder problem! What other suggestions do you have.? I have been fighting Osteopenia for over 11 years. At least I have only been told I have osteoporosis in my spine...and that was a shock. Any help is appreciated! - 10/11/2011   7:59:10 AM

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