Study compares interventions for increasing bone density:  jumping versus strength training


A study concluded that impact loading (jumping) was safe intervention to help middle-aged and elderly men maintain their bone  density. However, compliance - getting the subjects to jump regularly - posed a problem.  In the study 42 men aged 50 to 74 were assigned to three different groups. One group lifted weights for the upper body. The second group also lifted weights and did a high dose of impact loading jumping 80 times.  The third group lifted weights and jumped 40 times.

Result1: “This study indicates that while impact-loading exercise can be safely undertaken in middle-aged and older men, the current combined program did not elicit significant improvements in bone mineral density”.

It is interesting to note that the high-dose jumpers had a 53% compliance rate; the moderate-dose jumpers had a 65% compliance rate.  74-year-olds aren’t given to repetitive jumping for good reason.  The more often you jump the risk of injury goes up.  This is especially true as we age, as our bodies are not as resilient.

There are safer options to effectively stimulate improvement of lower-body bone mineral density besides jumping.  Strength training both the upper and lower body is a safer alternative to potentially dangerous lower-body impact loading. At our Austin TX Personal Trainers and New Orleans Personal Trainers locations to increase strength we use MedX rehabilitation exercise equipment and a protocol that is gentler on the joints.  The body adapts to the demands placed on it.  Stronger muscles generating more force will require stronger connective tissue and bones.  One of our clients increased her bone density one standard deviation following our program.