Mend Physical Therapy Blog and Injury Information

Improving Osteoporosis With Exercise

November 16, 2023

In our Boulder Physical Therapy and Lafayette Physical Therapy clinics we commonly receive questions on the benefits of exercise on bone density. High intensity resistance training and impact training have been shown to improve indices of bone strength in postmenopausal women with low bone mineral density (Watson et al. 2018). High intensity resistance training and impact training were commonly thought to be risky activities for those with low bone mineral density. However, when performed under supervision of a physical therapist, there were no bone injuries reported during an 8-month intervention program (Watson et al. 2018). Other studies have also found that resistance training can be effective at reducing bone loss (Gregson et al. 2023) and that high intensity training is more effective at regaining bone mineral density than low or moderate intensity (Daly et al. 2019; Zamoscinska et al. 2020; Koshy et al. 2022).

Have questions about how to work at high intensity exercise safely? Schedule an M-powered personal training session with one of our Doctors of Physical Therapy


Watson SL, Weeks BK, Weis LJ, Harding AT, Horan SA, Beck BR. High-intensity resistance and impact training improves bone mineral density and physical function in postmenopausal women with osteopenia and osteoporosis: the LIFTMOR randomized controlled trial. Journal of Bone and Mineral Research. 2018; 33(2): 211-220.

Daly RM, Dalla Via J, Duckham RL, Fraser SF, Helge EW. Exercise for the prevention of osteoporosis in postmenopausal women: an evidence-based guide to the optimal prescription. Brazilian Journal of Physical Therapy. 2019;23(2): 170-180.

Zamoscinska M, Faber IR, Busch D. Do older adults with reduced bone mineral density benefit from strength training? A critically appraised topic. Journal of Sport Rehabilitation. 2020;29: 833-840.

Koshy FS, George K, Poudel P, Chalasani R, Goonathilake MR, Waqar S. George S, Jean-Baptiste W, Ali AY, Inyang B, Mohammed L. Exercise prescription and the minimum dose for bone remodeling needed to prevent osteoporosis in postmenopausal women: a systematic review. Cureus. 2022;14(6): e25993. DOI 10.7759/cureus.25993