Exercises to promote bone and muscle strength

Bones stay strong if you give them work to do. Keeping physically active and doing exercise will help you maintain bone density and strength as you age.

For exercise to be most effective at keeping bones strong you need to combine weight-bearing exercise with impact and muscle strengthening exercise. Find out more about exercise that helps keep bones strong.

If you are able to do more intense impact and muscle strengthening exercise based on the ones in this routine, research studies show you may improve bone density and this could potentially reduce your risk of broken bones.

To practise these exercises, you can follow the video above, or download the accompanying fact sheet.

Follow these exercises if:

  • you have had a diagnosis of osteoporosis
  • you have reduced bone strength
  • you have an increased fracture risk
  • you are looking for exercises to strengthen your bones and muscles

They focus on bone and muscle strength in the spine, wrists and hips and are safe to do with osteoporosis.

What you need:

Some hand weights or resistance bands, a chair and an exercise mat if you can get down to the floor to carry out the moves.

When and how:

Do these exercises on two or three days a week (non-consecutive) and work up to carrying out three sets of the routine.

Slowly move into the desired positions, as far as possible without pain. Carry out each exercise for the recommended number of times, using the correct technique.

You can adapt these exercises based on your level of wellness and fitness - and choose the modifications if they are better for you. Relax between each move and take your time.

Don’t forget to breathe!

Before you start

For an introduction to the different ways that exercise and physical activity help with bone health and osteoporosis, read the About exercise fact sheet. It can help you think about how the benefits apply to you, and whether you should prioritise any single type of exercise.

Warm up properly before exercising to get your joints and muscles ready and to prevent injury.

If you are new to exercise and at all concerned about other health issues speak to your doctor, a healthcare professional or an exercise instructor.

After exercise

Do some further cool down moves to increase your flexibility and return your breathing and heart rate back to resting levels.