Bending forward with osteoporosis (flexion)

Bending forward is generally safe and won’t cause a spinal fracture but you may ‘over-flex’ your spine if you push yourself to the limits. This is especially true with uncontrolled, repetitive or sudden movements or if you are putting some load or strain on your spine in a curved position. This could put uneven pressure on the front parts of your spine which may increase the risk of a spinal fracture.

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

These adaptations could be for you if:

  • you have been diagnosed with osteoporosis
  • you are at an increased risk of fracture and want to ensure that movements involving forward bending are safe, and won’t cause a spinal fracture
  • you are looking to find out if you need to modify or avoid some moves because you have had spinal fractures or broken other bones easily in the past

Bones lose strength as we get older so if you are over 50 these adaptations are worth considering.

Regardless of whether you have had any previous fractures, you’ll find these recommendations useful to reduce your chance of injury and pain in the future.

When and how:

For movements that carry that risk, there are adaptations which are safer and will achieve the same results.

Follow these instructions to help you adapt your technique. When doing any exercise remember to take it easy, move in a smooth and controlled way - especially between moves - and work within your comfort range.

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.