Exercises for 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.

Films not playing?

Please allow all cookies to watch this film.

For exercise to be most effective at keeping bones strong you need to combine weight-bearing exercise with impact and muscle-strengthening exercise.

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, follow the film above or download the accompanying fact sheet, 'Exercises to promote bone and muscle strength'.

Follow these exercises if:

  • you have been diagnosed with osteoporosis
  • you have reduced bone strength
  • you have an increased risk of breaking bones
  • you are looking for exercises to strengthen your bones and muscles.

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

What you'll need

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

When and how

Do these exercises on two or three days a week (with rest days in-between) and work up to doing three sets of the routine each session.

Move slowly into the positions, as far as possible without pain. Do 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

If you are new to exercise or worried about other health problems, speak to your doctor, other healthcare professional, or an exercise instructor.

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

If you need some extra encouragement, read the information in our fact sheet, 'About exercise for osteoporosis and bone health'. This explains the different ways that exercise and physical activity help with bone health and osteoporosis. It can help you think about how the benefits apply to you, and how the different types of exercise can help your bone health.

See our How to exercise safely for your bones film

After exercise

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


Download our fact sheet 

Help our specialist nurses continue to support those in need