KW Chiropractor shares 3 exercises to Combat Osteoporosis


Osteoporosis is a condition that is defined by a decrease in bone mineral density (BMD). Our bones are composed of a number of proteins and have a specific microarchitecture. There are a number of reasons why our BMD may decrease ranging from post-menopausal, age-related, or steroid-induced. The major risk of a decrease in BMD is an increased risk of fracture and a general increase in fragility.

There are several avenues to prevent and treat osteoporosis including diet and weight bearing activities. Our bodies respond to specific strain we put them under as outlined by the SAID principle – Specific Adaptation to Imposed Demands. What this means is that with specific weight bearing activities, we can increase the BMD of our most at-risk areas such as the hips and the spine. When our muscles exert a mechanical force on our bones, our bones subsequently increase in mass and strength to support this force and our growing muscles. Here are 3 weight bearing exercises that target the hips and the spine to prevent or slow the progression of osteoporosis: Squat, shoulder press, and dead lift.

  1. SQUAT
  • Start with your feet shoulder width apart, angled out 30°
  • Knees are tracking in the same direction as your toes
  • Hinge from the hips, keeping the spine neutral, and sit your butt back
  • Return to the standing position by pushing your hips forward, and keeping your spine neutral
  • Maintain an arch in your low back and focus on a spot on the ground 2 feet in front of you to keep your neck neutral
  • If you’re having trouble maintaining your balance, put your arms straight out in front of you
  • For a more detailed description of how to perform a perfect squat, check out my blog post Clean Up Your Squat here:
  • Begin with feet shoulder width apart, knees slightly bent, and low back neutral
  • Brace your core by bearing down through your abdomen, be sure to breathe normally
  • Hold the weights in both hands starting at the height of your collar bones
  • Now push the weights up over your head, while maintaining a slight bend in your elbow – it’s important to never lock your joints at the end range when lifting
  • Slowly lower the weights back down to the height of your collarbone
  1. Dead Lift
  • This exercise is advanced so if you attempt it, please follow these instructions very carefully and perform it with no weights until your form is perfect!
  • Begin with your feet shoulder width apart, spine neutral, and core braced
  • Holding a stick or simply holding your hands out in front of you, hinge at the hips by sticking your buttocks out and back as if you are sitting down – maintain a neutral spine
  • Once the stick passes close to the front of your knees, start to bend your knees
  • It’s important to keep the stick and in the future the weights as close to your body as possible
  • Do not force yourself to get all the way to your toes if you cannot get there with proper form – just go as deep as you can
  • Now return to standing just as you would get up from a squat: push your hips forward and squeeze your buttocks

Dr. Julia Callaghan, BSc (Hons), DC, CSCS,

ART®, Contemporary Medical Acupuncture


  2. Baechle, T., & Earle, R. (2008). Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning. (3rd ed.). USA: NSCA
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