Building Bones

The National Osteoporosis Foundation Recommendations:

  • Eat a Well-Balanced Diet Rich in Calcium and Vitamin D
  • Engage in Regular Exercise Including Walking 3-5x/wk for 40 minutes
  • Avoid Smoking and Limit Alcohol to 2-3 Drinks per day

Safety Guidelines….it all depends on you!

  • Bone Mineral Density Scan to Help Determine Appropriate Level of Impact
  • Strengthen Muscles Particularly in Fracture Prone Areas: Wrists, Spine, Hips (Cleveland Clinic)
  • Use Impact to Tolerated Level: Continuum: Elliptical->Hiking->Aerobics Classes
  • Allow Body Healing Time: Avoid Repetitive Motions and Do Cross Training
  • Avoid Full Range of Motion: Results in Bone Compression

Avoid Fragility Fractures if you have Osteoporosis

  1. Jarring Activities that Compress the Spine: Running, Jumping
  2. Full Range of Motion Resulting in Bone Compression
  3. Forceful Spinal Flexion and Twisting: Sit Ups, Russian Twists, Yoga Lumbar Rolls, Standing Forward Fold
  4. High Risk Sports: Skydiving, Ziplining, Golf, Skiing
  5. Avoid Lifting Over 20 pounds; Use Safe Techniques

Sample Exercises               

Safe Lifting Practice with Dowel:

                Keep Object Close

                Hinge at Knee and Hips

                3 Points of Dowel Contact

Hip and Spine:

                Treadmill or Elliptical Walking & 4 Stomps 2x/Day Hard Enough to Crush Can (Cleveland Clinic)

                 Single Leg Balance and Reach, Sit to Stand (Squats)

Spinal Strength:

                Superman Progression


Wrist and Forearm:

                Lateral Wrist Exercise

                Dumb Bell Wrist Curls with Supported Forearm

                Ball Grip


Don’t forget to practice balance!  Did you know that:

  • Falls are the leading cause of fatal injury and the most common cause of nonfatal trauma-related hospital admissions among older adults. Falls result in more than 2.8 million injuries treated in emergency departments annually, including over 800,000 hospitalizations and more than 27,000 deaths. (U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
  • Even in athletes, flawed movement patterns and poor balance frequently cause painful joint injury such as foot and ankle problems, ACL knee injury and lower back pain.
  • Lets’ get started! Guidelines for fall prevention state that to be successful, at least 12 weeks (one to three times per week) of prolonged exercise is required. (American Geriatrics Society and British Geriatric Society 2011)

Balance is maintained using three systems in the body.  Discover which system is strongest for you?

  1. Sensory System: Stand in Tightrope Stance and Feel your Feet Working
  2. Ocular System: Stand in Tightrope Stance and Try Closing your Eyes.  Oh boy!
  3. Vestibular System (Inner Ear): Stand in Tightrope Stance when you have a bad cold.  Tricky!


Tight Rope Stance Holding Wall                                               Progressions: no wall hold or close eyes

Single Leg Balance and Reach Holding Wall                           Progressions: no wall hold or stand on Bosu

Calf Raise Holding Wall                                                            Progressions: no wall hold or try single leg

Mat Bird Dog Legs Only                                                            Progressions: arms only or opposite leg – arm  

Core Side Plank Knees Down                                                   Progressions: knees up or look up at top arm

Stability Ball March Holding Ball                                               Progressions: gradually take away hands


Look good and feel great! Did you know that:

The American Heart Association recommends a well-rounded strength training program at least twice per week.
Benefits include:

  • Increased strength of bones, muscles and connective tissues (tendons and ligaments);
  • Lower risk of injury;
  • Increased muscle mass, which makes it easier for your body to burn calories and thus maintain a healthy weight;
  • Better quality of life.

Strength Training Variables.  Come for Training to develop your plan:

  1. Sets
  2. Equipment Choice
  3. Weight (Resistance)
  4. Repetitions
  5. Planes of Motion
  6. Medical Considerations
  7. Working Major Muscles

Exercise Sample

Plank 2   30 Sec
Bird Dog 2 12  
Bridge March 2 12  
Elastic Band Triceps Push Backs 2 12  
Bicep Dumbbell Hammer Curl 2 12 10
Single Arm Dumbbell Row 2 12 12.5
Bench Body Weight Squats 2 2  
Tube Walking 2 12  
Bosu or Bench Step Ups 2 12  


Improve your range of motion and reduce risk of injury!  According to the Mayo Clinic:

  • Stretching is not a warmup
  • Strive for symmetry in the major muscle groups
  • Hold the stretch for 30-60 seconds
  • Don’t aim for pain
  • Stretch 2-3 times per week
  • Dynamic warm-ups for specific activities

Types of Training

  1. Self-Myofascial Release: Great for correcting muscle imbalances specific to each person
  2. Active Stretching during warm up before exercise
  3. Static Stretching at end of exercise to lengthen muscles


Self-Myofascial Release

                Foam Rolling Techniques for the legs and back

                Thera Cane and Yoga Balls

Active Stretching Warm-Up

                Ankle Circles, High Knee Hug, Frankenstein Walk

                Shoulder Shrugs, Arm Circles

                Full Body 6 Pack: Squat Swings, Chop Wood, Shovel Snow

Static Stretching

                Mat: Band Hamstring Stretch, Figure 4, Windshield Wiper Twist

                Sitting: Shoulder Hug, Twist, Side Stretch

                Standing: Lunge, Calf Stretch, Chest Opener

Exercising with Knee Damage

Exercising with Knee Damage

Working out on your own when you have damaged knees can be difficult!

This post is intended to be a supplement for my clients who are focused on minimizing knee pain and building knee strength. It is not designed to replace the advice of a physician or physical therapist. Individualized instructions they may provide which will focus on your specific knee problem(s).

Elements of the routine include Stretching, Strengthening and Cardiovascular exercise.

Before any of these exercises do a warmup such as walking, rowing or riding a stationary bike at a low to moderate level for 5-10 minutes. At the end of your workout be sure to cool down and stretch again. The overall goals of both stretching and strengthening are to increase flexibility, range of motion and muscle strength in the muscles around the knee including the: Quadriceps, Hamstrings, Adductors, Gluteus Medius and Gluteus Maximus (Knee Conditioning Program, n.d.). In the Cardiovascular section, the reader will find low impact suggestions for a healthy heart and overall fitness.

No doubt if you are training with me you will recognize the names of most of these exercises. Contact me at any time for a refresher or to add new exercises to your routine!


Allow 5 to 10 minutes every day. Consider starting your day with these stretches so they become part of your normal routine. During days when you add strength and cardiovascular training, do these simple exercises again after your warm up and before your other exercises.

Suggestions from the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (Knee Conditioning Program, n.d.)

  • Heel Cord Stretch
  • Standing Quadriceps Stretch
  • Supine Hamstring Stretch

Suggestions based on Yoga poses that stretch the backs of the legs:

  • Reclining Hip Stretch: Supta Panagushtasana III
  • Staff Pose: Dandasana
  • Downward Dog: Adho Mukha Svanasana


Allow 10 – 15 minutes three to five times per week.

Suggestions from the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (Knee Conditioning Program, n.d.):

  • Half Squats
  • Hamstring Curls
  • Calf Raises
  • Leg Extensions
  • Straight Leg Raises
  • Straight-Leg Raises (Prone)
  • Hip Abduction
  • Hip Adduction
  • Leg Presses

Suggestions based on Yoga poses that strengthen the legs:

  • Triangle Pose: Trikonasana
  • Extended Side Angle: Utthita Parsvakonasana
  • All Warrior Poses: Virabhadrasana 1-3


Depending on your overall fitness level and knee strength, you may want to begin in a low-impact controlled environment such as your gym. Start with 15-30 minutes three to five times per week and increase or decrease your time in order to minimize knee pain (Mich, 2014). Also, you can consider breaking up your cardiovascular routine into 10 minute increments (Jampolis, 2009). You can start small while you build up your muscles! Additionally, don’t forget that simple activities like gardening, walking the dog, and cleaning may be appropriate starting places (Jampolis, 2009).

Consider the following activities:

  • Swimming
  • Exercise Ball Routines
  • Cycling


Exercise for stronger knees and hips. (n.d.). Retrieved from Harvard Health Publications-Harvard Medical School:
Jampolis, D. M. (2009). CNN Health. Retrieved from CNN Health:
Knee Conditioning Program. (n.d.). Retrieved from American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons:
Mich, H. (2014). Best Exercises for Swollen Knee Soft Tissue. Retrieved from Livestrong:

Additional Resources

Lori Barker