Holly Perkins, a Los Angeles-based personal trainer agrees, stressing the importance of mixing in some higher-impact exercises
for the health of your bones. “Most of my clients still believe impact is bad, but that’s just not true,” says Perkins. “However, if you don’t want to run or have an injury
that prevents you from playing tennis or jumping rope, there are plenty of other options,” she says.
Here are the 5 best exercises you can do for the health of your bones, plus alternatives that might work better based on your age, injuries, or other factors.
“The dead lift incorporates nearly every muscle in your entire body, making it good for fitness and strength overall, and also a great stimulus for testosterone production, which is good for bone health,” says Perkins. Start with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold a barbell with your hands placed wider than your knees. Stand with a long, tall spine (which automatically makes you engage your core), then bend your knees, reach your hips back, and slowly lower the barbell down to your mid shins, keeping it close to your legs as you do. Pause here, then focus your energy into your heels and pull yourself upward. Start with 3 sets of 12 reps, and use a heavy enough weight that the last two reps of each set are very challenging.
Yoga… or simply practicing Warrior 2
The ancient practice of yoga has been linked to many health benefits, and bone health is certainly one of them. One small-yet-groundbreaking study found that yoga increased bone density in practitioners’ spine and hips; another bigger, more recent study produced similar findings. While making it to your favorite yoga class two or three times a week is ideal, Perkins says you can also simply incorporate Warrior 2 into your exercise routine. (Looking for more ways to live a happy, healthy life?
To do Warrior 2 Pose, stand with your feet about four feet apart with your right toes facing the wall in front of you and your left foot turned to about a 45-degree angle away from the back wall. Bend your right knee deeply, so your right thigh is parallel to the ground; as you do this, keep your back leg and glutes firm. Raise your arms up so they’re parallel to the ground and turn your head to gaze over your right fingertips. Stay here for 30 seconds to 1 minute, then switch sides. “In this pose, you’re dropping into such a low position in your front leg that your pelvis, legs, and core are getting a big workout,” says Perkins. “When done properly, Warrior 2 is an intense strength- and bone-building exercise.”