Recommendations on exercise methods for bone strengthening

von Stengel S, Kohl M, Jakob F, Kerschan-Schindl K, Lange U, Peters S, Thomasius F, Uder M, Shojaa M, Kemmler W (2023)

Publication Type: Journal article, Review article

Publication year: 2023


DOI: 10.1055/a-2057-0273


The optimum composition of strain parameters (or loading parameters) is crucial in designing exercise protocols with positive effects on bone strength and associated parameters. Although strain parameters related to bone adaption differ slightly from the common terminology usually applied in sport sciences, their categorization is very similar. Introducing strain parameters, (1) strain magnitude is characterized by the extent of the deformation of the bone caused by loading, while (2) strain rate represents the alteration in strain magnitude per second during the acceleration or deceleration of loading. (3) Training frequency and (4) cycle number indicate the amount of training sessions (usually per week) and the number of loading cycles/repetitions per set/session, while (5) strain duration is characterized by the length of a single loading cycle. (6) Strain frequency represents the number of loading cycles per sec (Hz) and finally (6) strain density characterizes the relationship between loading and rest periods with respect to single loading cycles, sets of cycles, training sessions or training periods (mesocycles). In summary, exercise programs applied with high strain magnitude and rate and a short cycle duration in a dynamic mode at least twice/week showed the highest osteoanabolic potency. The number of repetitions plays a minor role, at least when high exercise intensity (high strain magnitude-/rate) was applied. However, there is some evidence that stimuli around or (slightly) below bone mechanical threshold can be raised to a supra-threshold level by increasing the number of repetitions. The same might also be the case for strain frequency in the spectrum of voluntary movements (<5 Hz). The relevance of strain density is closely related to the "desensitization phenomena" of bone after repeated intense loading. Applying regular resensitization periods without relevant mechanical loading between phases of intense bone specific exercise enables other important training aims to be addressed with high emphasis during the corresponding periods.

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von Stengel, S., Kohl, M., Jakob, F., Kerschan-Schindl, K., Lange, U., Peters, S.,... Kemmler, W. (2023). Recommendations on exercise methods for bone strengthening. Osteologie.


von Stengel, Simon, et al. "Recommendations on exercise methods for bone strengthening." Osteologie (2023).

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