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Exercising for Bone Density

Posted By Lindsay Backiev, PT, DPT

Body

Weight-bearing activities are the best ways to increase healthy stress on the bones. Over time, the body responds to these forces by building more bone to become denser, and therefore, stronger. This effect is called Wolff's Law. While aerobic exercise is vital to a dancer's health and physical performance, resistance training is the best option for improving bone density. This is of particular importance for those assigned female gender at birth; bone density is at its highest when one is in their late 20s, then rapidly decreases with the onset of menopause. Vitamin D and calcium are commonly known for their positive effects on bone health; however, resistance training provides the added benefits of strength and balance on the musculoskeletal system!

Here are some exercises you can do to keep your bone density strong:

Jump squat
80-20 jump squats—a plyometric exercise—require zero equipment and minimal space.

Iso lunge
This full-body resistance exercise is perfect for partnering.

Bulgarian split squat
No gym membership? No problem! All you need is a chair and a heavy pot or pan.

Modified side plank with shoulder external rotation
Dancers are notorious for their mobility and flexibility. The shoulder is the most mobile joint in the body, so why not keep it strong?

Meet the Author

Body

Dr. Lindsay Backiev, PT, DPT is a graduate of the University of Southern California where she earned her doctor of physical therapy degree. She was awarded the Order of the Golden Cane, the USC Division of Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy's highest honor for graduates who have demonstrated excellence in academic coursework, clinical practice, and scientific research. As a professional dancer, she performed with SHARP Dance Company, Anne-Marie Mulgrew & Dancers Company, Deeply Rooted Dance Theater, Harrison McEldowney's Dance for Life finale, Beyoncé, and on The Oprah Winfrey Show. She joined the outpatient physical therapy team at Shirley Ryan AbilityLab in 2021 where she continues to provide individualized, evidenced-based care in orthopedics and pelvic health.

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