The Effects Of Weightlifting Exercises On Bone Mineral Density and Bone Health [Updated 2017]


Regular exercise not only helps you build muscle,lose fat, improve sleep, boost mood etc. but also helps improve bone health. Especially weightlifting exercises are becoming the latest trend to increase bone mineral density and improve bone health.

Weightlifting Exercises

Bone, containing extracellular matrix and cells is a form of connective tissues. Our skeleton performs multiple functions, including to act as minerals reservoir of phosphorus and calcium, protection of vital organs, hosting of hematopoiesis in adult humans, while support and movement are its major function. Total 206 bones including 6 ossicles,126 appendicular bones, and 74 axials form our skeletal system. By origin, our skeletal system is mesodermal. Cell proliferation occurs from lateral plate mesoderm, cranial neural crest, and sclerotomes into mesenchymal aggregations. Following the differentiation events, mesenchymal cells differentiate into cartilage cells (osteoclasts) or bone cells (osteoblasts) in these aggregations. Skeletogenesis involves two mechanisms. The analgen undergoes successive proliferation events including degradation, hypertrophy and at the end replacement by bone in the endochondral ossification mechanism. Mesenchymal cells directly differentiate into osteoblasts in the intramembranous ossification and the osteoblasts finish-up into bone.

Weightlifting exercises

Bone contains Organic (35%) as well as inorganic (65%) molecules in its extracellular matrix. The Organic portion majorly (90%) consists of type-1collagen with traces of glycoproteins, osteocalcin, and proteoglycans. The density of the minerals in the bones is a parameter to examine the strength of bones. The bone mineral density is highest among people with an active lifestyle while it is lowest in sedentary and old age individuals. The remodeling of bones is evidently faster in athletes and other individuals with a constant high impact physical activity as compared to the individuals with a sedentary lifestyle.

Weightlifting Exercises and weight bearing physical activities with high impact are helpful in maintaining the bone mineral balance and health. These activities direct the calcium from its reservoirs towards the serum of the blood. These activities have have a positive effect in maintaining the balance of the chemicals and biomolecules released as result of immune responses. Exercise greatly improves the BMD (Bone mineral density), specifically at weight bearing positions of the body.  It may also increase bone mass accumulation during early growth age of children. Also it may help in attaining peak mass of bones followed by a decrease in loss of bone’s rate.

Weightlifting exercises

Some biochemical compounds observed in the serum change their expression during Weightlifting Exercises and sedentary times. These compounds are the Bone turnover markers. These markers are classified as bone formation markers and bone resorption markers. These two types of markers are useful for measuring BMD.

Most of the modern studies came up with a common finding that high impact weight bearing exercises play a significant role in bone remodeling.  Most of the bone formation markers were reported to have a significant elevation after exercise programs. These studies were at a consensus with the idea that high impact Weightlifting Exercises increases the concentration of bone formation markers. While the concentrations of most of the bone resorption markers are decreased with exercise. The expression of the bone turnover markers for resorption and BMD both are directly proportional to the increasing impact of the activity. The higher the impact of the activity, the higher will be the Bone mineral density and expression of the markers.

A research group proved in 2001 that women who participate in high-impact sports have higher values of BMD. Their bone formation are also more than sedentary and medium impact athletes. According to another research, the training of weight bearing exercise might help to establish a balance between markers of bone resorption and formation

Weightlifting Exercises

Bones are a vulnerable part of the body. They can easily suffer sudden accidental fractures. Their remodeling is essential for the regaining the support for the muscle tissues of the body. Besides accidental fractures, bones also undergo resorption with increasing age and loss of minerals with time. The minerals and other organic and inorganic compounds in the bones must be maintained in the bones for maintaining the BMD. Bone turnover significantly increases with physical activity and high weight-bearing exercise. Physicians frequently recommend such activities to avoid problems of bone metabolism and osteoporosis. Hence regular exercise can help in maintaining healthy bones by increasing the bone mineral density. More exercise in young age means healthier bones in old age. So let’s plan a healthier old age by starting exercise today.

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