Studies Link Leg Strength To Lower Risk Of Falling - Save Our Bones

Muscle strength is a requirement for building and protecting your bones. The positive stress that muscles place on bone stimulates new bone development, as described by Wolff's Law.

That alone makes strong muscles an essential tool for increasing bone strength. Today we'll look at an even more direct way that certain muscle groups prevent fractures. The studies we'll analyze next prove the importance of lower body strength. We also share with you easy ways to strengthen your legs to prevent falls and protect your bones.

Studies Show Leg Strength Is Linked To Falls

A 2014 systematic review of studies on the effectiveness of muscle-strengthening exercises for preventing falls in the elderly examined 357 articles published over a decade. Of those articles, they found 46 studies with high methodological quality worthy of consideration.

Altogether, the studies involved 3795 elderly participants who engaged in a program to strengthen muscles groups in the lower body, including those surrounding the hip, knee, and ankle joints. The conclusion of the review is as follows:

“The literature currently shows that increasing lower limb muscle strength is effective for reducing the number of falls. However, the studies analyzed in this review did not limit themselves to muscle strengthening interventions. Many of the studies combined exercises with balance training, activities of daily living (ADL) training, gait training, and muscle stretching.”1

This broad collection of data shows that strength, balance, and flexibility are critical for preventing falls.

The next study was conducted by the Division of Applied Biomedical Research at King's College London. The researchers cross-examined groups of different ages with different histories of falls to compare the risk of falling to the strength, power output, and symmetry of leg muscles.

The participants included 44 healthy young people, 44 older “non-fallers”, and 34 older people who had a history of falls. In each group, the researchers measured the strength of knee and ankle muscles and leg extension power. The group with a history of falling had only 85% of the muscle strength of the group that had never had a fall.

The study found that asymmetry of strength and power are not associated with age or fall history, but that muscle power was the most relevant measurement of fall risk.

The precision of the study allowed the researchers to reveal “the significance of small changes in strength in individual muscle groups.”2 This study isolates a particular outcome of exercise– increased muscle strength– and proves its ability to prevent and reduce falls.

Another review study, titled “Falls and Their Prevention in Elderly People: What Does the Evidence Show?” analyzes studies that identify causes of falling and interventions aimed at reducing falls.

Across the studies, they found that weak leg muscles were the best predictor of a fall. Participants with a weak lower body were four times more likely to fall. Exercise programs aimed at increasing leg strength consequently are the most important intervention. Both group exercise programs and at home programs were found to be effective at improving strength, balance, and flexibility- resulting in fewer falls.3

All three of these studies arrived at the same conclusion: a program of regular exercise increases and maintains lower body strength, which prevents falls (and the fractures they may cause.)


Three studies show that muscle strength in the legs and lower body is directly linked to the likelihood of falls and that exercise programs that increase strength reduce the risk of falls.

Exercises To Build Lower Body Strength

These three at-home exercises are simple to do and highly effective for building leg strength, which has been scientifically proven to prevent falls. Each exercise in the following links is accompanied by useful information about what each exercise accomplishes and why they are so important for building bone and preventing fractures. The only equipment required for any of these exercises is a chair.

  • Single Leg Instability Pump – this is a simple standing exercise that targets your core and legs, promoting stability, strength, and balance.
  • Three Way Femur Builder And Balance Improver – this exercise works each leg three different ways, covering multiple angles and ranges of motion. This full-range approach strengthens the femur and thigh muscles to enhance gait, coordination, and balance.
  • Seated Abs And Leg Strengthener – This exercise is done sitting down, but it gives a thorough workout to the muscles of the legs and trunk- including the abdominals, hips, and thighs.

Try adding these exercises to your workouts, or make them a part of your daily routine whenever you have a moment . The increase in strength and balance you'll experience is a proven way to avoid falls and fractures.


Use the three exercises found at the links above to increase lower body strength and balance to prevent falls and fractures.

Build And Protect Your Bones

As the studies reviewed today affirm, exercise (and especially exercise that strengthens the legs and lower body) is a critical intervention for reducing falls — and thereby reducing fractures. Remarkably, the same exercises will also increase your bone mass by stimulating the creation of new bone.

If you’d like to engage in effective workouts from the comfort of your home, try the Save Institute’s online fitness platform: SaveTrainer. SaveTrainer provides a wide range of on-demand streaming workout classes designed to enhance overall fitness and bone health. With expert-led video sessions and tailored exercise programs, you can follow along and stay active at your own pace.

Every time you workout, you get a little stronger. Keep at it, and the positive changes to your strength, balance, and posture will soon have a noticeable impact on your day-to-day life!

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11 comments. Leave Yours Now →
  1. Phillips Maureen

    Is caffeine bad for your bones?

  2. Martha

    Those with hormone positive recurrence of breast cancer are urged to go on Prolia to “help” with the bone loss they are sure to suffer when on Aromatase Inhibitor (AI) drugs. I would be inclined to try the AI drugs to reduce cancer risk if not for the bone loss side effect; but cannot see myself doing so due to my refusal to go on Prolia. Do you know of any studies to help the breast cancer community?

  3. Wendy saini

    My recent bone scan was very bad. I take supplements and go to the gym 3 times a week. Unfortunately I have ulcerative colitis which interferes with my absorption. I’m only on puffers for my asthma. I have started a vibration machine and more Pilates and yoga classes. I am vegetarian, no dairy or gluten which affects my gut. I will observe ur program more as the drug regime is too scary. Cortisone 10 years ago gave me 5 wedge fractures. Want so badly to improve. What else can I do?

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      You’re on the right track, Wendy! Get started with the Program and let us know of your progress 🙂

  4. Ken

    My work gives me a pretty good workout each day and I still find running and cycling helps me even more. Now if I could just cut back a bit on the coffee. Densercise fills in good in between.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Keep up with your active routine, Ken!

  5. Ita

    Thank you, Ita.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      You’re very welcome, Ita!

  6. Mary

    Is this program going to work well while on prolia? If follow correctly? Thanks Mary

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      At the Save Institute, we never recommend taking osteoporosis drugs, and that includes Prolia. In simple terms, Prolia blocks RANKL, which in turn, deactivates osteoclasts through a variety of steps. Meaning that just as it happens with bisphosphonates, there is an increase in bone density because the normal remodeling process is altered so that new bone is deposed on top of old bone. The bottom line is that dense, thick bones that are not renewed are prone to fracture. You can read more about Prolia here:

      Now to answer your question, Densercise is designed to increase bone density and improve bone strength, and Prolia would most likely not interfere with that. However, wouldn’t you rather build new bone allowing old bone to be shed
      first? Give this question a good thought and then decide. And don’t hesitate to contact our Customer Support department should you have further questions.

    • sima aron

      How is prolia working for you?
      I am fearful of taking actonel or prolia and am researching algaecal and strontium

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