Weekend Challenge: High Impact Axial Loader - Save Our Bones

This weekend’s exercise is fun, versatile, and very effective.

The High Impact Axial Loader is a great way to increase bone density in areas prone to fracture, thanks to osteogenic loading.

It’s very effective at strengthening the bones in your legs, arms and femoral neck. It also enhances coordination, gives you an excellent cardio workout, and more.

Let’s get started!


Exercise with high impact produces superior osteogenic loading. This refers to the stimulating effects of force on bone, a concept familiar to Savers.

Bone is living tissue, and it responds to stimulation by increasing mineral absorption and strengthening. The more you use your skeleton, the more it responds by becoming stronger.

In fact, research clearly demonstrates that dynamic osteogenic loading – that is, rapid, high-impact moves – affects the rate at which bone formation occurs. The harder and faster you exercise, in other words, the more bone you build in a shorter amount of time.

The effects of osteogenic loading on bone health are so beneficial, that loading exercise is widely recommended by leading scientists as a drug-free way to reverse osteoporosis.

Here’s a perfect example on the positive results achieved with osteogenic loading along the body’s vertical axis (from the top of your head to the bottom of your pelvis), as concluded in a study:

“Our study demonstrated that 12 months of regular impact exercise favored bone formation, and increased BMD in weight-bearing bones, especially at the hip, and led to geometric adaptations by increasing periosteal circumference of the femur.”1 (emphasis added)

The Benefits Of Osteogenic Loading Don’t Stop There

Researchers went on to note that impact exercise had a beneficial effect on:

“…bone metabolism, physical performance, and cardiorespiratory risk factors by increasing maximal oxygen uptake, dynamic leg strength, and decreasing serum basal parathormone levels, low-density lipoproteins, and waist circumference.”1

This means that overall physical performance improved, along with cardiovascular and respiratory factors due to increased oxygen intake. (Taking in oxygen also alkalizes the body.)

In addition, the study points out decreased levels of PTH, or parathyroid hormone. PTH increases the amount of calcium that is pulled from bones and released into the bloodstream, so decreased levels mean calcium is staying in your bones, where it can increase density in response to axial loading.

And the study participants also reduced their waist size.

As you can see, there is much more to osteogenic loading via impact exercise than stronger, younger bones.

When you practice the High Impact Axial Loader, you’ll reap all these benefits, plus you’ll strengthen your arms, improve your coordination and overall cardiovascular performance. Yet it’s such a simple exercise!


You’ll need a couple of weights that you’re comfortable with – 1 or 2 pound weights are a good place to start. Or you can also use cans of food.

Because this involves running in place, you’ll want to wear good shoes as well.

  1. Hold the weights in each hand, palms up.
  2. Raise the weights up and down at the elbow (arm curls) while running in place.
  3. Keep your arms in the same general position, palms up and out.
  4. Raise your feet as if jogging while simultaneously performing the arm curls.
  5. Continue for 15 seconds, rest for a few seconds, and repeat eight times or as many times as you comfortably can. You can increase the length of time and number of repetitions as you get more adept at this exercise.


  • Don’t worry about lifting the weights fast – focus more on lifting them deliberately and in rhythm to your jogging.
  • If you know it’s safe for you, you can vary this exercise by running harder and faster, and by using heavier weights. The higher you lift your knees and the faster you run, the higher the impact.

More Research Supports Additional Benefits Of Osteogenic Loading

A study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine analyzed stepping movements to demonstrate the benefits of impact exercise, similar to running in place, as in today’s exercise. Specifically, “the movements performed most often were marching, knee hop, side leg, L step, and over the top.”2

Researchers went on to recommend “a frequency of two or three sessions per week of step exercise.”2

You’ll find many moves like the ones mentioned above in the Densercise™ Epidensity Training System, which is set up to be practiced three days a week, as recommended in the study. To give a few examples, the Step Up on page 13, the Hopscotch Jump on page 26, and the Dance Hop on page 39 fit the same criteria.

They all involve axial loading and optimal bone-building motions, so you know you’re reaping all the scientifically-backed benefits of osteogenic loading.

Enjoy the weekend!

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1 Jamsa, Timo; Ahola, Riikka; and Korpelainen, Raija. “Measurement of Osteogenic Exercise – How to Interpret Accelerometric Data?” Fontiers in Physiology. October 18, 2011. Doi: 10.3389/fphys.2011.00073. Web. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3198512/

2 Santos-Rocha, R.A.; Oliveira, C.S.; Veloso, A.P. “Osteogenic index of step exercise depending on choreographic movements, session duration, and stepping rate.” British Journal of Sports Medicine. October 2006. Doi: 10.1136/bjsm2006.029413. Web. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2465063/

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Comments on this article are closed.

  1. Amy

    There seems to be a contradiction in your statement quoted below. Please clarify.
    Thank you!

    “In addition, the study points out decreased levels of PTH, or parathyroid hormone. PTH increases the amount of calcium that is pulled from bones and released into the bloodstream, so decreased levels mean calcium is staying in your bones, where it can increase density in response to axial loading.”

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Hi Amy,

      I’m sorry for the confusion! PTH is a hormone that signals the body to pull calcium from the bones. So high levels mean lots of calcium is being taken from the bones. Low levels mean the calcium is staying in the bones. I hope this helps!

  2. Claire hastings

    Hi would you have any information on the bio density machine . Also would you have exercises for arms ? Thank you for the wonderful programme claire

  3. marie

    Hi Vivian,
    My doctor told me my bone density was so bad I had bones of a 98 year old lady.

    Should I get the Prolia shot? It’s hard for me to bounce and jump.

  4. Janine

    well, Pheobe, I googled the Bio Density machine, and it looks like I will never be able to afford one in this life time, or have anywhere to put it, I guess I will just have to continue with Vivian’s excersises, which I find very exillerating, and I feel a lot better after doing them, and my balance has improved just in a couple of weeks. I also plan on doing Thi Chi, which is supposed to be really good, and you get a chance to be outside in the fresh air and meet other people, a lot better than sitting inside on a machine I would say.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      That’s wonderful, Janine – balance improvement that you can detect in just two weeks! Your dedication is clearly paying off. Keep it up!

  5. Elise

    So, from the comments above am i to assume that rebounding with hand weights does nothing to increase bone density? I thought rebounding was the way to increase bone density without harming your joints. Now i am really confused!

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Hi Elise,
      Rebounding is low-impact, but it is a weight-bearing exercise, which helps build bone. And of course, rebounding offers all the benefits of aerobic exercise, too.

  6. Kathryn

    Elle –
    It’s great that you’re able to use a rebounder with so many years having MS; perhaps you have a milder case. I am already secondary progressive and most of the time I can barely lift my feet off of the ground, let alone do jumping exercises! A BioDensity machine is out of the question and I have yet to discover too much of Vivian’s program that I can consistently follow.
    Phoebe –
    Some people here probably don’t have the finances or ability to access a BD. It also sounds very similar to an upscale leg press. LPs are very good; I used one frequently when I had PT; more than several years ago it did help improve my bone density but the gains didn’t remain.

  7. Marion


    Is the biodensity machine safe even for those who already have osteoporosis?

  8. Mary

    Hi Phoebe, what about those who can’t afford or don’t have a machine near them? Did you come here just to bash Savers?

  9. Sally

    I am wondering how long the results of improving your BMD with bioDensity machines stay with you. My impression is it is pricey so how long would a person have to keep this regimen?

  10. Phoebe

    This exercise is NOTHING compared to true osteogenic loading when using the bioDensity machine. The bioDensity machine is the first true osteogenic loading device that safely allows individuals to self-load multiples of their body weight. For example when I do the leg press I am exerting close to 2,000 pounds of force on the femur…you can visibly see my femur compressing.

    Osteogenic loading works! We’ve seen clients naturally improve their t-score in a matter of months. One doctor couldn’t believe the results with his client when she went from osteopenia to ‘healthy bone’ in a six month period of time. Running in place with hand held weights is NOTHING compared to the gains that you will get by using a bioDensity device! Don’t waste your time and look for a bioDensity near you.

    • Kimberly Ballard

      To the comment above: “you can visibly see my femur compressing.”?

      No thanks. I’ll stick with the weekend challenges and Densercise. Thanks Vivian!

    • Jeanette J

      Pheobe in your comment you say exercise is a “waste of time” and only your machine works??!! Hmmm. Please provide evidence of this otherwise you sound like a paid shill.

    • Dorothy T. Yeager

      Well Phoebe, I’m living proof that Vivian’s exercises DO work. I went from t score of -2.3 to normal by only following Densercise and Vivian’s advice.

      So did I waste my time? Sounds like you’re biased…. perhaps you profit from the machine?

    • Nancy

      Has anyone investigated whether the BioDensity machine treatments are covered by insurance in the U.S.?

    • Barbara

      Hi Phoebe,
      I would be very interested to know how the bioDensity machine works. I looked up biodensity.com and saw an image of the machine where it mentions that neither the seat nor the footrest move but it didn’t explain the process very well. Unfortunately there doesn’t seem to be any of these machines in Ireland and I’m wondering if there’s any way to replicate the exercise? It sounds amazing and I would love to try it.


      • Elle

        Hey Vivian,
        First I want to say I use a rebounder for exercise as I have MS for 25 yrs and need impact for these bones. I walk but not like the rest of you!
        So I received my bone density news after 2 yrs.
        2013 score -0.097 and now 0.042 radiologist commented could be wrong. !!! My hip was not so great from -0.026 to -0.063 so my Dr said how bout meds but I knew I would say NO. I guess I gotta keep bouncing

        • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

          Good for you, Elle! Rebounding is low-impact but can develop balance, coordination, and flexibility. 🙂

        • Betty

          Some of us would love to have those scores. Others of us have severe loss and have to be careful how much pressure to put on our skeletons. I have never seen one of these machines but will check to see where they are available in Ontario Canada. I think Phoebe that your comments “a waste of time” were a little insensitive about other forms of exercise that may be helpful. I am happy for you that this device has helped you in building bone.

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