This might surprise you: hopping is one of the most effective ways to increase bone density in specific areas of your body, including the femoral head. That’s because hopping is a high impact move and a form of osteogenic loading (OL) that applies force and pressure to bone, “loading” it with weight along the longitudinal axis of your body.
While the term “osteogenic loading” may not have found its way into common parlance, the concept itself is not new. It basically ties in with Wolff’s Law, which dates back to the 19th century, and states that bone grows and remodels in response to the forces applied to it.
Osteogenic loading stimulates new bone growth and mineral absorption at the site receiving the greatest impact, and according to a recent study, osteogenic loading is a key element in new bone formation for postmenopausal females.
There are more reasons why this weekend’s exercise should be added to your bone-strengthening routine, as you’ll learn today.
The Single Leg Osteogenic Loader specifically targets the femoral head, core muscles, and hip flexors. Additionally, this exercise improves balance, which is critical in preventing falls.
The femoral head is located at the top of the femur (as the name indicates), and rests snugly in the hip socket. This ball and socket joint is remarkably articulated and flexible, allowing your legs to move in just about any direction.
The femoral head is at the end of the femoral neck, which is prone to fracture, especially if you’ve ever taken bisphosphonates, which increase the risk of atypical femoral fractures.
The good news is, scientific research confirms that bone mineral density (BMD) increases with osteogenic loading exercises.
Scientifically Proven: Osteogenic Loading Increases Bone Density
Researchers from the UK and the US collaborated in an effort to study OL and how it specifically relates to bone density. The study subjects were postmenopausal women with a mean age of 69 (ages ranged from 55 to 87) and T-scores of -1.0 or lower (or an osteoporosis diagnosis). None of the study subjects were taking osteoporosis drugs.
After a 24-week trial period during which the subjects engaged in weekly OL sessions, the scientists found that:
“The baseline-post measures showed significantly increased… BMD with the subgroup in both the hip and spine” … All subjects gained BMD in either the hip, spine or both and no BMD values declined from baseline.”1
An increase in BMD, or bone mineral density, as a result of osteogenic loading exercise is wonderful news for this weekend’s “hoppers”! It gets even better. The researchers also measured “functional bone performance,” or FBP, which is an evaluation of how much force a bone can absorb before it breaks. The FBP increased in the study participants as well, making OL “relevant to protection against fracture during…a fall.”1
In today’s exercise, the femoral head gets plenty of loading thanks to the hopping action, and you’ll also be lifting your legs and engaging your hip flexors, which are actually part of the abdominal muscles that make up your core. Keeping the hip flexors strong is very important in fall prevention, since the hip flexors allow you to pick up your feet to clear objects and get up and down stairs (as well as a host of other motions).
Because it works core muscles in addition to the hip flexors, the Single Leg Osteogenic Loader is a powerful balance enhancer.
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Clasp your hands lightly just below your chest.
- Lift one knee up as high as you can and hop three times on the foot on the floor.
- Switch legs and hop three times on the other foot.
- Repeat this hopping motion, switching legs after every three hops, for 30 to 45 seconds.
To continue with osteogenic loading, try following up this weekend’s exercise with these Weekend Challenges:
If you are unable to perform high-impact exercises due to certain health or joint conditions, don’t despair, because…
Other Forms Of Targeted Exercise Benefit Your Bones And Your Health
While OL has specific benefits, it’s not the only way to build strong and fracture-resistant bones. There are other targeted forms of exercise designed to build bone and to help you reap the benefits that encompass the entire body, for mental, emotional, cardiovascular, and metabolic health.
With the Densercise™ Epidensity Training System, you’ll find a variety of moves that include high-impact, weight-bearing, and resistance exercises. It’s always a good idea to practice as many different forms of exercise as possible so your bones get a thorough workout.
Densercise™ combines variety with targeted density-increasing moves, to give your bones the stimulation they need to remodel and rejuvenate.
Take Exercising For Your Bones to the Next Level!
Learn the 52 exercise moves that jumpstart bone-building – all backed by the latest in epigenetics research.
I hope you enjoyed this weekend’s challenge! Please feel free to leave a comment below to discuss your thoughts about osteogenic loading, high-impact exercise, and other topics related to this weekend’s post.
Have a great weekend!
1 Hunte, Bazil, Jaquish, John, and Huck, Corey. “Axial Bone Osteogenic Loading-Type Resistance Therapy Showing BMD and Functional Bone Performance Musculoskeletal Adaptation Over 24 Weeks with Postmenopausal Female Subjects.” Journal of Osteoporosis and Physical Activity. 3. 146. (2015). Web. https://www.esciencecentral.org/journals/axial-bone-osteogenic-loadingtype-resistance-therapy-showing-bmd-andfunctional-bone-performance-musculoskeletal-adaptation-over-24-weeks-withpostmenopausal-female-subjects-2329-9509-1000146.php?aid=58088
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If you read the study by Hunte that is quoted in detail, they were measuring bone density in the hip. They found the minimum requirement for triggering bone grow in the hip to be a load of 4.2 multiples of body weight. This cannot be achieved through the exercise recommended above. Heel drops have been shown to help maintain density in the hip, so this recommended exercise would probably have a similar beneficial effect. Maintaning is better than losing…so go for it!
Are exercise bikes of any benefit to strengthen bones and muscles?
I have had total knee replacements in both legs. Is this hopping exercise something I should not do?
Great OL article. I will definitely start this real easy and very affordable exercise.
Thanks so much for your tireless efforts to find what is best to care for us !
As always KUDOS TO YOU VIVIAN !
Vivian, I so appreciate your emails of information and instruction! You are totally dedicated to helping all of us save our bones! After reading today’s email, I now know why my specialist wants me to hop for him! He says that until I can hop on the injured foot I am not healed. In December I broke my left foot in four places including that problematic 5th metatarsal; I am 90% healed and he has recently started me using the Biometric bone healing system which he believes will take me from non-union to healed—and hops!! I follow your eating and exercising guidelines and now I’d like your opinion on this bone stimulator apparatus. Thank you!
Vivian, I appreciate your exercises but I am doing something new once a week.
It is Osteo Strong . I was impressed after one session. My sister was very impressed
because after a life-time of weak arches she noticed her left arch was improved and
the swelling in her ankle due to a break in 2008 is gone. Clearly, the conditions need
to be worked on because one time is not enough. They encourage you to do more
than Osteo Strong to increase bone density because it is a life -time process,Any thoughts on this not new, but new to me, Osteo Strong??????
I fell and had two non displaced fx including my acetabulum last August. Fearful of hopping. Do you have any suggestions for me?
Is collagen powder good to take for your bones?
Thank you so much for all your information.
Thank you Vivian for all these wonderful articles and exercises.
If someone has moderate hip arthritis in one hip, is this an exercise
that should be avoided in your opinion?
I had hip replacement (groin area) 2 yrs ago. I still have some pain in the area. Irritated tissue, I suppose
I’ve been x- rayed. Doc saw nothing out of whack. I don’t feel hopping would be good for me.
Your opinion. I’m enjoying reading all you send pertaining bone health. Was diagnosed with porosis a few months ago.