Effects of High-Intensity Strength Training On Multiple Risk Factors for Osteoporotic Fractures: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Aug 30, 2021

< Back to Benefits of Strength Training on Bone Density in Older Adults

Miriam E. Nelson, Ph.D., Maria A. Fiatarone, M.D., Christina M. Morganti, M.D., Isaiah Trice, Ph.D., Robert A. Greenberg, B.S., William J.Evans, Ph.D. From the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University, Boston, MA; the Division onAging, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, and the Noll Physiological Research Center at the Pennsylvania State University.


Thirty-nine sedentary, post menopausal women, aged 50-70, who were not undergoing estrogen replacement therapy, were studied for 1 year to determine how the risk factors for osteoporotic fractures could be modified by high intensity strength training.


Femoral neck and lumbar spine bone mineral density increased in the 20 strength training women and decreased in the 19 sedentary controls. Total body bone mineral content was preserved in the strength trained women and decreased in the controls. Muscle mass, muscle strength, and dynamic balance increased in the strength trained women and decreased in the controls.


High intensity strength training exercises are an effective way to preserve bone density and improve muscle mass, strength and balance in post menopausal women. Increases in bone mineral content, muscle mass, strength and balance with strength training are even more significant when contrasted with the loss in all of these areas experienced by the sedentary controls. Maintaining bone density and preventing falls through improved strength and balance can significantly reduce the risk for osteoporotic fractures.

Keiser Equipment Used

Standing hip, leg extension, lat. pull down, lower back, abdominal.

Published in Journal of the American Medical Association, December 28, 1994. Portions of this research were presented at the American College of Sports Medicine meeting June 2-5, 1993 in Seattle, WA and at the same meeting June 1-4, 1994 in Indianapolis, IN.

Link to Original Research