Strength Training Increases Regional Bone Mineral Density And Bone Remodeling In Middle-Aged and Older Men

By Ty Sevin, Aug 30, 2021

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

Audrey Menkes, MS, Sidney Mazel, MA, Robert A. Redmond, Ph.D, Karen Koffler, MA, Cesar R. Libanati, Ph.D, Caren M. Gundberg, Ph.D, Thomas M. Zizik, MD, James M. Hagberg, Ph.D, Richard E. Pratley, MD, and Ben F. Hurley, Ph.D. University of Maryland, Exercise Science Laboratory, Department of Kinesiology, and Center on Aging, College Park, MD; Johns Hopkins University, Rueumatology Division, Baltimore, MD; University of Maryland School of Medicine, Department of Medicine, Division of General Internal Medicine and Geriatrics, Baltimore, MD; Mineral Metabolism Unit, Veterans Affairs Hospital, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA; and Yale University School of Medicine, Department. of Orthopedics and Rehabilitation, New Haven CT.


Eighteen previously inactive, untrained males aged 50-70 were studied to determine the effects of a 16 week strength training program on bone mineral density and bone remodeling. Eleven subjects strength trained while 7 men remained inactive as controls subjects. Total spinal & femoral neck bone mineral densities, and markers of bone formation and resorption were measured before, during and after the training program.


Training increased muscular strength by an average of 45% on a three repetition maximum test and by 32% on a test of the knee extensors. Bone mineral density increased in the femoral neck by ~ 3.8% and in the lumbar spine by + 2%. However, there was no significant change in total body bone mineral density. There were no significant changes in muscular strength, bone mineral density, or any of the bone formation or resorption markers in the control group.


These findings suggest that strength training increases regional bone mineral density by increasing bone formation. It is important to note that bone formation increased regionally i.e. in those areas where the “load” or resistance was applied. This same principle has been demonstrated before in studies of tennis athletes. Their dominant arms showed higher bone formation than their non-dominant arms, dueto the “load” applied through continuous use with a tennis racket. Increased bone formation has important implications for the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis.

Keiser Equipment Used

Leg press, chest press, leg curl, lat pull down, leg extension, shoulder press, hip abductor, hip adductor, upper back, tricep, lower back

Presented at the annual meeting of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research, August 24-28, 1991. Published in Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, pg.632, August 26, 1991.

Link to Original Research

About the author

Ty Sevin

Director of Human Performance, Education and Research

Articles by Ty Sevin >

With over 25 years of coaching experience at both the collegiate and Olympic levels, Ty Sevin is one of the most influential track and field coaches in the country. Ty has worked for the United States Olympic Committee, serving as the Director of the Track and Field Residency Program at the USOC Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, CA. He has also served as an assistant coach for Team USA on three separate occasions, for both the men’s and women’s teams. Ty himself was a four-time U.S. Olympics Trials qualifier in javelin. Ty most recently spent four years as the Associate Head Coach at the University of Texas at Austin for both the men’s and women’s track and field teams. Prior to that, he led the men’s and women’s track and cross-country teams at the University of New Orleans and McNeese State.

Currently, Ty applies his vast industry experience to the role of Director of Human Performance, Research and Education for Keiser Corporation, where he consults with college and professional sports teams regarding the utilization of Keiser strength equipment. He is also responsible for creating educational curriculum relating to human performance and overseeing Keiser research projects