Multicomponent training program with weight-bearing exercises elicits favorable bone density, muscle strength, and balance adaptations in older women

Calcif Tissue Int. 2011 Feb;88(2):117-29. doi: 10.1007/s00223-010-9437-1. Epub 2010 Nov 27.


Physical exercise is advised as a preventive and therapeutic strategy against aging-induced bone weakness. In this study we examined the effects of 8-month multicomponent training with weight-bearing exercises on different risk factors of falling, including muscle strength, balance, agility, and bone mineral density (BMD) in older women. Participants were randomly assigned to either an exercise-training group (ET, n = 30) or a control group (CON, n = 30). Twenty-seven subjects in the ET group and 22 in the CON group completed the study. Training was performed twice a week and was designed to load bones with intermittent and multidirectional compressive forces and to improve physical function. Outcome measures included lumbar spine and proximal femoral BMD (by dual X-ray absorptiometry), muscle strength, balance, handgrip strength, walking performance, fat mass, and anthropometric data. Potential confounding variables included dietary intake, accelerometer-based physical activity, and molecularly defined lactase nonpersistence. After 8 months, the ET group decreased percent fat mass and improved handgrip strength, postural sway, strength on knee flexion at 180°/s, and BMD at the femoral neck (+2.8%). Both groups decreased waist circumference and improved dynamic balance, chair stand performance, strength on knee extension for the right leg at 180°/s, and knee flexion for both legs at 60°/s. No associations were found between lactase nonpersistence and BMD changes. Data suggest that 8 months of moderate-impact weight-bearing and multicomponent exercises reduces the potential risk factors for falls and related fractures in older women.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Absorptiometry, Photon
  • Adaptation, Physiological / physiology*
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Bone Density / physiology*
  • Exercise / physiology
  • Exercise Therapy
  • Female
  • Fractures, Bone / prevention & control*
  • Humans
  • Muscle Strength / physiology*
  • Physical Fitness
  • Postural Balance / physiology*
  • Weight-Bearing / physiology*