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J Geriatr Phys Ther. 2007;30(2):79-88.

Effect of weighted exercises on bone mineral density in post menopausal women. A systematic review.

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Physical Therapy Consults, Frederick, MD 21701, USA.



Osteoporosis is both preventable and treatable with exercise playing an important role in osteogenesis. The purpose of this systematic review was to determine which specific exercise programs utilizing weights were effective in maintaining or increasing bone mineral density (BMD) in postmenopausal women.


A computerized search of the MEDLINE, CINAHL, EMBASE, PEDro, and Science Citation databases was conducted for the period 1990 through February 2005. The search was performed using English language-only keyword searches using MESH terms osteoporosis, postmenopausal, exercise, weight training, and bone mineral density. A total of 20 articles was critically evaluated for the quality of an intervention study using the criteria developed by MacDermid. An expert on the topic was asked to review the list of articles for omissions.


The review revealed evidence to support the effectiveness of weight training exercises to increase BMD in postmenopausal women. The increases in BMD were site-specific and required high loading with a training intensity of 70% to 90% of 1 RM for 8 to 12 repetitions of 2 to 3 sets performed over one year duration.


Weighted exercises can help in maintaining BMD in postmenopausal women and increasing BMD of the spine and hip in women with osteopenia and osteoporosis. The exercise program must be incorporated into a lifestyle change and be lifelong due to the chronic nature of bone loss in older women.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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