Bone-Strengthening Exercises for the Hips & Spine

Weight-bearing exercises help increase bone-mineral density and minimize the risk of osteoperosis. To strengthen the bones in your spine and hips, try total body exercise to maximize your time and energy when training at the gym or outdoors. These exercises should be done with a whole-body approach rather than in isolation because that is how your body moves in the real world.

Squat and Press

This total-body exercise requires you to squat deep while maintaining a strong core to support your trunk. You can do this exercise without weights or use two dumbbells or kettlebells. If you can do the maximum number of reps easily, use heavier weights. If you can not do the minimum number of reps, use lighter weights. If you use weights, hold them over your shoulders toward the middle of your body. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, and lower your buttocks as low as you can while keeping your spine straight. Exhale and stand up, pressing the weights over your head. Slowly squat again, and repeat for 10 to 12 reps for each of three sets.

Push-Ups and Pull-Ups

Any pushing and pulling exercise that uses your body weight will help develop a strong core, back and hips. These exercises do not require much equipment and can be done almost anywhere. When doing push-ups and pull-ups, perform them back-to-back, with no rest between rounds. Do 10 to 15 reps for each of three sets for each exercise, and rest a minute between rounds. This method, called super sets, can save you time, build muscular endurance and increase your fat-burning potential.

Plyometrics

Plyometric exercises require a higher level of power, endurance, range of motion and coordination. These exercises, particularly those involving jumping and landing, can help build strong bones in your legs, hips and spine because they absorb most of the impact. They are done at a near-maximum effort, and you perform fast, repetitive movements with little or no pausing in a set. One sample exercise is the box jump: Jump onto a plyobox or a step (2 to 3 feet high), and hop back down to the start position. Start slowly until you develop a rhythm and increase your speed. Do 10 to 15 jumps for each of three or four sets.

About this Author

Nick Ng has been writing fitness-related stories since 2003, focusing on nutrition, injury prevention and exercise strategies. He received his Bachelor of Arts in communications from San Diego State University in 2001 and is a certified fitness coach from the National Academy of Sports Medicine since 2002.