Building bone strengh in runners

What can we supplement for runners to improve their bone health?

Unfortunately, running is seen as a sport or training modality that increases the resilience and capacity of the bones of the body. Although this does hold some truth, the amount is minimal compared to what could be achieved.

As you can see below, gymnastics was found to be a high bone building activity while we see running categorised as a low osteogenic stimulus.

Several high-quality reviews have shown that increasing running volume with the intention of enhancing bone health is an uphill battle and that:

  1. Lifting heavy weights and/or
  2. Maximal jump training improves bone health in pre-menopausal athletes.

Using these modalities can create a buffer when training load increases. Further, the body isn’t subject to the strain that running entails while still gaining benefit.

With consistent training, school and commitments, training time can be sensitive. So, which is most likely to cause an osteogenic, or ‘bone-building response’?

Firstly, either will achieve increased bone resilience. Simply, this happens as the loads from either of these modalities are greater than those of running. Further, as the repetitions are lower, the risk of accumulating bone damage is lower compared to say a 5km or 10km run.

So, let’s look at the studies that performed the training:

 

Study 1 looked at 4 sets of fast and heavy squats.

3-5 reps @ 85-90% of their 1 rep max.

12-weeks, 3 times a week.

 

Results of bone mineral density (BMD) after:

2.2% increase in Lumbar Spine in BMD

1% increase in femoral neck in BMD

 

Study 2 looked at doing 20 jumps, 3 times a day for 6 months  with a vest (0-5kg in weight)

Results of bone mineral density (BMD) after:

4.6% increase in Lumbar Spine in BMD

9.8% increase in femoral neck in BMD

So, what does all this mean and what are the take always?

 

  1. Jump training is better for the legs & hip, lifting heavy weights is better for the spine. A program that uses both is probably best.
  2. Both training styles in conjunction with running is an easy and effective way to enhance bone health
  3. These modalities can be done at home, gym or even in the park so it’s a worthwhile investment

 

Podcast by Professor Stuart Warden on all things Bone Stress injuries

References:

 

Baxter-Jones AD, Faulkner RA, Forwood MR, Mirwald RL, Bailey DA (2011) Bone mineral accrual from 8 to 30 years of age: an estimation of peak bone mass. J Bone Miner Res 26(8):1729–1739.

 

Martyn-St James M, Carroll S. Effects of different impact exercise modalities on bone mineral density in premenopausal women: a meta-analysis. J Bone Miner Metab. 2010 May;28(3):251-67. doi: 10.1007/s00774-009-0139-6. Epub 2009 Dec 15. PMID: 20013013.

 

Mosti, Mats P.1; Carlsen, Trude2; Aas, Elisabeth2; Hoff, Jan2,3; Stunes, Astrid K.1; Syversen, Unni1,4 Maximal Strength Training Improves Bone Mineral Density and Neuromuscular Performance in Young Adult Women, Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research: October 2014 - Volume 28 - Issue 10 - p 2935-2945 doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000000493

Blake about us

Blake Withers

Podiatrist
Blake has a passion for endurance athletes and in particular, runners. His post graduate research investigated perceptions around footwear and foot type within this group. He is a keen athlete himself, finishing 3rd recently in the Noosa Triathlon in his respected category and 1st in the Glasshouse 100 (15km) trail run through the Glasshouse mountains. He currently continues to train for marathons, triathlons, and Ironman events. ‘Building resilience is one of the most important aspects I have found to be pivotal in the rehab journey’

Ready for Healthier Feet?

Book in Online Now

Click the button below to book
or call us now on 0240675055 for more info
or send us a message here

More Articles

The Wrap Protocol for Managing Achilles Tendonitis and Peritendonitis

By Blake Withers | November 16, 2023

Unlock Optimal Foot Health: The Wrap Protocol for Achilles Tendonitis and Peritendonitis

Embark on a journey to unparalleled foot well-being with our specialized approach – The Wrap Protocol. Crafted by podiatric experts, this protocol is your definitive guide to conquering Achilles Tendonitis and Peritendonitis. Delve into a wealth of in-depth research and gain practical insights tailored for your unique foot concerns.

Why Choose The Wrap Protocol?
Elevate your foot care journey with The Wrap Protocol – where expertise meets personalized healing. Unleash the potential of your feet, step into comfort, and stride towards lasting foot health.

Exploring Paediatric Podiatry: Foot Care and health for Kids

By Blake Withers | June 20, 2023

In our comprehensive blog post, we aim to address common questions and concerns regarding pediatric podiatry—the specialized field of foot care for children. We understand that parents often have inquiries about their child’s foot development, common conditions, and appropriate footwear choices. With expert insights and evidence-based information, we provide valuable guidance to help parents navigate the world of children’s foot health. Whether you’re curious about normal foot milestones, tips for maintaining healthy feet, or identifying signs of potential issues, our blog has you covered. Empower yourself with the knowledge needed to ensure your child’s feet are supported, comfortable, and ready to take each step with confidence.

Decoding Heel Pain: Unraveling Prognostic Factors with Achieve Podiatry

By Blake Withers | June 14, 2023

Welcome to the Achieve Podiatry blog, your trusted source for all things related to foot health and well-being. In this article, we will be delving into the intricate world of heel pain and exploring the essential prognostic factors that can help determine its course and outcome. Understanding these factors is crucial in developing effective treatment plans and achieving long-lasting relief. Join us as we unravel the mysteries of heel pain prognosis and gain valuable insights from the experienced team at Achieve Podiatry. Get ready to take a step towards better foot health and a pain-free life.

By Justin | May 22, 2023

How Advancement in Bone Science Should Inform the Examination and Treatment of Femoral Shaft Bone Stress Injuries in Running Athletes TAKEAWAYS:   Endurance runners (especially female) with a dull ache, made worse with running and better with non-impact activity should be considered to have a bone stress injury unless cleared otherwise. Strength testing, motion testing,…

Can Running Shoes Be the Solution to Patellofemoral Pain?

By Blake Withers | April 18, 2023

Patellofemoral pain (PFP) is a common problem among runners, and treating it can be a challenge for clinicians. One promising treatment option that has gained attention in recent years is the use of minimalist running shoes. These shoes have a low profile and minimal cushioning, which are believed to encourage a more natural running gait and reduce the impact forces experienced by the body while running. Could minimalist running shoes be the key to managing PFP?

You don’t want to miss this! Understanding The Complex Midfoot Injury

By Justin | March 21, 2023

Midfoot pain can be a debilitating condition that can affect anyone, from athletes to office workers. This type of pain is often felt in the arch of the foot or the middle of the foot and can be caused by a variety of factors, including overuse injuries, stress fractures, and arthritis.

Step Up Your Foot Health knowledge with the your local Newcastle Podiatrist: Achieve Podiatry

By Justin | February 28, 2023

Looking for relief from foot or heel pain in Newcastle? Our blog discusses the effectiveness of injections in improving foot function and reducing pain. While all studies had a high risk of bias, our analysis shows that DPT resulted in short-term improvements in pain and foot function compared to control groups, including exercises and placebo. As a trusted Newcastle podiatrist, we offer personalized treatment plans to help you achieve long-term relief from foot pain.

Score a Goal Against Groin Injuries: The Adductor Strengthening Programme for Football Players!

By Blake Withers | February 23, 2023

Male football players frequently get groyne injuries, which make up a sizable portion of time-loss injuries. According to a recent study, football players’ chances of experiencing groyne issues might be greatly decreased by adding only one exercise to their adductor strengthening regimen. A straightforward exercise from the Adductor Strengthening Plan can be integrated into routine warm-ups. In both the ITT and PP analyses, the programme decreased the prevalence of groyne issues by 41% and 47%, respectively. The findings imply that the ASP should be incorporated into senior male football players’ training, and it might also be advantageous for athletes in other sports with comparable movement patterns.

Protect Your Run: How Strength Training Can Reduce the Risk of Running Injuries

By Blake Withers | February 10, 2023

At Achieve Podiatry, we understand the importance of strength training in preventing running injuries. As experienced Newcastle podiatrists, we have seen first hand the impact that a lack of strength in certain muscles can have on a runner’s performance and overall foot health. In this blog, we will dive into the science behind why strength training is crucial for reducing the risk of running injuries, and provide tips and exercises to help runners incorporate strength training into their routine.

Rev Up Your Recovery: How to Rehab Your Hamstring Like a Pro

By Justin | January 27, 2023

Are you dealing with a nagging hamstring injury that just won’t seem to heal? You’re not alone. Hamstring injuries are common among athletes and active individuals, and can be frustrating to deal with. But don’t despair – with the right rehabilitation techniques and a commitment to consistency, you can get your hamstring back to full strength and function. In this blog post, we’ll go over some of the most effective exercises and strategies for rehabilitating your hamstring injury and getting you back to the activities you love