Maximal strength training improves bone mass in young women
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Background: Current exercise guidelines highlight maximising peak bone mass as an important strategy in the prevention of osteoporosis later in life. Exercise recommendations suggest impact – and weight lifting exercises as effective for improving bone mass in young women. However, it is still unclear which weight lifting intervention, with respect to exercises, intensity, frequency and duration, is the most effective. Objective: The purpose of the study was to investigate the effect of maximal strength training (MST) on bone mass at the lumbar spine, the hip and the total body, and serum bone formation and resorption markers in healthy, young women. Method: The training group (TG, n=14) completed 12 weeks of MST in the half-squat exercise. The control group (CG, n=15) continued their normal activities and was given exercise advises according to exercise guidelines on bone health. Results: Maximal strength (1RM) in the half-squat exercise improved by 97.7% (p < 0.01) following 12 weeks of MST. The increase in 1RM coincided with increased bone mineral density (BMD) at the lumbar spine and the total hip by 2.2% and 1.0%, respectively (p < 0.01). Bone mineral content significantly increased at the lumbar spine and the total body by 3.4% (p < 0.01) and 1.4% (p< 0.05), respectively. Serum levels of bone formation marker type 1 collagen amino-terminal propeptide (P1NP) improved by 26.2% (p < 0.01). Conclusions: These results suggest that a relative short term MST intervention is effective for increasing BMD at the lumbar spine and the total hip, 1RM in the half-squat exercise and bone formation marker P1NP in healthy, young women.