News & Views

Bone: High-intensity exercise to prevent fractures — risk or gain?

Although the favourable effects of high-intensity resistance and impact training (HiRIT) on bone strength have been demonstrated, it is generally considered unsuitable for older adults. A recent study reports that 8 months of HiRIT was efficacious and induced no adverse effects in older postmenopausal women with, or at risk of, osteoporosis.

  • Subscribe to Nature Reviews Endocrinology for full access:



Additional access options:

Already a subscriber?  Log in  now or  Register  for online access.


  1. 1.

    & Regulation of bone mass by mechanical strain magnitude. Calcif. Tissue Int. 37, 411–417 (1985).

  2. 2.

    , & Mechanotransduction in bone: role of strain rate. Am. J. Physiol. Endocrinol. Metab. 269, E438–E442 (1995).

  3. 3.

    & Rationale for strengthening muscle to prevent falls and fractures: a review of the evidence. Calcif. Tissue Int. 98, 531–545 (2016).

  4. 4.

    , & Exercise effects on bone mineral density in older adults: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Age 34, 1493–1515 (2011).

  5. 5.

    , & The effects of differing resistance training modes on the preservation of bone mineral density in postmenopausal women: a meta-analysis. Osteoporos. Int. 26, 1605–1618 (2015).

  6. 6.

    et al. High-intensity resistance and impact training improves bone mineral density and physical function in postmenopausal women with osteopenia and osteoporosis: the LIFTMOR randomized controlled trial. J. Bone Miner. Res. (2017).

  7. 7.

    , , & Exercise and fractures in postmenopausal women. Final results of the controlled Erlangen Fitness and Osteoporosis Prevention Study (EFOPS). Osteoporos. Int. 26, 2491–2499 (2015).

  8. 8.

    & Exercise as an anabolic stimulus for bone. Curr. Pharm. Des. 10, 2629–2641 (2004).

  9. 9.

    , , & Trend and prevalence estimates based on the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. Am. J. Prev. Med. 39, 305–313 (2010).

  10. 10.

    et al. Physical Activity in the Prevention and Treatment of Disease (ed. Professional Associations for Physical Activity) (Swedish Institute of Health, 2010).

Download references

Author information


  1. Institute of Medical Physics, Friedrich-Alexander University of Erlangen-Nürnberg, Henkestrasse 91, 91052 Erlangen, Germany.

    • Wolfgang Kemmler
    •  & Simon von Stengel


  1. Search for Wolfgang Kemmler in:

  2. Search for Simon von Stengel in:

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Wolfgang Kemmler.