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Specificity of Bone Strength

A study from Wolverhampton University in England shows that exercising to strengthen muscles strengthens the bones on which these same muscles attach.

Bones in the arm that holds the racquet of a professional tennis player are much larger and stronger than the bones in the other arm. The arm bones are bigger, denser and stronger in athletes who whose activities involve upper body strength, such as rugby, rock climbing, kayaking, and weight lifting, while runners were observed to have the lowest arm bone mineral density, even lower than that of the controls.

Leg bone mineral density was highest in rugby players, whose activities included both running and strength training, but when bone density was corrected for body fat, runners had the strongest leg bones. So training is specific. When you strengthen your muscles, you also strenghen the bones on which muscles attach.

Modeling elite male athletes' peripheral bone mass, assessed using regional dual x-ray absorptiometry. Bone, 2003, Vol 32, Iss 1, pp 62-68. AM Nevill, RL Holder, AD Stewart. Nevill AM, Wolverhampton Univ, Sch Sport Performing Arts & Leisure, Walsall Campus, Gorway Rd, Walsall WS1 3BD, W Midlands, ENGLAND

Checked 8/31/08

May 11th, 2013
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About the Author: Gabe Mirkin, MD

Sports medicine doctor, fitness guru and long-time radio host Gabe Mirkin, M.D., brings you news and tips for your healthful lifestyle. A practicing physician for more than 50 years and a radio talk show host for 25 years, Dr. Mirkin is a graduate of Harvard University and Baylor University College of Medicine. He is board-certified in four specialties: Sports Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Pediatrics and Pediatric Immunology. The Dr. Mirkin Show, his call-in show on fitness and health, was syndicated in more than 120 cities. Read More
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