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10 Exercises to Never Do With Osteoporosis

This article is a transcribed edited summary of a video Bob and Brad recorded in March of 2021. For the original video go to

Bob: Today we're going to talk about 10 exercises to never do with osteoporosis, especially if you have severe osteoporosis.

Brad: Sure Bob, you bet.

Bob: So, kind of a softening of the bones. I think people know what it is, right?

Brad: Yeah, it puts you at risk for a fracture.

Bob: One of the biggest concerns with osteoporosis is that you can get a compression fracture of the spine. A compression fracture happens when you move into a flexed position, especially with weight bearing or with added weight.

Brad: Right. If there's an impact, that obviously increases that risk much more. So, we want to avoid that.

Bob: We want to avoid the jarring through the spine.

Brad: We know from working with a number of patients over the years, compression fractures in the spine are painful and they don't go away quickly.

Bob: No, they don't. I've seen people literally just bend over with that rounded back and get it that way. So, it doesn't take much. That's why you really want to learn good body mechanics when you have osteoporosis.

Brad: And we should mention, typically this is older people, and it affects women more than men because of the change in their hormones at menopause. So, I would say people in their 60s really have to start thinking about this and older, of course.

Bob: I'm sure your health professional is probably bringing it up to you. Because they try to monitor that fairly closely.

Brad: Right, and there's a test they can do with the actual number to see what level you're at. We have a video on that, and I gave all the details.

Bob: Sure. All right, number one, you shouldn't be doing toe touches. Well, you shouldn't be doing these anyway. But a lot of people do it for stretching and it's just not good for your back anyway.

Bob: You certainly don't want to be doing those and you don't want to be doing it lying down like this. You don't want to be going this way either.

Brad: Yeah, some of these traditional therapists call it traditional, old-fashioned strategies that they thought were good at one time, but there are much better ways to do it now.

Bob: It'd be the same with sit-ups. Look how I’m rounding out and putting pressure on the back at the same time. So those two are both ones that you want to avoid, even if you don't have osteoporosis, we don't want you to do it.

Bob: So, watch your rounded back with any stretches or there are a lot of yoga poses that you can't be doing. I'm sorry, you can't be doing ones where you're bending, or you can't be doing the ones where you're badly twisting either.

Brad: Particularly going to end range or really pushing the stretch hard. That just puts more and more stress, especially if you flex and rotate at the same time.

Bob: And they fold, I don't know what they all call it like the fold.

Brad: The comments are going to be coming in.

Bob: I know, but you're rounding out. And if you have osteopetrosis, you shouldn't be doing that. There’s also the side bend triangle. I'm sure I'm screwing it up, but you're compressing on one side of the back really, badly.

Bob: Now this one, you cross your leg over and twist.

Brad: We used to do it a lot in karate. I called it the pretzel.

Bob: Now again, I'm bent and I'm twisting, it's called the Lord of the Fishes. What a name. So, I don't want to be doing that one. You want to be careful with jumping. Now, there have been some recent studies that show that it can help your osteoporosis by creating bone, you know, Wolfe’s Law.

Brad: Right. But that's controlled jumping. I had a course where they actually do that in classes with older people. But they're typically holding onto something and they start out with a small bounce like this.

Bob: Awesome. You don't want to be doing a jump rope or jumping jacks. It's just too much impact.

Brad: Don't jump off the back end of a pickup truck for some of those older farmers. That's a good way to pop it.

Bob: Number six running, you should choose speed walking instead. Do you know how to do that, Brad?

Brad: Speed walk?

Bob: Yeah.

Brad: No. But I did a race once where he could keep up with me walking. I was running a seven-minute pace and he could walk there. I couldn't believe it. He was a professional. Anyways.

Bob: Next number seven. You want to avoid sports that involve a high risk of falling. So, you know, skiing, no matter how good you are, you may fall, ice skating, rollerblading. You know, these are things I'm sorry, as you get older, you're going to have to avoid because you get a compression fracture, you're not going to be happy.

Brad: Right.

Bob: So, this is not really a sport per se, but a recreational activity, snowmobiling. Brad said, the suspension has gotten much better, but you're often rounded out and bumping up and down.

Brad: Particularly the person on the back. If you're a rider and someone in front, and maybe they're a little younger and they like to give you a little scare. The back of the snowmobile is much more compressive, or bouncy than the front. And if they want to do a jump just to scare you. And when that thing lands, it’s jarring.

Bob: It sounds like something that you did.

Brad: I did. Yeah.

Bob: And you probably wonder, oh, what happened to my wife?

Brad: No, this was when I was younger, I was single. It wasn’t my mom either.

Bob: Next one is golf, which I was kind of surprised a little bit because you can kind of modify your swing, but they had three case studies of women that got compression fractures mid-swing. So, you must be careful.

Brad: I didn't think you'd bring that up. Because you're an avid golfer. He's serious about that one.

Bob: I know, and tennis is the same thing. You know, you're putting some weight and you're twisting again. I think you can do a modified version of these. But you'd have to learn how to do that. So, you need to move your pelvis when you're moving your back basically.

Brad: It is kind of a double-edged sword because as you get older, you want to stay active. But if you got osteopetrosis, keep those considerations in mind and dampen things down so they're not so aggressive, or find another activity, maybe bicycling.

Bob: Yeah. You know what would also be bad is bowling. You're bending over.

Brad: We're not going to have any fun when we get older if we get osteopetrosis. But no, there are always ways.

Brad: Biking could be bad too unless you make sure you're upright when you're biking. You don't want to be rounded out. It's not a lot of pressure because you put some pressure on your arms.

Brad: They've got some of those nice bikes. They look old-fashioned with the higher handlebars.

Bob: They have recumbent ones too. All right. Brad and I can fix just about anything.

Brad: Except for-

Bob: A broken heart.

Brad: Thanks for watching.

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