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Health

Bone Mass | How 10 Jumps A Day Will Keep Your Bones Strong!

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Are you wondering how jumping 10 times a day increases your bone mass more than running?

I knew that as we age, we lose bone density. For many years, and out of ignorance, I believed that regular physical activity like walking and eating a lot of calcium (milk, cheese) would help keep my bones healthy and strong. But guess what? The truth is that it isn’t enough.

I recently discovered that low-repetition, high-impact jumping repetitions were more effective for bone-building than running, swimming, cycling, walking, or jogging.

I remember being shocked by the story of a fit bicycle athlete that ended up having poor bone density issues because he didn’t jump enough in his lifetime! But how is this possible, I thought? Athletes are strong and in shape. They can’t have serious bone health problems.

In this article, I will explore why jump training is recommended for maintaining bone mass growth. This is fascinating! Read on!

Medical disclosure: The Fit Yourself Barre content is provided for informational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for the medical advice of a physician. You should not take any action before consulting with a healthcare professional.

Why does jumping 10 to 20 times per day increase your bone mass more than running?

Bone-mass-increase-A-blond-hair-woman-training-outdoors-in-nature-jumping-exercise

Whenever you jump, you send strong vibration signals that generate a series of physiological stimuli. One of them communicates to the brain that more bone mass needs to be built to absorb the shock of gravity’s weight on your skeleton structure. However, bone cells become desensitized when mechanical stimulation is long and constant. That is why repeated bone stress has less effect on your bones when you run than 10-20 high-impact jumps.

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What are bones and what do they do?

First, bones are living organs of the skeletal system which provide support for our entire bodies’ weight. They also build our shape and protect other organs:

  • The skull protects the brain and shapes the face
  • The spinal column protects the spinal cord
  • The ribs that form a cage envelop the heart and lungs
  • The pelvis protects the reproductive organs in women, the bladder and intestines

Second, the bones’ framework is made up of a protein called collagen, calcified osseous tissue, and cartilage, a connective tissue. What makes bones hard and strong is the mineral called calcium phosphate. Bones also store calcium and release some in the bloodstream when it’s necessary.

Therefore, eating enough vitamins and minerals like vitamin D and Calcium is essential for your bones’ ongoing health. Vitamin D helps absorb and fix the calcium in your bones.

Third, bones are composed of 2 kinds of bone tissues; compact bone (the hard and dense part) and cancellous bone (the sponge-like type inside the compact bone). The latter is where bone marrow is found.

It is in this soft bone that the blood cells and platelets are made. Red blood cells carry oxygen to the body’s organs and tissues while white blood cells help fight infections. Platelets help stop blood from clotting when you cut yourself for instance.

Finally, bones make hormones that communicate with the brain and other organs. As an example, bones release a hormone that helps us deal with sudden danger.

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What is bone mass?

Bone mass or bone mineral density is the amount of calcium present in a given volume of bone tissue. People suffering from osteoporosis have a low bone density which can increase the risk of bone fracture.

While bone growth stops after a certain age, bone strength needs to be constantly built and cared for. Their solidity is never acquainted and though vitamin D and calcium consumption are crucial, it is not enough to prevent bone loss. Physical training is as important.

Bones are live tissues that are continually building and renewing themselves.

Related article “Benefits of doing planks daily: why are planks a good exercise?”

When do bones stop growing?

Bones stop growing in length between 17 and 25 yo. That’s the phase when we build our bone capacity. We continue to build bone mass up to 30yo. After 30 yo, we lose more bone than we build it.

The good news is that proof shows that physical activity helps build and maintain bone density at any age. Have you been more inactive most of your life? You can still be able to regain bone strength!

Studies show that bone mass increases when doing regular resistance training like lifting weights, 2 or 3 times a week for as little as 10 minutes. The force of muscles pushing against bones stimulates this bone formation. The weight-bearing exercises also appear to help retain the calcium in the bones carrying the load.

So both strength training and body mineralization are necessary for bone-building and strength. But not only. You may want to consider adding jump training to your workout regimen.

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Why jump for maintaining healthy bone mass? It’s a question of vibrations!

Jumps provoke a series of physiological reactions, such as creating micro-tears in the bones due to the high-intensity impact. As a response to these stimuli, bones rebuild more mass and thicken. Existing studies conclude how SIGNIFICANT and site-specific jumping exercise is in improving bone density, especially in the hips.

The brain-bone relationship

Moreover, since then, science found that it is the brain that controls the formation of bones.

“The new findings show that bone formation, far from being a straightforward mechanical process dependent on body weight, is delicately orchestrated by the brain, which sends and receives signals through the body’s neural and hormone systems.

It is now clear that the neural network which controls appetite and energy also alters bone density.”

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For how long should I jump to strengthen my bones?

Regarding bone-building, one study found that jumping 10 to 20 times a day with 30 seconds of rest in between each jump greatly improves hip bone mineral density in premenopausal women. So it isn’t a question of “how long” but more a question of “how many”.

Another study concluded that only “10 maximum vertical jumps/day, 3 days/wk enhanced BMD at the femoral neck in young women who had almost reached the age of peak bone mass. For practical applications, low-repetition high-impact jumps are suggested to be one of the ideal training methods for enhancing and maintaining peak bone mass in young adult women.”

But what about older women/men? Is jump training good for them too?

Yes! A very recent 2019 review, that had 289 older adults (58 to 79yo) do jumping training, also showed how it increased their bone mass and strength.

Consult with your doctor prior to starting any jumping exercises when you suffer from osteoporosis, arthritis or any bone-related conditions.

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Wrap up

It is so unfortunate that as we get older, we don’t jump as we used to when we were kids!

There is evidence now that the frequency, amount, and intensity of pressure when exercising all contribute to bone growth however none of the three have been determined to be more important than the other.

That’s why it is worthwhile to consider adding 10-20 jumps (30 seconds rest or more) to your workout training and diversifying the different forms of exercise. Make sure you land on your heels when jumping.

In fact, our contact with the ground, and playing with gravity are going to play an important role in maintaining peak potential bone mass, throughout our entire life.

Remember that it is the repeated bone stress that numbs the brain-bones connection’s response. So while jumping 40 times non-stop will get you a good cardio boost, it will have little impact on strengthening your bones.

Please leave your comments/questions and share your experience below! I would love to hear from you!

And if you’ve enjoyed reading this article, why not share it and pin it for later?

My content may contain affiliate links for products I use and love. What does that mean? It won’t cost you anything. If you subscribe or make a purchase after clicking on one of these links, I’ll earn some money which will help me pay for the cost of maintaining my website and writing more helpful content. Thank you for your support!

 

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9 Comments

  1. MnD says:

    We learned about how 10 jumps a day will increase bone mass. Having more bone mass is important because it helps us in our daily activities.

    Cheers,
    MnD

  2. Hi Anne-Caroline,
    This is an interesting and informative article. I was intrigued to read it because of the issue of osteoporosis.

    I really learned a lot – especially that jumps provoke physiological reactions creating micro-tears in the bones due to the high-intensity impact. It is responding to this reaction that bones proceed to build more mass and thicken, You are also quite correct that as we get older we tend to reduce or even eliminate jumping.

    I was encouraged to learn that seniors and older adults can benefit from this exercise.
    I’m off to start my 10-20 jumps (30 seconds rest or more) along with my daily exercise.
    Thanks for this lovely article.
    Ceci

    1. Anne-Caroline says:

      Thank you for your comment! I am glad that you have learned a lot and that you are going to start jumping 10 to 20 times a day to grow your bone mass. You may be interested in reading “Is training Barefoot Good? 10 Great Benefits exercising Shoeless! https://fityourselfbarre.com/benefits-training-barefoot/

  3. Very interesting and surprising indeed. Who would have thought that jumping on a daily basis would lead to an increase in bone density.

    1. Anne-Caroline says:

      Hi Schalk, yes, exactly!! I was very surprised too about this bone density growth fact! You may be interested in reading “Benefits of rest days from working out.” “https://fityourselfbarre.com/benefits-of-rest-days-from-working-out/”

  4. Satz says:

    I was not aware that jumping helps in building your bone mass. I find the bone-brain connection quite interesting and how sprint jumping won’t help to make bones stronger. I had a question here – How about including ‘Jump Rope’ exercises in your daily workout? Will this help in increasing the bone mass?

    1. Anne-Caroline says:

      Jump rope has many health benefits but like running, it doesn’t help as much as low-repetition, high-intensity jumps when wanting to gain more bone mass. And that is due to the constant bone stress and the brain getting “used to it”. Thank you for your comment!!

  5. Jumping is usually part of a cardio routine so if, for example, you tend to go for HIIT or an old school weight training – which, as you said, it’s an excellent way to increase bone density – chances are you’re not incorporating any jumps in your routine. Rope jumping or jumping on a trampoline are good ways to get your cardio in but in terms of bone density, nothing beats a good, slow-paced jump. However, making sure you stick the landing is key as it can put unnecessary stress on the knees if you’re not paying attention and don’t control the landing.

    Cheers,
    Femi

    1. Anne-Caroline says:

      Thank you, Femi for your comment! Yes, that’s correct, low repetition jumps with 30s intervals are most effective in terms of gaining bone density. You may be interested in reading https://fityourselfbarre.com/music-effects-on-workout/ 12 Remarkable Music Effects On Your Workout | Make It Fun!

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