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10 Weight-Bearing Exercises To Keep Your Bones Strong As You Age

Elevate your quality of life with these trainer-approved moves.
FACT CHECKED BY Alexa Mellardo

Let's face it: Getting older is no walk in the park. Your hair may turn gray, wrinkles and age spots appear out of nowhere, and your body loses elasticity, becoming less physically capable than it once was. As a result, your bone health begins to decline and you lose strength. Fortunately, we're here to offer a solution. We chatted with Kyrie Furr, CPT, a certified personal trainer and performance coach with Barbend, who shares the top 10 weight-bearing exercises to keep your bones strong and resilient as you age.

Your bones naturally lose density as you age, making them more prone to fractures and breaks. Fortunately, research suggests regular weight-bearing exercises can help slow down this process and keep your bones strong and healthy. This is especially crucial for seniors, as bone health becomes a major factor in maintaining independence and quality of life.

Regardless of your fitness level, the following weight-bearing exercises can help keep your bones strong and healthy as you age, according to Furr. Read on to learn more. And when you're done, be sure to check out the 10 Best Low-Impact Exercises To Melt Belly Fat.


illustration of woman on a brisk walk

Walking is a fantastic low-impact exercise that's easy on the joints and can be done almost anywhere. It helps strengthen bones in your legs, hips, and lower spine, reducing the risk of fractures and improving overall bone health.

"Aim for at least 30 minutes of brisk walking five times per week," recommends Furr. "If you can, jogging or running can provide even greater bone-strengthening benefits compared to walking due to the increased impact."

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Stair Climbing

woman stair climbing exercise

Climbing stairs is a simple yet effective cardio exercise that builds bone strength, especially in your legs and hips.

"Climbing stairs engages multiple muscle groups and puts stress on your bones, making it an excellent weight-bearing exercise. You can use stairs at home, in your office building, or find a stair climber machine at the gym," says Furr.


woman dancing

Dancing is more than a fun and active way to let loose. According to a 2023 study, dancing can improve balance and coordination, reducing the risk of falls and fractures as you age.

Furr says, "Dancing engages various muscle groups and involves bearing your body weight while moving to the rhythm of music. Styles like salsa, hip-hop, or Zumba can be particularly effective for bone health."

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illustration of women playing tennis

Playing tennis is another excellent weight-bearing exercise since it involves plenty of running, jumping, and quick changes in direction.

"Playing sports like tennis or racquetball involves quick movements and impacts with the ground, all of which can help strengthen bones, particularly in the upper body and legs," explains Furr.

Bodyweight Squats


Squats are a fundamental compound exercise that strengthens muscles and bones in your lower body, including the quads, hamstrings, and glutes. They can also reduce your risk of falls and fractures by boosting balance and stability.

"Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and lower your body by bending your knees and pushing your hips back as if sitting into a chair. Keep your chest up and knees aligned with your toes. Aim for three sets of 10 to 15 with 60 seconds of rest between sets," says Furr.

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lunges exercise

Lunges are a top-notch bone-strengthening movement. They work multiple muscle groups, including the quads, hamstrings, and glutes, to help strengthen bones in your legs and hips.

"Stand with your feet hip-width apart, step forward with one leg, and lower your body until both knees are bent at a 90-degree angle," Furr instructs. "Keep your front knee aligned with your ankle and back knee just above the floor." Perform three sets of eight to 12 reps for each leg. Take a 60-second rest between sets.

Dumbbell Deadlifts

illustration of dumbbell deadlift

Deadlifts are another foundational compound exercise that targets the muscles and bones in the lower back, legs, and hips.

"Start by standing with feet hip-width apart, holding dumbbells in front of your thighs," says Furr. "Hinge at your hips, keep your back flat, and lower the dumbbells toward the floor, stopping below the knee at your mid-shin area. Push through your heels to return to a standing position." Complete three sets of eight to 10 reps, taking a 60 to 90-second rest between sets.

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This classic bodyweight exercise strengthens muscles in your chest, shoulders, and triceps while engaging your core and lower body for a solid bone health boost.

"Start in a plank position with hands shoulder-width apart," instructs Furr. "Lower your body until your chest nearly touches the floor, then push back up. Keep your core tight as you transition through the full movement." Shoot for three sets of eight to 12 reps with a 60-second rest between sets.

Dumbbell Bench Press

Dumbbell Chest Press

Grab a pair of dumbbells, and get ready to strengthen bones in your upper body.

To perform this exercise, Furr says, "Lie on a bench with a dumbbell in each hand and your palms facing forward. Have the dumbbells resting by your chest. Press the dumbbells upward until your arms are fully extended, then lower them back down to chest level." Perform three sets of eight to 10 reps, and take 60 to 90 seconds to rest between sets.

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illustration of step-ups

Step-ups are a simple yet effective exercise for increasing bone strength in your legs and hips and improving balance and coordination.

"Using a step or platform, step up with one foot, pressing through the heel to lift your body onto the step," says Furr. "Step down and repeat with the other foot. Step-ups can be done weighted or as a bodyweight exercise." Perform three sets of 10 to 12 reps on each leg. Rest for 60 seconds between sets.

Adam Meyer
Adam is a health writer, certified holistic nutritionist, and 100% plant-based athlete. Read more about Adam
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