The 3 Best Exercises for Strong Bones You Can Do Without Any Equipment

Photo: Getty Images/ Innocenti
No doubt exercise makes your muscles stronger, but that's not the whole story. When you're doing your at-home workouts, with beads of sweat forming on your brow, you're also working something even deeper. Exercises for strong bones are just as important as the ones you use to build your biceps or glutes.

According to the Mayo Clinic, bone health should be front of mind for a number of reasons. Your bones provide the structure for your entire body, ensuring that your organs are protected, you receive enough calcium, and that your muscles remain connected. They're kind of like the backstage crew that helps everything else in the body perform at its best, and that's why it's worth protecting. Particularly right now.

"Since we are spending more time indoors, we are less exposed to sunlight: a major source of vitamin D and bone strength," says Stephen Liu, MD, founder of IFGfit. To be clear, it's always a good idea to strengthen your bones to prevent osteoporosis, but it's worth paying special attention to that right now by eating vitamin D dense foods and doing plenty of exercises.

So what does it mean for bones to actually get "stronger," you ask? Good question. You have bone mass just like you have muscle mass. "Physiologically, bone mineral density is a measure of bone mass, which is a reflection of calcium and other minerals in the bone," says Dr. Liu. "Lack of exercise or sun leads to a greater loss of bone minerals." The good news is that your bones tend to get stronger as your muscles do, so if you're ticking off your workouts, chances are your bones are in pretty good fitness, too.

If you do want to give special care to your bones, which Dr. Liu recommends especially for men over the age of 45 and women over age 30, focus on weight-bearing exercises like hiking or dancing. Or, try a few of the moves below.

The best exercises for strong bones you can do indoors

1. Wall squat

  1. Find a wall and press your back against it. Walk your feet forward as far as you can while still keeping your lower back pressed against the wall.
  2. Squat down so you're doing a wall sit, letting your knees bend between a 30 and 90-degree angle, depending on your comfort levels.
  3. Repeat 10 to 30 times each day.

2. Step-ups

  1. Find a small object in your house that can bear your weight (a staircase works) and practice stepping up and stepping back down.
  2. Do 10 to 30 reps on each side.

3. Sit-ups

  1. Lie on your back, placing your feet flat on the ground behind your glutes.
  2. Interlace your hands behind your head or send them out straight in front of you.
  3. Sit all the way up, then lower all the way down.
  4. Repeat 10 to 30 times each day.

Vitamin K is also A+ for your bones—here's how to eat more of it. And this is what a rheumatologist eats in a day

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