Benefits of Weight Bearing Exercise

You have likely heard the terms weight bearing and non- weight bearing exercise or even low impact and high impact exercise. While weight bearing can sound intimidating it is vital for your bone health! Read below for an easy for a simple definition and some exercises you can do on your own!

What does Weight-Bearing Mean?

These are exercises that force your body to work against gravity and where your limbs are in contact with the ground.  An easy example is a squat. Your legs are in contact with the ground and your lower body muscles and bones have to work as you lower down and up in a squat.

Why is weight-bearing important?

Your bones react to the weight on them by building themselves up and therefore getting stronger. As well as bone health, exercising can also help us maintain muscle strength, coordination, and balance, which also helps to prevent falls as we age.  In order to sustain the strengthening associated with weight-bearing exercise, the intensity, duration, and amount of stress applied to bone should increase over time.  This is why variety in an exercise routine is so important!

Which exercises can I do?

Besides a squat, other examples of weight-bearing exercise include walking, hiking, climbing stairs and even dancing.

Your doctor and physical therapist can help to find the perfect weight bearing activities for you! Continue to follow along with any RET social media this month for relevant tips and information regarding exercise and osteoporosis.


RET Physical Therapy Group has been “Your neighborhood physical therapy clinic,” since it was founded in 1973. The company is made up of 24 locations in the Puget Sound area that are all locally owned and operated by a team of physical therapists focused on a single purpose: to provide consistent, quality patient care within neighborhoods and communities. For more information, visit



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