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How to Use Exercise Machines to Prevent Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is defined as an abnormal loss of bone tissue, which eventually leads to bone fragility. Women of postmenopausal age are susceptible to osteoporosis. Fortunately, research performed by the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research suggest that weight-bearing activity can prevent osteoporosis. Strength-training workouts should be performed three times a week, and aerobic exercise should be performed three to six times a week.
How to Use Exercise Machines to Prevent Osteoporosis

Step 1
Learn the difference between open chain and closed chain exercise. In an open chain exercise, your hands and feet are free to move. In most cases, open chain exercises involve muscle isolation. Examples include the leg extension and the biceps curl. Although some open chain exercises have value, they produce shearing forces on the joints and are not effective for preventing osteoporosis. In closed chain exercise, the hands or feet are in a fixed position. This type of exercise produces compression forces, which is more effective for preventing osteoporosis.

Step 2
Begin with a weight bearing aerobic workout. The treadmill, elliptical machine and the stair-stepping machines are the best options. However, since your feet never leave the foot pedals on an elliptical machine, it is the best aerobic, weight bearing activity for preventing osteoporosis. Stay on the machine for 20 to 60 minutes.

Step 3
Use the leg press machine. To prevent osteoporosis, it's best to perform multijoint exercises of the large muscle groups. Depending on the manufacturer of the machine, the leg press will either be performed from a seated or a supine position. Your feet should be parallel and your upper body should be relaxed. Use smooth movements for both phases of the exercise. Perform three sets of 12 repetitions.

Step 4
Use the squat machine. Like the leg press, the squat machine works the quads, hamstrings and gluteal muscles. However, it is performed from a standing position. In most cases, the weight will rest on your shoulders. As you bend your knees, imagine that you are sitting back on a large chair. Straighten your legs with control. Perform three sets of 12 repetitions.

Step 5
Perform pull-ups. This is one of the few closed chain upper body exercises. Kneel on the pad and grasp the hand grips. Inhale to prepare. As you exhale, bend your elbows and pull yourself upward until your chin is in line with the top of the machine. Inhale to straighten your arms and return. Perform three sets of 12 repetitions.