While weight-bearing and resistance exercises are some of the best types of exercise for those seeking to build and maintain strong bones, certain types of exercise can be harmful. A recent systematic review in Cureus investigated whether or not high-intensity and high-impact exercise, in particular, had a positive or negative impact on bone health in post-menopausal women.
One of the main questions that the authors examined in this review was whether or not high-impact and high-intensity exercise is safe for postmenopausal women. Due to the increased rate of bone loss during menopause, it has previously been unclear whether this type of exercise is dangerous for this demographic because of the increased potential for fragility fractures. This study examined two of the most common places for those fractures: the lumbar spine and femoral neck (hip joint).
For exercises targeting the lumbar spine, the study found that eight months of high-intensity resistance and impact training increased height of the spinal bones and improved kyphosis (rounding of the upper back), which are indicators of a reduced likelihood of spinal compression fractures. Eight months of high-intensity resistance and impact exercises also increased bone mass density in the femoral neck. The intensity of these exercises were done at 80+% of a one repetition maximum (1-RM), meaning that if someone can do one bicep curl with 10lbs, 80% of their 1-RM would be 8lbs.
In conclusion, the study found that high-intensity and high-impact exercise is beneficial for bone health. However, it's important to note that these types of exercises should be introduced slowly, with supervision, personalization, and with an understanding of proper form and technique to avoid injuries. It is also recommended to have a movement assessment before starting any new type of exercise.