Choosing the right equipment for strength training for osteoporosis and osteopenia prevention is important! Here are a few clips from my DVD on equipment selection. Scroll down for more suggestions.
Pick dumbbells that are comfortable in your hands. They are available in vinyl, neoprene, or uncoated metal. Wearing bike gloves, weight lifting gloves, or even inexpensive work gloves helps pad your hands. I like to see women over-fifty start with sets of one to five pound dumbbells because it’s safer to increase the intensity of strength training in one pound increments. You can purchase heavier weights as you get stronger.
Where to purchase dumbbells:
Sporting goods and department stores usually have a wide variety of dumbbells. Click here to search on Amazon.com. When ordering online, be sure to look for dumbbell offers that come in pairs. Often, dumbbells are sold singly. Compare shipping prices. Look down toward the bottom of the Amazon page to find “Sponsored Links” for more selections.
Adjustable Leg or Ankle Weights
My favorite is the All Pro Brand Adjustable Ankle Weights.
They only seem to be available online these days, as I haven’t seen them in stores for years.
The 5 and 10 pound models have metal rods in half pound increments. So, you can easily start with as little as a half a pound.
But, read the fine print!
The "All Pro 10 lb Adjustable Ankle Weights (pair)" is actually two-5 pound ankle weights.
The "All Pro 10 lb Adjustable Ankle Weight"is just one ankle weight that goes up to 10 pounds. You can get by with purchasing just one, switching back and forth to each leg as needed, but it's a bit of a hassle and takes more time.
Many other styles are available and are less expensive than the All Pro brand. They work, but are often more difficult to adjust and aren't as comfortable because of less padding. The 10 pound size in the "sandbag" type can be too big and bulky for a woman's ankle because the inserts are in 2 pound increments, not 1/2 pound like the All-Pro.
Whichever kind you choose, be sure to get the adjustable kind. Remember to look for the total weight on the box. If it's a pair, each ankle weight will be half that total weight. It fools everyone, so read carefully!
If holding dumbbells is uncomfortable for your hands because of arthritis, you can either try using your ankle weights or get some adjustable wrist weights.
Look for something that fits well and would be comfortable on your wrists.
Often, friends and relatives have unused strength training equipment, so ask around! You'll also see dumbbells in second hand stores. You'll get great use of this equipment to slow down bone loss. All of it should last a lifetime and more!
Have fun shopping!