Skip to main content

Bone density compared between athletes of different disciplines

It would seem reasonable that triathletes have a high bone density due to their broad range of exercise types. However, this does not seem to hold [1].

According to [2], triathletes are only second to ballet dancers when it comes to training hours, however, regarding bone density, it does not show.

In paper [4] it is shown that after a full season of triathlon training not much change was detected in bone density.

I'm not a doctor section

Osteo: bone related, osteogenic referring to bone creation.

BMD: bone mass density, higher means stronger bones and less chance of fractures. Among other things, our body increases bone density when we put them under stress, aka training. However, only where the stress is applied bone density increases, so some research papers distinguish for example, between hip bone and spine. 


This cross-sectional study has shown that power/combat athletes, team sport athletes and sport students have greater BMD than endurance trained athletes, ballet dancers and non-athletes. It can be assumed that particularly dynamic sports with short, high, and multidimensional loads have strong effects on bone formation, independent of training quantity [2].

Current research suggests that owing to differences in loading forces and energy expenditure, bone health in distance runners, cyclists, and swimmers tends to be inferior to that seen in athletes of other sports [3].

The triathlon appeared to generate only a miner osteogenic effect on bone tissue. This was demonstrated by the lack of BMD gain in the weight-bearing bone sites in athletes over the course of an entire competition season [4].

  4. Maimoun L, Galy O, Manetta J, et al. Competitive season of triathlon doesnot alter bone metabolism and bone mineral status in male triathletes. Int JSports Med. 2004;25:230-234.


Popular posts from this blog

Ultimate limit of human endurance found - BBC News

The ultimate limit of human endurance has been worked out by scientists analysing a 3,000 mile run, the Tour de France and other elite events. They showed the cap was 2.5 times the body's resting metabolic rate, or 4,000 calories a day for an average person. Ultimate limit of human endurance found - BBC News

4 Laws of Muscle

The protein and muscle guru Luc van Loon wants you to bulk up—and keep what you've got. At a conference in 2012, Luc van Loon was presenting some exciting data from a newly published study. After a heroic research effort that took 2. 4 Laws of Muscle