Modelling Human Locomotion to Inform Exercise Prescription for Osteoporosis

Saulo Martelli, Belinda Beck, David Saxby, David Lloyd, Peter Pivonka, Mark Taylor

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)
3 Downloads (Pure)


Purpose of Review: We review the literature on hip fracture mechanics and models of hip strain during exercise to postulate the exercise regimen for best promoting hip strength. Recent Findings: The superior neck is a common location for hip fracture and a relevant exercise target for osteoporosis. Current modelling studies showed that fast walking and stair ambulation, but not necessarily running, optimally load the femoral neck and therefore theoretically would mitigate the natural age-related bone decline, being easily integrated into routine daily activity. High intensity jumps and hopping have been shown to promote anabolic response by inducing high strain in the superior anterior neck. Multidirectional exercises may cause beneficial non-habitual strain patterns across the entire femoral neck. Resistance knee flexion and hip extension exercises can induce high strain in the superior neck when performed using maximal resistance loadings in the average population. Summary: Exercise can stimulate an anabolic response of the femoral neck either by causing higher than normal bone strain over the entire hip region or by causing bending of the neck and localized strain in the superior cortex. Digital technologies have enabled studying interdependences between anatomy, bone distribution, exercise, strain and metabolism and may soon enable personalized prescription of exercise for optimal hip strength.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)301-311
Number of pages11
JournalCurrent Osteoporosis Reports
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2020

Bibliographical note

Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit


  • Bone strength
  • Hip strain
  • Osteoporosis
  • Physical exercise


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