What is the best way to increase your bone density? Well that can very much depend on your physical pursuits. The general recommendations are weight bearing exercises, adequate calcium and sometimes, prescribed supplements such a Fosamax, Boniva and Actonel.
I would like to talk about a much more visceral approach – Impact Conditioning. Impact conditioning has been used for years by marital artists. Repeated hard impact forces a biological response to the high pressure that causes greater bone density from microscopic fractures – this is also know as Wolff’s Law. There can be a downside to this rigorous approach – stress to tendons, ligaments and muscles. Often in taking this traditional approach lineaments will be prescribed by your coach/instructor/Grand Master to help you heal after this type of intense training. One good example of this is Dit Dow Jow (http://amzn.to/1RTLV2R).
I have been training in this manner for years at my martial arts school more specifically with a Southern Shaolin approach. Here are five basic techniques I have used over the years. To help the reader who is not familiar with martial arts training when I refer to strike points, these are the areas on the leg or the arm that come in contact with opponents.
The first is an exercise called Sam Sin and is a series of forearm clashes with another student that helps to toughen all the striking areas of the forearm.
The second is a similar approach but the technique is performed (also with the forearms) on a Wing Chun Dummy (http://amzn.to/1Xv6WBv), this drill also strengthens all the striking area of the forearms.
The next two techniques are for the legs and are very similar to the afore mentioned approaches for the forearm.
The third approach requires a partner, you perform a series of leg clashes on all the contact points of the leg.
The fourth approach requires a whole bunch of chops sticks and some duct tape. You tape them together (lengthwise) about forty or so. Now you use your new toy to tap on all the contact points of the leg.
The fifth approach is for the body itself and requires a partner. Its quite simple you take turns giving round house kicks to the body.
In just the past month I have also found one more technique/tool that can be used on almost any part of the body but is best used for the legs and arms. It is called the Iron Arm (http://amzn.to/1VlLQri). Same approach you strike all the contact points of the legs and forearms. I’ll let you know how it works out with the Iron Arm soon!!
Now a little due diligence; I have been using these techniques for years but your must have guidance by a good coach or Grand Master. I would also check with your doctor. You can expect abrasions, cuts, possible skin infections, possible tendon and ligament damage as well as possible stress fractures. With these considerations in mind again make sure to seek expert guidance if you are going to engage in this type of conditioning. There are some risks but you will reap the benefits if done properly.
I have also attached a few links to articles, books and videos of this type of training.
Train Hard, Train Safe!!