Bone mineral content of cyclically menstruating female resistance and endurance trained athletes

Carola H. Heinrich, Scott B. Going, Richard W. Pamenter, Colleen D. Perry, Thomas W. Boyden, Timothy G. Lohman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations


The bone mineral content (BMC) at four sites on the axial and appendicular skeleton was compared among four groups of young adult (age = 17-38 yr) cyclically menstruating athletes (N = 40) who regularly performed either weightlifting resistance exercise (body builders) or nonresistance endurance exercise (runners, swimmers) and an inactive group of females (N = 18) of about equal age. Forearm BMC was measured using single photon absorptiometry at proximal (shaft) and distal sites on the radius. Dual photon absorptiometry was used to measure BMC at the lumbar vertebrae (L2-4) and femur at the femoral neck, Ward’s triangle, and greater trochanter. Fat-free body mass (FFBM) was estimated from densitometry. Body builders had greater BMC than swimmers, collegiate runners, recreational runners, and controls. Mean differences in BMC among runners, swimmers, and controls were not significant (P ≤ 0.05). FFBM was correlated significantly with BMC (r = 0.35-0.56) at each site in the combined group of athletes (N = 39), whereas total body weight and BMC were correlated significantly at the distal radius site (r = 0.38) only. The results suggest that weight training may provide a better stimulus for increasing BMC than run and swim training.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)558-563
Number of pages6
JournalMedicine and Science in Sports and Exercise
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1990


  • Body builders
  • Cyclically menstruating
  • Dual photon absorptiometry
  • Femur
  • Lumbar vertebrae
  • Radius
  • Runners
  • Swimmers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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