Effect of exercise training programme on bone mineral density in novice college rowers.
Exercise has important effects on skeletal mineralization. Changes in bone mineral density (BMD) and bone mineral content (BMC) as measured by dual energy X-ray absorptiometry were investigated in a group of 17 male novice college oarsmen over a 7-month period and were compared with eight age-matched controls. The rowing training programme consisted of approximately 8 h rowing, 1 h weight training, and 1 h running per week. After 7 months training the mean BMD of the lumbar spine (L1-L4) had increased significantly by 2.9% (P < 0.001) and the mean BMC had increased by 4.2% (P < 0.001). There was no significant change in the control group. Neither group showed a significant change in BMD or BMC in the femoral neck, greater trochanter or Ward's triangle. This study provides further evidence that exercise plays an important role in bone mineral formation.