European Journal of Applied Physiology

, Volume 111, Issue 9, pp 2155–2162 | Cite as

Three-month bilateral hopping intervention is ineffective in initiating bone biomarker response in healthy elderly men

  • Timo RantalainenEmail author
  • M. Hoffrén
  • V. Linnamo
  • A. Heinonen
  • P. V. Komi
  • J. Avela
  • B. C. Nindl
Original Article


In animal studies, bone adaptation has been initiated successfully without the transient force spike associated with high impact exercises. Consequently, a 12-week bilateral hopping on the balls of the feet intervention was conducted. 25 elderly men (age 72(SD4) years, height 171(6) cm, weight 75(9) kg) were randomly assigned into exercise and control groups. Ten subjects in each group completed the study. Carboxyterminal propeptide of type I collagen (CICP), bone-specific alkaline phosphatase (bALP) and carboxyterminal telopeptide of type I collagen (CTx) were measured from venous blood samples at baseline, at 2 weeks and at the end of the intervention. Maximal ground reaction force (GRF), osteogenic index (OI) and jump height (JH) were determined from bilateral hopping test and balance was assessed with velocity of center of pressure (COPvelocity) while standing on the preferred leg with eyes open. The intervention consisted of 5–7 sets of 10 s timed bilateral hopping exercise at 75–90% intensity three times/week. There was no significant group × time interaction for GRF, OI and JH (P = 0.065). GRF (11% change from baseline vs. 4%), OI (15 vs. 6%) and COPvelocity (−10 vs. −1%) were not influenced by the intervention (P > 0.170), while the control group improved JH (P = 0.031) (2 vs. 18%). For the biomarkers, no effect was observed in MANOVA (P = 0.536) or in univariate analyses (P = 0.082 to P = 0.820) (CICP −2 vs. −3%, CTx 8 vs. −12%, bALP 0 vs. −3.7%). Allowing transient impact force spikes may be necessary to initiate a bone response in elderly men as the intervention was ineffective.


Randomized controlled study RCT Bone biochemical markers Exercise Impact 



The study was funded by the European regional development fund, the Academy of Finland and by the TBGS National Graduate School of Musculoskeletal Disorders and Biomaterials. The opinions or assertions contained herein are the private views of the author(s) and are not to be construed as official or reflecting the views of the Army or the Department of Defense.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Timo Rantalainen
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  • M. Hoffrén
    • 1
  • V. Linnamo
    • 1
  • A. Heinonen
    • 3
  • P. V. Komi
    • 1
  • J. Avela
    • 1
  • B. C. Nindl
    • 1
    • 4
  1. 1.Neuromuscular Research Center, Department of Biology of Physical ActivityUniversity of JyväskyläJyväskyläFinland
  2. 2.Department of Mechanical EngineeringLappeenranta University of TechnologyLappeenrantaFinland
  3. 3.Department of Health SciencesUniversity of JyväskyläJyväskyläFinland
  4. 4.Military Performance DivisionUS Army Research Institute of Environmental MedicineNatickUSA

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