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3 Fun Safe Effective Exercises for Osteogenesis Imperfecta (O.I.)

What is Osteogenesis Imperfecta?

Osteogenesis Imperfecta is a connective tissue disorder that is primarily characterized by brittle or fragile bones. With that being the case, when people think of exercise and working out, they will usually shy away if you’re also talking about fragile or brittle bones! These two are contradicting concepts.

However, exercise and working out is very important even for people who have fragile, brittle, or weak bones. It just has to be done safely!

I personally have Osteogenesis Imperfecta Type 1. It’s a mild form of the disorder, but nonetheless a factor when it comes to my exercise and working out. I lived most of my life scared of exercise and working out because I was afraid to break. Even after 70 fractures throughout my body.

The Magic of Exercise and Working Out

Once I discovered the magic in a healthier lifestyle, my bones became stronger. My muscles, which act as a shield around my bones, also became stronger.

The key here is to realize that exercise and working out, all in context of a general healthier lifestyle, is important to having stronger bones and a higher quality of life. This can be for someone with Osteogenesis Imperfecta or someone who may suffer from Osteoporosis or Osteopenia; both of which are also characterized by fragile or brittle bones.

Why Exercise and Workout With Fragile Bones?

Several medical studies have proven that resistance training in particular promotes bone growth. Putting calculated stress on bones stimulates them to generate more bone mass.

Another factor is maintaining a good body weight and carrying around extra or added weight or fat. Being heavier can cause issues with balance as well as putting additional unwanted strain on the bones and skeletal system.

Again, these highlight the importance of exercising and working out if you have brittle, fragile, or weak bones.

It’s a Challenge to Exercise and Workout With Brittle Bones

But it’s definitely a challenge and not very easy to think about exercising and working out if you have fragile, brittle or weak bones. I get it. I had the same perspective before I started.

I wish there would have been THIS blog post when I started my journey!

With all this said, here are 3 fun, safe, and effective exercises for someone with Osteogenesis Imperfecta. This can also be for those who have other disorders that make their bones fragile, brittle or weak.


When we’re in the water, we’re gravity free! That means there is very little resistance against our body and bones. It doesn’t mean there is NO resistance, because we still need some resistance to exercise and workout.

a small boy swimming and the word swimming


Even though this might seem like an out-of-this-world suggestion for someone with fragile, brittle, or weak bones, stick with me here. I understand how it looks at first because there are some pretty weird possess in yoga. However, with yoga, we’re given the space and opportunity to breathe, stretch and make it as gentle as we need it to be.

person sitting in yoga pose on beach with the word yoga


As stated earlier, doing resistance exercise and workouts is important for our bones; even if they are fragile, brittle, or weak. Having the resistance will stimulate our bones to generate more bone, which is the point! Have resistance also helps us build the all important muscle shield around our bones! The best part about using resistance bands for exercise and working out is that they are safer and easier to use than free weights. Much, much safer!

Get to Work

This will take some courage and possibly a switch in perspective to start exercising and working out if you have Osteogenesis Imperfecta (O.I.) – or one of the other disorders that leave you have fragile, brittle or weak bones.

But DON’T GIVE UP! We all have the opportunity to live our healthiest and achieve our own personal peak performance.

If you’d like to get some encouragement and some further tips on how to do it, get my book, “Disable Your Disability: Live the Healthy Life You Deserve!” here.

If you’re ready to get to work, join the fastest growing online adaptive fitness platform, #UNBREAKABLE Body, here. Oh yeah, by the way, IT’S FREE!

To discover more ways to get encouraged to live an #UNBREAKABLE life, head over to


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© 2003 – 2022 The Tony Jacobsen Foundation / Egg Sandwich Media. All rights reserved.

Disclaimer: As with any exercise or nutrition program, consult with your physician before trying any workouts or making any changes in your diet. All of the information on this website and any statements made by Tony Jacobsen are for informational purposes only. You understand and agree that Tony is acting as a NASM Certified Personal Trainer and not a licensed physician. You agree to use common sense when exercising and eating and agree to consult a licensed physician if you are experiencing any pain or discomfort. Tony Jacobsen, and all parties represented on this website, will not be held responsible for any injury or illness stemming from taking the advice or using any products that are on this website.

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A quick intro to everything Tony...

Tony is the author of Disable Your Disability, a book about learning how to live the healthy life you deserve despite your physical limitations. He was born with Osteogenesis Imperfecta (brittle bones) and has endured 70+ fractures throughout his life. At the ripe young age of 42, he had to embrace his disability to save his life, so against all odds, pushed himself through an 8-month physical transformation that ended up being just as important mentally and emotionally.

Tony also loves music. He’s been an emcee and DJ since the mid-80’s and has DJ’d professionally since 1996 (and continues to do so!). He’s created and released independent hip hop music, and found most of his success when he and his wife, Teemaree, released 3 albums as Dynamite Jive in the early 2000’s.

In addition to all this, Tony has worked professionally in the television/film industry since 2001, and created his own company, Egg Sandwich Media, to work as a one-man-production-band; wearing the hat of Producer all the way to Video Editor.

He currently lives in Detroit, MI with his wife and they enjoy their empty-nester life in the desert.

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