PURPOSE OF REVIEW: The development of exercise interventions for bone health requires an understanding of normative growth trends. Here, we summarize changes in bone during growth and the effect of participating in sports on structural and compositional measures in different bones in males and females.
RECENT FINDINGS: Growing females and males have similar normalized density and bone area fraction until age 16, after which males continue increasing at a faster rate than females. All metrics for both sexes tend to plateau or decline in the early 20s. Areal BMD measures indicate significant heterogeneity in adaptation to sport between regions of the body. High-resolution CT data indicate changes in structure are more readily apparent than changes in density. While adaptation to sport is spatially heterogeneous, participation in weight-bearing activities that involve dynamic muscle contractions tends to result in increased bone adaptation.