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Weekend Challenge: Compression Fracture Preventer

weekend-challenge

Compression fractures of the spine are extremely painful and can happen without warning. They can also dramatically worsen your posture and even cause a Dowager’s Hump.

While eating a pH-balanced diet with plenty of bone-building nutrients is crucial for preventing these painful fractures, keeping your vertebrae stretched and aligned is also very important.

This week’s challenge shows you how to do just that with one simple stretch.

Why: The importance of stretching your spine can not be overemphasized. Your spine is central to your overall posture, flexibility, and bone health.

The Compression Fracture Preventer is a stretch that creates space between the vertebrae, promoting relaxation, flexibility, and mobility. It also tones your core muscles, inner thighs, and glutes, thus improving your posture and appearance.

Stretching is an important part of bone-density exercises. Today’s move increases the space between your vertebrae, offsetting the effects of sitting and poor posture. As you perform this stretch, the muscles will not only relax but also strengthen, keeping your vertebrae aligned and spaced between sessions and preventing the compression that leads to fractures.

Your core muscles are so called because they are central to your body. When they are toned and strong, they help you keep your balance and posture.

This move also works your glutes and inner thighs, which are vital for a balanced gait.

How: You’ll need a mat for this exercise, or simply a carpeted floor.

  1. Sit up tall and straight with your feet straight out in front of you. If this is too difficult, you can bend your knees a bit or sit on something slightly raised, such as a firm cushion or a book. Imagine the top of your head being pulled up to the ceiling as you push out through your feet. Engage your core muscles.
  2. Inhale slowly as you simultaneously squeeze your glutes (your bottom muscles), lengthen your spine, and hold your arms straight out in front of you.
  3. Now exhale as you put your chin to your chest and “dive down” slowly between your arms, dipping your head and leaning forward and down as far as you can. You’ll feel a stretch down the backs of your legs and along your spine.
  4. When you get as far as you can and your exhalation is complete, slowly come back up while inhaling. Imagine stacking your vertebrae perfectly atop one another, and continue to envision the top of your head being pulled upward.
  5. Relax your glutes.
  6. Repeat 5 to 10 times, or as many times as you comfortably can.

If you have the Densercise™ Epidensity Training System, then you know the importance of doing a warm-up before you begin and a cool-down when you’re finished.

In fact, the last segment of Densercise™ is devoted to cooling down, primarily via stretching. This helps bring your body, and especially your spine, into alignment and eases the muscles back into a resting state, so you’ll never have aches and pains.

The Compression Fracture Preventer is a perfect example of how good you’ll feel after a cool-down routine. It’s the best way to end the targeted bone-building exercises shown in the Densercise™ Epidensity Training System.

I can’t wait to hear about your experience with today’s move. Please feel free to comment below and share with the community!

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34 comments. Leave Yours Now →

  1. Gretchen July 29, 2014, 1:27 pm

    My daughter (39) just found out she has osteoporosis and thinning mandibles. She takes thyroid replacement for cancer therapy and they want her hyperthyroid. She eats an alkalinizing diet. Is there anything else she can do? She can exercise some, but has high blood pressure and is tachycardic secondary to hyperthroidism. She does not want to take the drugs the doctor is wanting her to take.

  2. Rosemary July 29, 2014, 8:51 am

    Hi I have recently been diagnosed with osteoporosis in one of my vertebrae. . – 2.8 I am in a quandary i don’t want to take the drug offered and I am scarfed of other damage to my body. I am taking osteocare by holland and Barrett vitamin d drops and started making green smoothie to drink daily. I am worried about exercise what to do and what nog to do. Can anyone help me please

  3. Linda July 29, 2014, 3:49 am

    My op is getting worse…dr put me on evista. What do you think?

  4. Leslie (Ms. L. Carmel) July 27, 2014, 10:06 pm

    Good Evening Vivian And All Commenters,

    There Seems To Be More Against This Exercise, Than For It.
    So Should I, Or Should I Not Try This Exercise? Please Let Me Know.
    And I Thank You All Very Much, In Advance, For Your Input On This Article.

    Until Next Time – Take Good Care Of Yourselves, And Stay Well!

    LOVE, LESLIE (MS. L. CARMEL)

  5. neelam July 27, 2014, 4:39 pm

    viven all the exercise are so use full can you suggest some thing for sholders please

  6. Mery July 27, 2014, 3:34 pm

    Dear Vivian Please keep up with the exercises, i have been doing this particular one, and the one with the flexing legs towards chest while lying down, many years ago as a recommendation from a chiropractic for a lower back pain, but i have kept doing even after i find out i have osteoporosis, and it is really good, i can easily put my head over the knees, When i start your exercises back in March 2014, during the first week on day 3, the squat agains the wall, i did have to support myself with 2 sticks, one in each hand, but i keep doing it, i did have to wear sports knee pads, i really thought i could never been able to walk, let along exercise, with out the knee pads, i did need them ( that’s what i thought) to claim stairs too. By now i no longer use them, for anything anymore. I guess if you have a little determination there is nothing you can not achieve, specially, not feeling a victim of everything out there. If we all drop the addiction to victimhood, we can do marvelous. Thank you Vivian Love you

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA July 28, 2014, 10:45 am

      How inspiring, Mery! Your story is a perfect illustration of gradually building muscle and bone strength through regular exercise, even if it was challenging at first and you needed various aids. Thanks so much for sharing!

  7. Elsie July 26, 2014, 5:20 pm

    Vivian,

    all the recent exercise shown I do it after i have my 24 min Zaaz250K 1 standing and 2 sitting down at different speed,
    I do all the one you recommended and it’s good, – feeling good in my walking, no cane – Maybe you can also recommend aromatheraphy, especially Essential Oils that realigns the bones, the one that regenerates the bones , and also healing the bones, I think that will be good for some other viewers and followers, to know there is out there that work in concert with what we are doing, for me I incorporate Young Living Therapeutic Essential Oils and it works no bone pain, and osteoporosis problem, I was also diagnose with Osteopenia, but with out taking her Fosamax prescription I do it myself prior to knowing You, Vivian and this Saveoirbones program, . my next bone density my spine increased 15% and the pelvic bones , now after following your program, I am very much okay, even when I fall on the bus, because tjhe driver just started fast I am still standing, so I fall butt on the buss floor, nothing bad happen was able to go home walking , but I incorporate OILS. Thank you for your wonderfull work you do us a very favor. I will be 76 this comimng Aug. 3 and retired 11 years. Thank you Vivian for the good work. It is a blessing.

    • Sandra July 28, 2014, 2:19 pm

      Hi Elsie,
      can you pls advise which Young Living oils do you use… do you massage or use it with food orally…. how many drops… how many times a day… how many times a week…. will it help heal a bone fracture do you think? thx, sandra

  8. Elizabeth July 26, 2014, 4:13 pm

    I like the exercise recommended to avoid spinal compression. Its one of the exercises that I do at several of the exercise classes I go to, including pilates and Legs Bums and Tums. When I first started, I couldn’t do it at all but with a lot of practice I have improved a lot. Now I know its good for strengthening the spine and avoiding spinal compression, I will continue to practice and improve. Thanks for all the exercise and diet advice. Although I have been diagnosed with osteoporosis, I am lucky enough to be asymptomatic and am well enough to exercise regularly.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA July 28, 2014, 10:43 am

      Thanks for your feedback, Elizabeth! I am so glad you are able to exercise regularly as part of your bone health regimen. :)

  9. Tillie Simmons July 26, 2014, 11:57 am

    Will that exercise be similar for treatment of Lumbar Spondylosis. My physical exam and radiographs indicated my pain in legs, tingling in feet and toes was coming from the lumbar spine. Also showed bone deterioration due to hip replacement, metal device attached to bone, 13 years ago and indication of osteoporosis. `I follow the 80-20 percent diet and eating bone building foods, but at 91 years ageing may be my problem.

  10. L.D. July 26, 2014, 11:47 am

    Hello All, My goodness such controversy this morning. Here’s my thought and if you don’t agree, that’s certainly okay with me. Vivian gives us information she knows that can help the “many”. I personally cant do this one as shown but I can modify it. I have 6 compression fractures with ribs resting on my hip bones. I look at each offering and whenever possible I’ll do what I’m capable of. Supplements and the like, we all need to do what we feel is right for us. No one is “making” us do anything. I cant afford some items offered so I look for good quality alternatives. Its about that “Free Will Thing”… So please don’t shoot the messenger, Vivian is probably wondering why she’s doing this right now, I would… My take and solely my opinion…. Wishing for a Blest Day to us all…….

  11. Marlene Villar July 26, 2014, 11:39 am

    Good morning Vivian,
    I tried it this morning and followed as per instructions.
    A very good stretched, and I will include this back into
    my routine. Thank you very much for sharing this
    weekend challenged exercise.
    Have a wonderful day and take care always.
    Marlene

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA July 28, 2014, 10:42 am

      You are most welcome, Marlene. :)

  12. Louise DiSclafani July 26, 2014, 10:38 am

    This is a great concept for the back. For many years, I’ve been doing a roliing sit-up with a roll back down (we used to call it a negative crunch) every day. It is my go-to exercise when my back is tight plus it exercises quad, hamstring, calf, core msucles.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA July 26, 2014, 11:21 am

      I am glad to hear you’ve had a positive experience with this type of exercise, Louise! :)

  13. Jools July 26, 2014, 9:47 am

    If I did this exercise I would be calling for help to get up. I was told from the beginning and every cite tells you not to flex your spine forward. No bending over, etc. It is hard for me to believe that Vivian, as knowledged as she is, would suggest this exercise. If you have advanced op of the spine, do not do this exercise.

    • Peggy July 26, 2014, 10:52 am

      I, too, have been told to not to bend my spine. No forward bend. Always keep spine straight(extended) when doing stretches.

    • Diane July 26, 2014, 10:13 am

      101: Do not flex or bend your spine forward. Backward bending opens the spine and reduces stress.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA July 26, 2014, 9:55 am

      When you follow the directions of today’s exercise, you’ll notice that you’re using gravity to increase space between the vertebrae. So it’s important to make sure your head dips toward your legs, pulling the spine into place. And of course, when in doubt, simply skip this one :)

  14. Linda mcg July 26, 2014, 9:03 am

    I’m sorry but I must disagree with this exercise. Forward flexion of this type puts additional stress on the front of the vertebrae that make it more likely to fracture. It can also cause a bulging disc to rupture.
    Vivian I very much appreciate all of your posts and emails and the research that you do I just disagree with this one.

    • Linda July 26, 2014, 9:18 am

      I was thinking the same thing while reading it.

  15. Wendy Murphy July 26, 2014, 8:31 am

    Hi Vivian,
    When I was doing a lot of aerobics and floor exercises – we were told – yes – to think that our head was being pulled to the ceiling but when we go to bend forward leave our head looking forward not bent down to our chest. In doing this – I still get a great stretch. In answer to Pamela Thompson – I have had my hip replaced – I got a carpenter to build a raised platform for me to exercise on.

  16. Leslie Fearing July 26, 2014, 7:33 am

    Vivian,
    In the past, you’ve recommended a calcium supplement, True Osteo. I purchased it and thought from what I read about it that it was superior to other supplements I’d tried. However, I was wondering if you still recommend it since I have not seen it on this site recently. Also, I have some concerns about Nature City, the company that produces it–they seem to have and promote an awful lot of products that seem like downright quackery. Let me know what you think about this.

    • Diane July 26, 2014, 10:20 am

      Hi, Leslie, I also bought TrueOsteo. Originally saw it here and also was impressed when I saw Dr. Oz support the product. But I, also, now hesitate to re-order because of all the far fetched e-mail blasts advertising this, that and the other thing from Nature City. Makes me wonder if I should re-order or just go back to getting my supplements at Whole Foods . . . ?

      • Leslie Fearing July 28, 2014, 7:29 am

        Thanks for your comment, Diane–did you ever do the bone density test that True Osteo recommended? I didn’t, although I may get a density test soon. I’m wondering if it helped.

  17. Jean Marshall July 26, 2014, 7:24 am

    I have a bulging disk at L-5 and experience dull burning in bed at night but not during the day when I am vertical. I will try this to see if the pressureis relieved.

    • Diane July 26, 2014, 10:25 am

      Jean, please consult your orthopedic dr before performing this exercise. I think this would also be contraindicated for a bulging disk. Unsupported flexion of the spine in a forward position is not good. Backward stretch opens up the spine.

  18. charlotte sorenson July 26, 2014, 4:23 am

    I was alarmed and disappointed to see the photo of the stretching exercise shown above. I have osteoporosis and forward flexion of any kind is discouraged. A few years ago I attended a weekend program at Kripalu run by Sara Meeks, a specialist in exercises for those with osteoporosis. She has written an exercise manual
    called “Walk Tall.” Most of the stretching exercises are done lying flat on the floor. No forward flexion, even in swimming. Do the back stroke instead of the crawl.
    Please review her work. I would appreciate a reply.

    • Sylvia July 26, 2014, 6:23 am

      I attend an exercise class twice a week. My instructor was trained by Sara Meeks. We are warned not to do any forward bending that would crunch the spine.

      • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA July 26, 2014, 10:02 am

        There are different opinions on this… For example, some recommend avoiding flexing legs toward chest while laying on the back… But a forward flex that uses the force of gravity to align the vertebrae can be considered beneficial when done correctly.

  19. Pamela Thompson July 26, 2014, 3:56 am

    It’s very good to sit on the floor to do exercises but can this type of exercise be done sitting in a chair as I had both hip bones replaced several years ago and cannot now get down on floor?

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA July 26, 2014, 10:04 am

      Pamela, this exercise needs the stability of the floor. There are plenty of exercises you can do on a chair, some in this site, and many more in Densercise :)

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