Weekend Challenge: The Vertebrae And Rib Protector
Today’s exercise can be practiced while sitting down, and I’m sure that you’ll be amazed at how much you can do for your bones with such a simple move.
As its name implies, the Vertebrae And Rib Protector stabilizes your upper vertebrae and ribs, and strengthens and tones key muscles in your back, shoulders, and arms. Plus this exercise is also a joint-friendly move.
Can you believe all these benefits while you’re in a comfortable seated position using your own body weight? You will, once you try this exercise, so let’s get started!
Why: The ribs and vertebrae are fracture-prone areas that benefit greatly from targeted exercise. The Vertebrae And Rib Protector strengthens the muscles around these areas of the skeleton, also engaging your shoulders and triceps, thus stabilizing your spine and ribs. And in the event of a fall, strong and supple upper arms and shoulders can make the difference between a few bruises and a fracture.
In addition to the triceps, the Protector targets three key muscle groups in the back. The action of muscle on bone increases bone density (as Savers know), plus an added bonus is that this back-toning exercise also helps to get rid of the unsightly “bra bulge.”
- The trapezius muscle is usually associated with just the top of the shoulders, but it covers a surprisingly large area. This muscle group attaches at the neck and spreads across the top of the shoulders and shoulder blades. It comes in and attaches to the thoracic vertebrae, ending right where the ribcage stops.
The Protector works the lower part of the “traps,” toning your mid-back (where your bra strap runs) and stabilizing the ribs and thoracic vertebrae.
- The latissimus dorsi help stabilize your torso. The “lats” are a rather large group of muscles, and they lie under the traps. They attach to your upper arm bone (humerus) up near your armpit, and spread out to form a sheet of muscle that covers the lower halves of your back and attaching at the top of the pelvis and the sacral vertebrae at the very bottom of the spine.
When you have strong lats, it enhances your posture and the stability of your torso and back. It covers a lot of territory, so working it has the potential for enhancing bone density in many areas of your skeleton.
- The pectoralis minor, located in the chest, is often overlooked while the pectoralis major gets more attention (primarily because it’s more visible). But the pectoralis minor is a very important chest muscle even though it is small. It attaches to the top inside of the shoulder and to the second, third, and fourth ribs down from the top. It’s essential for the proper up-and-down motion of the scapula (shoulder blade), which means it’s associated with proper posture and rib alignment. Working the pectoralis minor is also a great way to build bone density in the ribs.
How: Since the Vertebrae And Rib Protector is a seated exercise, all you need to get started is a chair.
- Sit up straight on the edge of your chair, feet flat on the floor and arms at your sides.
- Place your palms on the edge of the seat.
- Press down with your arms as if lifting your bottom off the seat. You don’t have to physically lift yourself off the seat; just push down as if you are. (And if you do lift yourself, that’s okay too.)
- Hold for 2 to 4 seconds, and then release.
- Do 3 sets of 10 or more spread out throughout the day (it’s fine if you have to work up to this number of reps).
If you need more of a challenge, you can add abdominal holds to this exercise. While you’re pushing up with your arms, tighten your stomach muscles to lift your bottom off the chair.
I recommend you practice The Rib And Vertebrae Protector several times a day. It’s really easy to add it to your regular bone-density exercise routine and your workday!
As always, I look forward to getting your feedback, motivational ideas, and thoughts in the comment section below.
Till next time,