Bone Health Exercise: Femur And Leg Strengthener

The Femur And Leg Strengthener is a weight-bearing exercise that strengthens the femur (thigh bone) and increases mobility in the femoral head. It also works the all-important core muscles and enhances balance.

You’ll be standing next to a wall, chair, or railing to do this move – so let’s get started!

Why:

Did you know that your femur is especially vulnerable to fracture if you’ve taken bisphosphonates? This class of osteoporosis drugs includes popular osteoporosis medications such as Fosamax (alendronate), Boniva (ibandronate), Actonel (risedronate), and Reclast (zoledronic acid).

Bisphosphonates’ tendency to weaken bone in general and the femur, in particular, is well documented. These drugs disrupt normal bone remodeling, which includes the removal of worn-out bone cells. But the removal of old bone is exactly what healthy bone remodeling requires because old bone needs to be replaced with new, younger bone.

This is the process by which bones are renewed and regenerated, and also the method by which they are repaired. You see, every day your bones experience microdamage – tiny cracks and such that result from normal wear and tear. The body easily repairs this microdamage if it has the pH-balanced environment and the nutrients it needs to do so.

But bisphosphonates disrupt this process, not only allowing old, weak bone to build up without being removed, but also allowing microdamage to accumulate to the point that the bone weakens and becomes more likely to fracture.

The femur is especially vulnerable to this weakening effect because it is the longest bone in the human body. As such, it takes a lot of force during the day and therefore sustains more microdamage. You can get more details about this topic by clicking on the link below, that will take you to an article about bisphosphonates and atypical femoral fractures:

In addition to strengthening the thigh bone, the Femur And Leg Strengthener also improves balance and strengthens the bones and muscles in your legs. And it’s excellent for stabilizing the core muscles and increasing mobility in your knees without impact. Here’s how to do it.

How:

As mentioned above, you’ll need to stand beside a wall, chair, or railing to begin. It’s up to you which side is toward the support, but for the sake of clarity, the directions are for your right side.

  1. Place your right hand against the wall, railing, or the back of a chair. Stand up straight and make sure you are not leaning to one side.
  2. Bend your left knee forward and bring it up as high as you comfortably can, preferably up to waist height.
  3. Straighten your knee to briefly place your foot on the floor in the starting position and go immediately to step 4.
  4. Keeping your left leg straight, bring it out to the side (aim for approximately a 45-degree angle) and back to the starting position.
  5. Repeat steps 2 and 3 ten times, or whatever fits within your comfort level. Don’t go too fast – make sure you are deliberately using all the muscles involved in lifting your leg.
  6. Switch sides and do another set of 10 reps with the other leg.

This low-impact exercise feels especially good if you’ve been sitting for long periods, such as after a long car ride or a day at your desk. It’s a great addition to your regular exercise routine because it can be done just about anywhere and, as always, no special equipment is required.

I encourage you to follow this exercise with the following:

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I hope you’ve enjoyed this exercise. Feel free to share your experience with the community by leaving a comment below.

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  1. shula April 25, 2018, 1:35 am

    This exercise looks reasonable, and comfortable to do. Thank you.

  2. Sandi April 23, 2018, 5:16 pm

    Vivian, would it be beneficial to use ankle weights while doing this exercise? Thanks!

  3. Rachel April 23, 2018, 12:51 pm

    This new femur and leg strengthener exercise just his the spot. this is great.
    I was given a prescription sometime in May 2010, called Fosavance, a Canadian equivalent of Fosamax. I started taking it once a week from July 2010 to October 4, 2011. That day I was stung by a yellow jacket wasp and I became anaphylactic. I was stung by wasp in the past but I did not have this reaction. I was revived by first responder from an ambulance called by my husband. Now my concern is this. Then I was taken to ER in a hospital.
    Do I still have the bisphosphonate in my system?
    Another request: do you happen to have a low impact exercise for the lumbar area?
    I am grateful for Dr. Vivian’s reports and exercises. Thank you.
    I like this new exercise, which I believe will make m,y legs stronger.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA April 23, 2018, 4:01 pm

      I am so glad this exercise is just what you need, Rachel! But I am really sorry to hear about your experience with the yellow jacket. It’s hard to say just why you became so terribly allergic to their stings; it’s impossible to tell if the bisphosphonates had anything to do with it. But I can tell you that, according to a 2010 study, “bisphosphonates accumulate in bone, [and] they create a reservoir leading to continued release from bone for months or years after treatment is stopped.” You can read the rest of the study here:

      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20173017

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