Weekend Challenge: Balance And Coordination Enhancer

The primary goal of the Save Our Bones Program is to prevent fractures by building strong, flexible bones through clinical nutrition and exercise. For full fracture prevention, however, balance and coordination are crucial.

These aspects of bone health are emphasized for two basic reasons: one, the overwhelming majority of fractures in older adults is due to falls; and two, the best way to prevent fractures is to avoid falls to begin with.

This weekend’s challenge addresses balance and coordination to prevent potentially injurious falls. So let’s get started!

Why:

Have you ever observed an elderly person who has trouble lifting his or her feet? Oftentimes, these individuals seem to shuffle more than walk. That’s because the hip flexors, muscles that lift the legs, can atrophy and weaken with age if they are not challenged on a regular basis. Thankfully, this weekend’s exercise directly targets hip flexor muscles to prevent this from happening.

  • Iliopsoas – This is a deep hip flexor muscle that pulls your leg up to your chest. It originates at the sacrum and ilium of your pelvis, and runs round to the front of your pelvis where it inserts into the top of your femur. It’s one of the most important muscles in lifting your leg up and over objects on the floor or up stairs.
  • Other hip flexors, including the sartorius, pectineus, rectus femoris, adductor longus, and adductor brevis are utilized in this weekend’s move. For a more detailed explanation of the hip flexors, please take a look at the Hip Fracture Preventer, another Weekend Challenge that targets this important muscle group.

Toning these “stepping up” muscles helps you lift your feet and avoid tripping or stumbling over objects, and you’ll be more likely to catch yourself if you do lose your balance.

This weekend’s exercise teaches your body to do just that: step over objects in a controlled setting so you’ll be able to do it automatically during everyday activities. Here’s how to do it.

How:

  1. Get two to four soft objects about four to six inches high. You can increase or decrease the height of the objects to fit your personal ability; you’ll be stepping over them, and the goal is to raise your foot at least six inches off the floor. For safety, it’s best to set this up near something you can hold on to, in case you need it (a chair, the wall, etc.)

    Foam blocks are ideal, but small pillows, rolled towels, large square sponges, or other similar objects would all work.

  2. Place the objects on the floor 12 to 16 inches apart in a straight line.
  3. Stand at one end of the line of objects and lift one foot – for clarity, let’s say the right foot – to step over the first object.
  4. Place both feet together on the floor after stepping over the first object.
  5. Lift your left leg to step over the second object.
  6. Keep pausing between each object and alternating feet until you’ve stepped over all of the objects. Then turn and step over the line of objects again to get back to your starting place.

Advanced Version

For more of a challenge, repeat the exercise without pausing between each object.

Bring your right foot up and over the first object; then bring your left foot directly along and step over the second object. Only one foot will be on the floor at a time.

Simplicity Reaps Big Results

This is a very simple exercise, but it’s very effective. Stepping up and over objects is a skill we take for granted until, with age, we can begin to lose it. Exercises like the Balance And Coordination Enhancer prevent that from happening, and can greatly improve your balance even if you’ve already started to experience difficulty in this area.

Here are a couple of other Weekend Challenges that go particularly well with this weekend’s exercise:

The Leg-Eye Coordination Improver

The Seated Coordination Improver

So don’t make the mistake of thinking it’s too late to strengthen your muscles and improve your balance and coordination! I created the Densercise™ Epidensity Training System with all fitness levels in mind, so even if you are just starting out and unsure of your ability, you’ll find Densercise™ to be quite “user-friendly.”

The exercises in Densercise™ are different from the Weekend Challenges, but many of the moves in Densercise™ address balance and coordination in addition to building density in fracture-prone areas of the skeleton, such as wrists, hips, and ankles.

Take Exercising For Your Bones to the Next Level!

Learn the 52 exercise moves that jumpstart bone-building – all backed by the latest in epigenetics research.

Learn More Now →

I’d love to hear your feedback on this weekend’s challenge, so please feel free to leave a comment below. All are welcome in the Saver community!

Enjoy the weekend!

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14 comments. Leave Yours Now →
  1. Paulette Thomsen March 21, 2017, 6:51 pm

    Thanks Vivian I am enjoying learning the coordination exercises. Keep them coming!

  2. Pam March 13, 2017, 5:54 pm

    Thank you always for your exercises. I do several of them almost every day. I’m still skiing (a lot), riding my bicycle (many miles at a time) and working in the yard, shoveling mountains of dirt and enjoying life. I do have osteoporosis but thanks to your help hasn’t gotten worse in years and I have refused to take those chemical crap big pharma solutions. Diet and exercise are the key. Keep moving and don’t quit loving life.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA March 14, 2017, 6:34 am

      Thank you for that inspirational advice, Pam!

  3. Elseline March 13, 2017, 5:19 am

    Hi, it’s great to get these extra exercises, but how should I incorporate them in with the Densercise? Is it best to have exercise free days and include them into the plan I am following, or should I be working up to exercising every day? I have osteoporosis and have been following the Densercise plan for 4 months now.

    Many thanks,
    Elseline

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA March 14, 2017, 6:31 am

      Hi Elseline,

      It’s really good to hear that you’re exercising regularly for your bones. 🙂 If you want to include the Weekend Challenges with your Densercise regimen, you could do the Challenge exercises on days you’re not “Densercising” (since Densercise is practiced just three days a week). Or, you could periodically substitute a move in Densercise with a Weekend Challenge.

      Keep up the good work!

      • Elseline March 14, 2017, 8:37 am

        Thanks so much for your reply. It’s been so helpful to read about other people’s experiences making me all the more determined to keep going!

  4. Carol Hinners March 12, 2017, 11:28 pm

    Hi, Vivian, Thanks especially for your leg strengthener and balance exercises. Like Caroline, I like having the exercises in print form, so I copy-paste to Word, print, and store the pages in a 3-ring binder. I do condense the explanations in order to keep the exercises to one page, but I copy-paste the website address on the page so I can go back and read the complete information online again.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA March 14, 2017, 6:33 am

      Good tips, Carol. Thank you!

  5. Ciael March 11, 2017, 11:12 am

    Hi Vivian,
    Thank you for sharing all the things we can do to treat our osteoporosis without drugs!
    I’m just wondering if this Densercise Program will work on my old mac.
    I have an Apple computer Mac O.S.X, version 10.5.8,
    model i.d. imac 8,1.
    I hope so because at age 65,I want to turn that bone growth switch back on! I eagerly await your reply. Ciael

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA March 11, 2017, 12:37 pm

      Hi Ciael,

      Yes, it will work fine on a Mac. 🙂 The manual is a PDF file, and the videos are viewed online.

  6. Nancy McDonald March 11, 2017, 9:33 am

    Hi….Just looking for input….I sustained at T11 compression FX.. at work.. I’m an OR nurse. 60 yr
    I’ve always had a good bone density.. always maintained my why.. routine exercise. Good nutrition great lab values for Calcium but D. But job requires alot if heavy lifting ,pulling, pushing.. why the FX…Did not fall.
    Now reluctantly on Prolia. Any advice? To avoid future FX
    Thanks
    Nancy

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA March 11, 2017, 11:04 am

      Hi Nancy,

      I am sorry to hear about your fracture, and I wish you a speedy recovery!

      Compression fractures (and indeed, any fractures) can have many causes, including trauma, injuries, and accidents. It’s impossible to say exactly what caused it, but it’s important to realize that not all fractures mean that there’s an issue with your bones; even healthy bones can fracture upon impact and stress.

      Please read this article for further explanation:

      http://saveourbones.com/olympic-athlete-fractures-bones-does-she-need-osteoporosis-treatment/

  7. Caroline gerrie March 11, 2017, 4:49 am

    Hi Vivian! ☺️
    Is there any chance that you are going to put these fab exercises in a book format? I find it easier to see and do them on paper rather than on phone/iPad etc
    Kind regards
    Caroline

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA March 11, 2017, 9:05 am

      I am glad you enjoy the exercises, Caroline! As for a printed version of the weekend challenges, we don’t have it available at this time; but stay tuned and keep exercising for your bones!

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