When it comes to exercise, sometimes simplicity works best. The Balance And Shoulder Enhancer is just that – simple, but appropriately challenging. It enhances balance, a key element in fall prevention, while working the arms and shoulders to improve bone and muscle strength. It’s the perfect exercise to get ready for summer and sleeveless tops!
The benefits of exercise go beyond appearances, though. Today we’re going to look at a fascinating study that shows the remarkable effects of exercise on cognition, mood, and anxiety, and sheds light on how this occurs on a genetic level.
Let’s begin with a closer look at this move.
In addition to improving balance, this exercise works four joints and three main muscle groups. It’s worth pointing out that no one body part or muscle works in isolation; your whole body responds in various ways when you exercise, but today we’re going to look at the main areas involved in the Balance And Shoulder Enhancer.
- The sternoclavicular joint is where your clavicle (collar bone) meets your breast bone (sternum), right at the top of the rib cage. This joint’s motion is rather subtle, but it’s a highly pivotal joint that allows you to lift weight over your head, as in today’s exercise. It also makes up an indispensable part of the overall shoulder joint.
- The acromioclavicular joint can easily be found by placing your fingertips on your shoulder and gently pressing around until you feel a knob or bump of bone. This bump is not static. Rather, it marks the junction of the clavicle and scapula (shoulder blade), which attaches at the acromion, a wing-shaped bone at the top of the scapula. The acromioclavicular joint helps transfer the lifting force up through the arm while lifting a weight.
- The elbow joint is used so often in everyday movements that it’s easy to forget about it. Your elbows act as a hinge between the radius and ulna of your lower arm and the humerus bone in your upper arm. They support the extension and straightening of your arms over your head, and allow you to bring your arms back down in a controlled way.
- The glenohumeral joint is the ball-and-socket joint that is part of the shoulder. This joint moves the tops of your shoulders inward when you raise your arms over your head. Specifically, the glenohumeral joint moves the deltoid muscles toward the middle of your body, which brings me to the next topic: the muscles and bones.
Muscles And Bones
- The deltoids are the primary muscles that are targeted in the Balance And Shoulder Enhancer. These muscles make up the rounded tops of your shoulders, and are actually made up of three segments: the anterior, lateral, and posterior. In today’s exercise, the anterior and lateral segments are engaged.
When you work the deltoids, it stimulates bone growth in the scapulae, clavicle, and humerus as per Wolff’s Law. The humerus is also stimulated by the triceps, which are the muscles that run along the back of the upper arm. Each time you straighten your arm, you’re using your triceps.
You’ll also be using your trapezius, a roughly kite-shaped muscle that spreads across the top back of your shoulders and tapers down to attach at the bottom of your thoracic vertebrae. This muscle can cause neck and shoulder pain if it is tight, stiff, or weak. Working the trapezius targets the thoracic vertebrae and the shoulder joints.
You’ll need one small hand weight or a water bottle for this exercise.
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Hold the weight in one hand – let’s say the right hand.
- Bend your left knee and lift your left leg.
- Standing on your right leg, bring up the weight with your palm facing out. Bend your elbow, bringing the weight to just above your right shoulder.
- Press the weight up over your head and bring your arm back down again to the starting position described in step #3.
- Repeat 10 to 20 times according to your comfort level.
- Switch sides and repeat another 10 to 20 times with the opposite arm and leg.
- Resist the temptation to lean to one side as you do this. Keep your back straight.
- Tuck your chin in slightly to avoid forward head posture and neck strain.
- It’s a good idea to start out next to a wall, bed, or chair so you can catch yourself if you lose your balance standing on one foot.
If this exercise is new for you, it probably makes you feel good to learn a new move to help build bone and enhance balance. You don’t have to learn a new exercise, though, for it to make you feel good. Research shows that the act of exercise itself puts you in a better mood by affecting your genes…as long as you do it regularly.
Study Reveals Mechanisms Behind The Positive Cognitive Effects And Stress Reduction Of Exercise
It’s fairly well-known that exercise boosts mood, aids memory, and can even help lift depression. In a recent study, scientists discovered another mechanism behind this phenomenon – this time on a genetic level.
Participants were genotyped at the start of the study, and then divided into four groups. The purpose of the genotyping was to determine the allelic status of a specific neurotrophic factor. The allelic status refers to a genetic variation caused by mutations at the same locus (the location of a gene in a chromosome), thus producing similar traits.
The groups of sedentary young adults were divided as follows: Group 1 engaged in a four-week exercise program with exercise on “test day”; Group 2 did the four-week program, but without the final exercise test; Group 3 did one bout of exercise on the test day, and Group 4 stayed sedentary between test days. All groups were then given various cognitive tests.
Those individuals who had the specific brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) exhibited unique improvements in “novel object recognition,” and there appeared to be separate neural systems mediating cognition and mood. Interestingly, the scientists found that the data in this study reflected data collected from rodent studies of the same type.
The researchers noted that:
“Exercise enhanced object recognition memory and produced a beneficial decrease in perceived stress, but only in participants who exercised for 4 weeks including the final day of testing.”1
Additionally, they pointed out in their conclusion that:
“Taken together, these current findings provide new insights into the behavioral and neural mechanisms that mediate the effects of physical exercise on memory and mental health in humans.”1
It’s worth noting that the exercise schedule that produced the most benefits lasted four weeks, which is exactly like the cycle of the Densercise™ Epidensity Training System. At the end of the four weeks, you simply begin again with Week One.
There’s plenty of variety in Densercise™, and with a full month of exercises, you’ll stay motivated because you won’t have to deal with tedious repetitions.
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.
In fact, with over 52 moves designed to be practiced three times a week, Densercise™ provides a different set of exercises each day, so it prevents boredom in addition to enhancing bone density.
Have a great weekend!
1 References 1. Hopkins, M.E., et al. “Differential effects of acute and regular physical exercise on cognition and affect.” Neuroscience. 215. (2012): 59-68. Doi: /j.neuroscience.2012.04.056. Web. June 1, 2016. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22554780
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I am not sure how you expect me to print out the pages that list pictures of the exercises only with directions and no other commentary (which I do NOT want copies of). I have so many medical issues I contend with that any type of exercise is difficult enough. Major spinal L3/L4 surgery was performed on 12/29/15 only after I researched and was virtually dragged there. At that point, I hadn’t been able to walk for more than several months and always attributed it to my MS. So all the “specialists” thought they would cure that problem. Did they think this would take away 45 years with type I diabetes? Even with attempts to follow parts of your program, it is a mute point. Even with tight control over diabetes much of the time via an insulin pump, glucose levels spike and plummet. Insurance only allows 4 visits to endo yearly plus CDE consults in between. I need forms of sugar in my diet – period.
As far as exercise, for years I walked three to five miles daily, then the back and leg issues became severe. Severe adhesive capsulitis as well now complicated by side effects from surgery and left knee arthritis.In and out of PT for nine years – and counting. Insurance only covered for so long due to MS.
So many doctors, specialists, sub specialists, therapists physical and otherwise, as well as diets. Many of the foods in your program I eat, others I don”t. I am not able to work any longer and the cost of supplements your program as well as those of other herbalists-naturopathic practitioners are outrageous.
All kinds of balance and visual-spatial orientation exercises have been taxing my entire life due to severe vestibular disequilibrium syndrome which has increased since my MS diagnosis. In short, very few of the weekend solutions are doable. Others I have tried and ended up with months of pain due to poor form. Don’t tell me to go to a personal trainer unless you plan to provide the finances for it. I feel you have little idea the cost of some of these programs. Right now, I have a surgical shoe on my right foot and need to use it for three weeks due to a fall during which I re-injured a previously fractured toe next to the one I had surgery on 12 years ago.
I removed myself from Fosamax 3 1/2 years ago and refuse antibiotics unless I have a severe UTI. Given the nature of both T1D and MS, it could be lethal to refuse the treatment in those situations. Took myself off of MS drugs as well. Obviously, insulin and treatment for hypothyroidism cannot be terminated. Like many other free-form thinkers with some research and investigation, you tout your program + diet + densercise as the cure to virtually every chronic condition.
Although I doubt if you will respond to this diatribe, I’m curious to know your thoughts about: 1.) how to live without side effects of T1D and MS when I have a family history of both; 2.) what types of bone density stretches can be utilized when no floor work can be done; and 3.) anything in general that MAY aid bone density increase when many physical limitations exist. Your book would do me little good because of prerequisite skills I need to possess.
Kathryn – you certainly have a lot on your plate. A positive attitude helps a lot but I do think sometimes it’s good just to vent – just let go and try to begin again. I am wondering, do you have a senior center in your area? One which could offer one-on-one consultations to show you how to exercise in order to keep your body limber and moving??? We have such a center where I live. It is wonderful – everyone well trained – and not too costly (I know that is relative and unique to everyone’s individual situation). This may be a good direction for you; it certainly has helped me. Whatever the next bend in the road for you, I hope and pray you are able to receive the help you need. Bless you, my dear. (I would like to add – very kindly – that I do not believe Vivian offers “cures” – but rather many types of “assists” to help us better ourselves. Please take this as it is meant, in the kindest way possible.)
I am so sorry to hear of your misfortune to have so many medical conditions which obviously have made you so angry. Vivian has always stated to consult a physician before doing these exercises as further harm can be done as was the case with you. As with everything in life we have to make our own choices and do the best we can with the cards we are dealt.
Once again your life sounds very difficult and I trust you have a few good friends who can put a smile on your face……sometimes. Please take care and never give up.
I was diagnosed with osteoporosis 9 years ago. I choose not to treat this condition with drugs. I found your website and began using your diet and exercise plans. I’m 74 years old now, exercise regularly, especially balance exercises. I’m writing to thank you for being there for me continuously, to keep my muscles active and my bones strong!
Is Densercise available in DVD yet?
To both June and Kathleen,
I appreciate your heartfelt and neutral response(s). I didn’t mean to imply that I am a senior as I just turned 53 several months ago. Since transportation is expensive due to courier costs when my husband is out of state, I do spend time with one true friend who has a friendly Labrador mix. PT hasn’t been going on for too long and I tend to overstretch ligaments, joints, etc. thus causing more discomfort. I do know quite well that many other people through no fault of their own are much worse off. Animals have been a stress reliever for many years. June, it is true to say that every decision and option I engage in is my own; if this wasn’t the case I wouldn’t have gotten interested in Vivian’s program. Thank you for your encouragement.