Weekend Challenge: Balance Enhancing Lower Body Strengthener

This weekend, we’re primarily targeting the glutes, the vital buttocks muscles that influence posture, pelvic strength, gait, balance, and much more. This exercise also works the hip abductors and legs.

Let’s begin by taking a look at why strong, well-developed buttocks are so important for bone health.

Why:

Regardless of what you call it – your bottom, derriere, backside, etc. – you might be tempted to think that the shape of your glutes is not a big deal. After all, if you aren’t interested in having “buns of steel,” why bother working these muscles?

The fact is, you need strong glutes for much more than a fit appearance. Here are some things to consider about the “bottom line.”

Your glutes are responsible for your ability to stand upright and walk. While other animals such as birds stand on two legs, they do not have glutes, nor do they walk with the distinctive human gait pattern that engages the glutes with every step.

Each time you swing your leg forward or back, whether while walking or doing some other activity, you’re using your glutes. You use them when you swing your leg outward, inward, and around in a circle; you use them to climb, run, jump, squat, step up and down stairs, and so on. You even use them when you’re just standing!

Therefore, if your glutes are weak, the above functions must be performed by other muscles, such as the psoas, quadratus lumborum in the lower back, and even the pelvic floor muscles. These muscles are not meant to do the complex job of the glutes, but your body will compensate to keep you upright and walking.

Those compensatory muscles, then, can become hypertonic and painful. This is another reason why rock-hard muscles are not the main goal in exercising for bone health. Muscles that are too firm are not optimal; a healthy muscle should be able to relax as well as contract. When overworked, either through excessive exercise or by compensating, muscles can become too firm and enter a state of extreme tension, or hypertonicity.

It’s important to note as well that the glutes connect to the pelvis, so weak glutes can mean weak hip bones. Additionally, weak glutes can compromise your balance and gait, making you more prone to falls.

Today’s exercise targets this important muscle group, allowing your compensatory muscles to relax, strengthening your pelvic bones, and enhancing your balance. Here’s how to do it.

How:

You’ll need an exercise mat for this move, which is done on the floor.

  1. Lie down on your right side with your back close to a wall. Bend your right leg so that your right foot is flat against the wall behind you.
  2. Extend your left leg out straight with your heel against the wall.
  3. Keeping your left heel pressed lightly against the wall and your knee straight, raise and lower your left leg. There’s no need to raise your leg very high; please see the animation for a visual guideline as to how high your leg should go.
  4. Repeat this raising and lowering of the left leg up to 30 times, depending on your comfort and fitness levels.
  5. Now switch sides and do the same exercise with your right leg.

No need to get up yet! You can stay on the floor for this previous Weekend Challenge that makes an excellent companion to this weekend’s:

Now if you’d like, continue with these upright challenges that also address the glutes, hips, and legs:

Pat yourself on the back – you’ve just completed an excellent set of exercises for your hips, thighs, and glutes. You’re welcome to move on to more bone-building exercises that address other areas of the body or save those for another day. It’s up to you!

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At the Save Institute, we don’t take a “cookie cutter” approach to exercising for your bones. We know that everyone has different fitness levels, health histories, and bone-health goals. Our exercise programs are designed to equip you with the information you need to reach those goals in whatever way works for you.

Have a great weekend!

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18 comments. Leave Yours Now →
  1. Pat Boyer June 18, 2018, 3:06 pm

    Hi Vivian

    Just wanted to let you know that a lot of the exercises you have been showing were used when I had to have therapy on my one knee and lower back.

    Pat

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA June 19, 2018, 12:42 pm

      That’s good to know, Pat. 🙂

  2. shula June 17, 2018, 6:54 pm

    Looks like a comfortable exercise to perform. Thank you.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA June 19, 2018, 12:41 pm

      You’re welcome, Shula!

  3. Fiona June 17, 2018, 3:01 am

    Dear Vivian, I have your wonderful book and also had bought one for my best friend. Thank you for your regular emails reminding me to do my exercises!
    You have a great weekend too!mbless you.
    Fiona xx

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA June 19, 2018, 12:40 pm

      You are very welcome, Fiona! How wonderful that you and your friend can do the Program together. That always makes it more fun!

  4. Helen June 16, 2018, 9:22 pm

    Thank you for your continued, knowledgeable help. Always insightful and spot-on, you keep hope, as well as bones, alive and well. I just had a recent bone scan, the first in five years, and my bones are so much better than before I went on the Program!

  5. Sally DuBois June 16, 2018, 2:49 pm

    When you posted “The Science of Happiness: Why Three Blessings Works” I shared it with many of my friends and relatives. Now I have a new person who wants it and I can’t seem to scan it. Will you please send it to me so I can share it? Thank you.

  6. Esther H. Bingaman June 16, 2018, 1:58 pm

    So good to see your comments back on my email. I have your book but I still like your free information on my email.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA June 16, 2018, 7:09 pm

      We’re glad you’re a part of the Saver community, Esther, and that you find the information in our e-mails relevant and helpful. 🙂

  7. Betsy Goldtrap June 16, 2018, 1:23 pm

    What to do if taking the Bone strength pills andI have severe heartburn Any suggestions? I have tried cutting the dose. I even tried changing the pills but doesn’t seem to help.Thx for any suggesrions

  8. Jean Oldenburg June 16, 2018, 1:09 pm

    Dear Vivian,
    Thank you so much for resending one of your emails that I lost, I attended the Osteo.Mtg. on Fri. and was well informed due to information in your blog. The Osteo. council of NJ thinking about treatments are more in tuned with your program, we have a wonderful “Healthy Bones” exercise program and continue to stress good diet and not count on meds. for help. I look forward to more information on this subject.
    Sincerely,
    Jean

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA June 16, 2018, 7:06 pm

      You’re welcome, Jean! The osteoporosis council you’re a part of sounds like they’re on the right track.

  9. william marinoff June 16, 2018, 11:40 am

    sent you $67.00 on 6/8/18 so far I have recived nothing

    • Save Institute Customer Support June 16, 2018, 12:51 pm

      Thanks for your order, William, and we’re sorry for any difficulties. We’ll look into your order and make sure you have all the materials you paid for. Please check your inbox for a message from Customer Support.

      • Louise Breton June 16, 2018, 3:12 pm

        Dear William: You’ll be very disappointed if you’re waiting to receive your book in the mail. I paid $67.00 also and for that amount of money we should receive a hardcover book, but instead, they sent it digital which means you have to print it yourself. Almost 400 loose pages. Very disappointed over that $67.00 buy. Should have read every detail instead of assuming. Good luck and patience ’cause while you’re printing all those pages, you can’t use your PC.

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