For this weekend’s challenge, we’re going to focus on the legs, hips, and arms. This exercise enhances balance, tones muscles, and stimulates bone growth in these crucial areas.
And remember, exercise has many more benefits besides building bone and muscle. From promoting longevity to decreasing the risk of chronic disease, regular exercise (even just a little) is a vital part of your health. So I’m thrilled to bring you a study that confirms it’s never too late to start exercising.
Let’s begin by looking at the muscles the Balancing Hip, Femur And Arms Strengthener works.
This exercise works muscle groups in the legs and hips that are very important for balance. Clearly, avoiding falls is as important as strengthening bones to prevent painful fractures.
The Balancing Hip, Femur And Arms Strengthener also targets the ankles, which can be prone to breakage, even in the absence of low bone density.
Here are the main muscle groups utilized in today’s exercise.
- The gluteus maximus, or glutes, are the large, rounded muscles of your bottom. The lesser-known but just as important gluteus minimus and gluteus medius also get a nice workout in today’s exercise.
Working these “bottom muscles” is more important than ever in this day and age where so many modern humans spend more of the day sitting than in motion. The glutes are unique to humans, since we walk upright; thus, they are crucial for standing, walking, running, and any motion you make while standing up. Clearly, they are vital for balance, and strong glutes strengthen and align your pelvic bones as well.
- The hamstrings go along the back of your legs, and the term includes the tendons as well as the muscles. As you “land” with your lead leg and push up again (you’ll see what I mean when you read the exercise description below), the hamstrings are utilized in both motions.
If your hamstrings are weak, stretched too far, or shortened and tight, your balance and stability will be negatively affected. The Hip, Femur And Arm Strengthener works these important muscles which also stimulate the femur bone to increase in strength and density.
- The quadriceps are often discussed in relation to knee joint stability, and they do help keep the knee aligned, flexible, and strong. This four-part muscle group runs along the front of your thigh, and is also the primary muscle group that stimulates the femur bone when worked. You will definitely feel the quads working in today’s exercise!
- The adductors run along your inner thighs, and are made up of three muscles: the adductor brevis, adductor longus, and adductor magnus. Like the quads and hamstrings, the adductors strengthen the thigh bones. But the adductors, as their name implies, engage to pull your leg sideways along the front of your body. This has a clear impact on the hip joint, working and strengthening the pelvic bones.
- The biceps also get a workout with the Balancing Hip, Femur And Arms Strengthener. These muscles of the upper arm are important for strengthening the humerus (upper arm bone) and the elbow joint. Strong biceps help break or prevent a fall if you catch and hold on to something to keep your balance.
- The forearm muscles, or brachioradialis, are also utilized in today’s move. The brachioradialis runs from your wrist, across the inside of your elbow, and ends at the base of the humerus (upper arm) bone. Wrists and elbows are fracture-prone areas that are strengthened by this curling motion.
I like to use 5-pound hand weights for this exercise; but whatever weights you are comfortable with will work fine. As I often note in the Weekend Challenges and Densercise™, you can simply hold a can of food in each hand (they are usually around 1 pound each).
For the sake of clarity, we’re starting with the right leg.
- Stand with feet hip-width apart. Let your arms hang by your sides, holding your weights. Your hands should be turned so your thumbs are facing forward.
- Step out sideways to your right and bend your right knee. Your left knee stays straight.
- At the same time, bring your arms to the right, still hanging down (your left hand will be between your knees and your right hand on the outside of your right knee).
- Come back up to the starting position, and do a “hammer curl” with your right arm. A hammer curl is where you raise your hand by bending your elbow, and your thumb faces up and out (as opposed to a standard curl, where your palm faces up and your thumb faces out). Keep your arms against your sides, even while you do the curl.
- Repeat the same procedure, stepping out with your left leg.
- Aim for 10 reps (5 steps on each side), doing more or less depending on your comfort and fitness level.
Exercises Like This One Offset Frailty Associated With Age
As we get older, biological functions tend to decrease, and stress is less easily tolerated. That does not mean that frailty is inevitable, of course; it just means that we need to be proactive to offset the tendency to become frail.
The good news is that targeted exercises like the Balancing Hip, Femur And Arms Strengthener do counteract the tendency to weaken with age, and science has proven this to be true.
A comprehensive review of a wide range of data spanning 22 years (1990 to 2012) showed that frailty can not only be prevented with exercise, but actually reversed.
The study concludes that:
“…resistance training programs that are performed 3 times a week, with 3 sets of 8 to 12 repetitions and an intensity starting at 20%–30% and progressing to 80% of 1RM, may be well tolerated by frail subjects, resulting in positive effects on gait and gains in muscle strength,”1
Another positive finding from the study is that:
“…resistance exercises that are performed with a high speed of motion promote greater improvements in the functional task performance of healthy elderly individuals.”1
Resistance Exercises Are Included In the Densercise™ Epidensity Training System
In addition to weight-bearing and postural moves, Densercise™ contains resistance exercises that build the muscles that support the skeleton. Like the review above affirms, exercising three times a week even for a short period (Densercise™ takes just 15 minutes a day) builds muscle, rejuvenates bones, and improves overall vigor. And with Densercise™, you can set your own pace, so as you keep practicing the moves, you’ll be able to increase the speed of motion.
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.
So stay fit and enjoy the weekend!
1 Lusa Cadore, Eduardo, et al. “Effects of Different Exercise Interventions on Risk of Falls, Gait Ability, and Balance in Physically Frail Older Adults: A Systematic Review.” Rejuvenation Research. April 2013. 16(2): 105-114. Web. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3634155/