Weekend Challenge: Body Toner And Balance Improver
The Body Toner And Balance Improver is a very simple move that employs basic arm and leg motions to improve balance and engage the whole body. It’s a “feel-good” move that can be done anywhere, anytime – although when you’re learning this for the first time, it’s a good idea to do it near a wall (or something else you can hold onto), because this move challenges your balance.
This exercise also strengthens your femur (thigh bone) and helps increase hip joint mobility and strength.
So let’s get started!
The Body Toner And Balance Improver involves applying the simple motions of abduction and adduction of the arms and legs.
Abduction occurs when you bring a part of your body away from your body’s center. Adduction refers to bringing a part of your body back toward your center.
So for example, lifting your leg out to the side is abduction, and bringing that same leg back to the starting position is adduction.
Working the abductor and adductor muscles of the legs and arms has multiple benefits, including:
- Toning and shaping the glutes (buttocks muscles) and the muscles of the upper back and shoulders
- Greater mobility and less tightness in the hip and shoulder joints
- Less joint pain in the hips and knees
- Greater knee stability, particularly for women, as per a 2007 study that evaluated the different effects of knee stability and hip abductor strength in men and women. “…hip abductor strength may play a more important role in neuromuscular control of the knee for women,”1 the study concludes.
- Enhanced balance
- Greater flexibility in the shoulders
And of course, you’re building bone in the femur, hips, arms, and shoulders while you do this exercise as per Wolff’s Law.
Here’s how to do it.
Remember, stand near a wall, countertop, or something similar so you can catch yourself if you get off balance.
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, arms hanging at your sides.
- Lift your left leg out to the side while simultaneously lifting your right arm out to the side. Keep your knees and elbows straight.
- Bring your left leg and right arm back to the starting position, and then lift them both again. Repeat this for 10 to 20 seconds, as your comfort level allows.
- Now switch sides and lift your right leg and left arm for 10 to 20 seconds.
We suggest following it up with these previous challenges:
Regular exercise is very important for bone renewal and strength. And when your bone-building exercises are fun, simple, and don’t require huge spaces or special equipment, there’s nothing to stop you!
Feel free to post a comment below if you want to start a conversation about this Weekend Challenge, or if you have something to say about bone-healthy exercise in general. I always love to see the Saver community interact with and encourage each other.
Have a great weekend!
1Jacobs, Cale A., PhD, ATC, et al. “Hip Abductor Function and Lower Extremity Landing Kinematics: Sex Differences.” Journal of Athletic Training. 42. 1. (2007): 76-83. Web. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1896084/