As its name denotes, this weekend’s exercise is really “dynamic”! It’s high-impact, which has been scientifically shown to increase bone mineral density exceptionally well. I’m excited to share with you the studies that prove it.
The Dynamic Hip And Core Builder strengthens the hip bones, including the vulnerable femoral neck, as well as the core and leg muscles.
Because of all the benefits it offers, this is an exercise I recommend you practice often. So let’s get started!
The Dynamic Hip And Core Builder is an aerobic exercise that offers some of the benefits of walking or running. While this exercise is excellent for leg, core, and hip joint strength, I’d like to take a closer look at each specific area this move targets.
Strong, fracture-resistant hip bones are clearly of primary importance to the osteoporosis community. As Savers know, the force of muscle and gravity on bone stimulates bone growth, strength, and density. Today’s exercise hones in on the iliopsoas, a key muscle in preventing hip fractures.
The iliopsoas is actually made up of two closely related muscles, the iliacus and psoas major. They originate at the ilium and the lumbar vertebrae, respectively, but merge and share an insertion point at the base of the femoral neck in an area known as the lesser trochanter.
The femoral neck is the vulnerable area of the pelvis that is prone to fracture. The good news is that the Dynamic Hip And Core Builder directly targets the muscles that attach to it, stimulating bone growth and density in this key area.
The psoas is part of the core muscles. They are vital for balance, proper posture, bending, twisting, turning…in fact, they are necessary for just about everything, including breathing!
Today’s exercises also works the lower back muscles (also part of your core muscles), helping to help alleviate back pain and strengthen the sacral and lumbar vertebrae.
The Dynamic Hip And Core Builder is excellent for toning the muscles in the legs, and for strengthening the femur, knees, and ankles. Your legs are vital for proper balance and a strong gait.
This exercise is a combination of marching, jumping, and running in place, so I recommend you wear a pair of sneakers. If you prefer to do it barefoot, you’ll want a carpeted floor or a non-slip exercise mat.
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
- With your elbows slightly bent, hold your hands in front of you with your palms facing down. Bend your elbows so you will be able to hit your palms with your knees (you’ll see what I mean in a minute).
- Jump in place, lifting one leg at a time, touching your knee to your palm. You will be bouncing as if running in place.
- Do as many repetitions as you’re comfortable with or if you prefer not to count, you can time this exercise.
- Keep your back straight.
- Your hands should stay in the same place as much as possible. Keep them as level as you can.
- Feel free to adjust the speed of your jumps to a rate that’s comfortable for you.
The Data Is Clear: High-Impact Is Highly Effective
As I mentioned earlier, exercises that involve jumping or “bouncing” are considered high-impact, and it’s been proven scientifically that this kind of exercise is particularly effective art building bone density in targeted areas.
Here’s one example: researchers divided a number of young women into two groups, one that included high-impact exercises in their daily regimen, and the second group that did low-impact exercises only. Both groups exercised every day at home and participated in a weekly exercise class every week for one year.
At the end of just 6 months, the evidence was clear: the high-impact group showed an increase of 3.4% at the femoral neck, which was much greater than the low-impact group. During the second 6 months, the low-impact group switched to high-impact, and their femoral neck density increased by 4.1%.1
A more recent study confirms these findings. Once again, young women were divided into two groups, and in this study, the high-impact group did jumping exercises. Significant bone mineral density increase was seen in the femoral neck and lumbar vertebrae of the high-impact group, whereas the control group showed no change in density.2
While the research in both studies was done on young women, the principle is the same: targeted impact through exercise stimulates bone growth.
And that’s why the Densercise™ Epidensity Training System includes many targeted impact exercises such as the Side Lunge (page 16), Hopscotch Jump (page 26), and One Step Jump (page 33) which stimulate bone growth in the hips, knees, and ankles.
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So there’s your challenge for this weekend – let me know how it goes!
Have a great weekend,
1 Bassey, E.J. and Ramsdale, S.J. “Increase in femoral bone density in young women following high-impact exercise.” Osteoporosis International. March 1994. 4(2):72-5. Web. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8003843
2 Takeru, Kato, et al. “Effect of low-repetition jump training on bone mineral density in young women.” Journal of Applied Physiology. March 2006. Vol. 100 no. 3, 839-843. DOI: 10.1152/japplphysiol.00666.2005. Web. http://jap.physiology.org/content/100/3/839