Weekend Challenge: Femur And Leg Stepper
This weekend’s challenge strengthens the legs, improves balance, and enhances coordination. Because it works the thighs and targets the femora (thigh bones), it’s especially beneficial for those who have taken bisphosphonates such as Fosamax, Boniva, or Actonel in the past.
These drugs have been shown to increase the risk of atypical femoral fractures because of their mechanism of action, as they inhibit healthy bone remodeling.
When combined with bone-nourishing nutrition, exercises like the Femur And Leg Stepper stimulate the femur (along with the bones in the lower leg and ankle), helping to rejuvenate bone and reverse bone loss.
Although it’s the largest bone in the human body, the femur (thigh bone) is not immune to fracture, particularly at its most vulnerable point: the femoral neck. This is a bridge of bone that joins the top of the thigh bone to the femoral head (the “ball” that goes into the hip joint’s ball and socket joint).
Bisphosphonates have been scientifically proven to cause weakness in this area of the thigh bone, as an unpublished study points out in no uncertain terms. According to this remarkable (and cleverly covered-up) research, bisphosphonates hinder the body’s daily bone repair mechanism by binding to the tiny microcracks bones experience every day as a result of normal use.1
When it comes to the femoral neck, this is particularly damaging, because this small area of bone takes a tremendous amount of force and therefore experiences more microdamage every day that, under normal bone remodeling conditions, is repaired on a daily basis while you rest. In fact, much of your body’s daily bone repair happens during sleep. For more information on sleep and osteoporosis, I invite you to read the following article: Why Sleep Is Crucial To Your Bone Health.
Bisphosphonates ultimately weaken bone all over the body. According to a recent study, bisphosphonates “inhibit the activity of osteoclasts by physicochemically combining with the bone matrix and subsequently blocking the action of osteoclasts by inducing the secretion of a variety of cytokines.”2
Cytokines are highly inflammatory, so bisphosphonates greatly increase bone-damaging inflammation while halting healthy bone remodeling, making bone more brittle and prone to breakage. Please click here for more information and scientific proof as to how bisphosphonates weaken bone: Scientific Proof That Bisphosphonates Destroy Bone And Cause Atypical Fractures.
Cytokines tear down old bone and remove it under normal conditions, but when their numbers and activity are artificially increased, as is the case with bisphosphonates, the cytokines become overactive, damaging and weakening bone. Additionally, bisphosphonates inhibit the bone-building, restorative aspect of remodeling as well, creating a bone-damaging cycle.
Bisphosphonates are not the only osteoporosis drugs that weaken bone. “Alternatives” like Prolia also inhibit healthy bone turnover by mimicking (and therefore increasing the levels of) an inflammatory cytokine called osteoprotegerin. You can read more about Prolia and my review of this dubious drug here: Prolia (Denosumab): My Review
Of course, another risk factor for fractures is poor balance, which can occur as we age and muscles become less coordinated, eyesight is less sharp than it used to be, and posture is pulled out of place by years of bad habits.
But this weekend, you can change all of that and adopt healthful habits, such as engaging in corrective, restorative exercises like this one.
- Bend your knees and go into a shallow squat position. Hold your hands up in front of you, elbows bent.
- Staying in the squat position, bring one foot – let’s say the left foot for clarity – toward the right foot. As you put your left foot down near your right, immediately pick up the right foot and bring it out to your right.
- Repeat this “shuffle” to the right for three steps.
- Now switch directions and do three side-steps to the left, doing the same shuffle as described above. This is one set (three steps to the right, three to the left).
- Do eight to 10 sets (as long as you are comfortable), staying in a squat throughout the exercise.
- Don’t bounce up and down as you go from side to side. Try to stay level throughout the exercise, even when you pause before switching directions.
- Keep your elbows bent and your hands up in front of you so they’re not swinging or otherwise in the way.
We recommend following this exercise with the similarly-themed Femur And Leg Builder, the Femur And Bicep Builder, and the Femur Builder And Balance Improver.
You Need To Strengthen Your Entire Skeleton
While it’s clear that your femur needs some special targeting (especially if you’ve taken osteoporosis drugs), all of your bones need to experience the stimulation of exercise. If you have the Densercise™ Epidensity Training System, then you’re already aware of how comprehensive it is, targeting fracture-prone areas while involving the whole skeleton.
Densercise™ makes the perfect basis for your bone-building regimen, and the Weekend Challenges can be included to add variety and flexibility as to fitness levels and individual preferences.
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.
Please feel free to share your experience with Densercise™, the Weekend Challenges, or other aspects of your bone-health journey with the community by leaving a comment below.
Have a great weekend!
1Liu, Lu, et al. “Association between alendronate and atypical femur fractures: a meta-analysis.” 4. Z. (2015): 58-64. Doi: 10.1530/EC-14-0120. Web. April 30, 2016. Web. http://www.endocrineconnections.com/content/4/1/58.full
2Davis, M.S., et al. “Visualization of bisphosphonate binding to bone microcracks and surrounding osteocyte lacunae using near-infrared optical imaging.” University of Michigan. 2013. Web. http://www.ors.org/Transactions/59/007/0042.html