This weekend’s challenge focuses on the lower body, and like walking, it strengthens the bones in your legs, including the thighs (femurs). In addition, the Femur Strengthener And Coordination Enhancer targets the glutes and calf muscles, preventing falls and improving coordination.
Also known as the Forward Reverse Lunge, this targeted move is perfect for those times when you can’t go for a walk due to inclement weather or when you simply don’t have enough time.
We’ll also take a look at a fascinating study on the prevalence of sarcopenia (loss of muscle mass) as we age, and how exercises such as the Femur Strengthener And Coordination Enhancer offset this tendency.
Let’s get started with this highly effective exercise!
The femur is the strongest bone in the human body, but that doesn’t mean it can’t break. And if you’ve ever taken bisphosphonates, you are at greater risk for sustaining a femur fracture. Unfortunately, they take a long time to heal.
The Femur Strengthener And Coordination Enhancer works the quadriceps, the muscle groups in the front of your thigh, stimulating the formation of new bone. These are also key muscles involved in balance.
Because the lunge mimics the walking gait, it is a very functional exercise that trains your body to move through space without losing balance. In addition, the lunge motion activates the buttocks muscles (glutes) and hamstrings far more than other lower-body exercises. These muscles are neglected in our modern world, where sitting down much of the day is the norm.
When you do this exercise, your core muscles stay engaged and controlled. Toned core muscles are crucial for balance and coordination, and even for proper posture. Because they are deep within your center, your core muscles hold your spine and pelvis in alignment.
The Femur Strengthener And Coordination Enhancer is a two-part move, and the second motion involves some different muscles in your legs, but the core remains controlled and tight. When it comes to everyday activities, the backward portion of this exercise is not a motion we make very often, so it “wakes up” seldom-used muscles.
Wear comfortable shoes for this exercise. If you wish to do it with light weights to make it more challenging, that’s just fine, but practice the move without weights first.
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Keeping your back straight and your head facing forward, step forward into a lunge.
- Focus your weight on the heel of your front foot, and kneel with your back leg so your knee almost hits the ground.
- Push with your front heel and go back to a standing position – but don’t stop there. Continue on to the next step.
- Take the same leg that was just forward and bring it back behind you. Both knees will bend once again, with the back leg’s knee almost touching the ground.
- Come back up and do a forward lunge again, and repeat the entire move, forward and back, 10 times (you can do fewer or more if you like, depending on your comfort level).
- Switch sides and repeat for another set of 10.
Study Underscores The Importance Of Exercising To Prevent Muscle Loss
Research makes it clear that the loss of muscle mass, or sarcopenia, is a common occurrence among the elderly. By the time we reach our 75th birthday, “maximal voluntary contractile strength is decreased, on average, by 20-40% for both men and women,”1 the study notes. And this decrease occurs in both proximal and distal muscles – in other words, all of them!
It’s easy to think you have to undergo a killer workout to overcome muscle loss, but actually, as long as it’s done regularly, exercise does not have to be overly vigorous to be effective at staving off sarcopenia. That’s one of the reasons why the Densercise™ Epidensity Training System is more about regularity than severity. But don’t get me wrong – the exercises in this digital eBook system are quite challenging and effective.
Densercise™ is also customizable, so if you find the exercises too difficult or too easy, you can make adjustments to the challenge level by increasing reps and adding weights.
As we age, the many benefits of exercise become even more important. Densercise™ works for any age, but it’s most certainly a must for the over-50 crowd!
Have a great weekend!
1 Doherty, T.J. “Invited review: Aging and sarcopenia.” Journal of Applied Physiology. October 2003. 95(4): 1717-27. Web. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12970377