Today’s exercise involves hopping, which has been scientifically proven to increase bone density in the hips – even when performed for as little as two minutes a day.

Thanks to its high-impact osteogenic loading, the Hip Bone Builder strengthens the hip joints, the pelvis and femoral head. As you may already know, this is of prime importance for avoiding painful hip fractures.

And besides providing an excellent cardio boost, you’ll see that this exercise is a lot of fun too.

First, let’s take a look at the science behind hopping and why it so effectively builds bone.

Why:

A certain amount of impact on your bones stimulates them to build, renew, and strengthen. This is referred to as osteogenic loading and is based on Wolff’s Law, which states that bone is created in response to the application of gravitational force. Over and over, research and experience have supported the truth of Wolff’s Law.

What’s truly astonishing is how quickly this happens. Your body begins to respond the instant you start exercising, and research has shown that just two minutes of impact hopping exercise produces more bone in the hip.

The research, appropriately called the Hip Hop study, followed the effects of hopping on the bone density of 34 men over age 65. Participants engaged in various hopping exercises, with emphasis placed on one leg (hence hopping rather than jumping).

Bone density increases as great as 7% year were observed in the hip bones of the “hopping leg” in one year. Additionally, the concluding CT scans showed changes in bone and “localized adaptions” in areas of the pelvis that are key in preventing fracture. 1

Lead researcher Dr. Katherine Brooke-Wavell summed up that:

“…our study shows that brief hopping or jumping exercises that target specific regions of the hip, could increase bone strength and reduce the chances of hip fracture.” 1

What Makes Hopping So Effective?

As I mentioned above, hopping is high-impact, therefore making full use of the action of gravity on bone. But the muscles that are used are also key components to the effectiveness of hopping, and today’s exercise targets these important muscle groups.

Quads

Your quadriceps muscles are in the front of your thigh, and they are composed of four parts (the rectus femoris, vastus lateralis, vastus medialis, and vastus intermedius). Each part originates at the base and side of the pelvis, and attaches around the knee.

The quads are vital for femur and hip strength. They help stabilize the knee joint and contribute to a strong, balanced gait. You will really feel them working in today’s exercise!

Glutes

These are your buttocks muscles, and they have a tendency to atrophy when we sit for long periods of time. The glutes are made for far more than cushion, however. Made of three parts (the gluteus minimus, gluteus medius, and gluteus maximus), it’s the gluteus maximus that is unique to the human species.

The human gluteus minimus and medius are similar to what you’ll find in other mammals, such as dogs. In humans, the minimus and medius work to rotate the leg inwards and outwards, respectively.

But the gluteus maximus, the largest gluteal muscle in any mammal, helps stabilize the upper body and is the key to walking upright. Clearly, these muscles are designed to be strong and large, and strengthening them helps your posture, pelvic alignment, lower back strength, and gait.

And of course, working the glutes stimulates bone formation in the pelvis, top of the femur, and sacral vertebrae.

Abs

The Hip Bone Builder forces you to keep your abdominal muscles firm and engaged, helping to tone and strengthen these important “tummy muscles.” Strong abs help hold your torso up, allow you to turn and twist, and are important for deep breathing and proper posture.

Weak abs allow the belly to sag forward, which can pull the spine and pelvis out of alignment. You’ll feel your abs working with this exercise, even though it’s not a “crunch” or other abdominal workout.

So now that you know what muscles you’ll be working, let’s get started on how to do The Hip Bone Builder!

How:

It’s a good idea to wear comfortable shoes for this exercise.

  1. Begin with your feet wide apart, toes pointed slightly outward (your toes should point at the same angle as your knees bend).
  2. Engage your abs as you lean forward at the hips (keeping your back straight) and go down into a shallow squat. You’ll look a bit like you’re sitting on a bench.
  3. Bring your hands together and hold them up in front of your face, bending your elbows.
  4. Jump forward while swinging your arms down, and when you land, go back into the squat and bring your hands back up again.
  5. Now repeat the jumping motion again, but this time, jump backwards. Again, when you land, go back into the squat with your hands up, elbows bent.
  6. Repeat this pattern for approximately two minutes to get the full bone-building benefits. If you have to stop and rest before the two minutes are up, that’s just fine. Just take a breather and continue. And as always, don’t go beyond your comfort level; you may not be able to do this for a full two minutes at first, even with breaks.

I like to follow up this exercise with The Dynamic Hip And Core Builder and the Squat Jack, also Weekend Challenges that target the core, hips, and thighs.

If Hopping For Two Minutes Boosts Bone Density, Imagine What 15 Minutes Of Targeted Exercises Could Do!

The Most Effective Bone-Building Workouts!

Learn the 52 exercise moves that jumpstart bone-building – all backed by the latest in epigenetics research.

Learn More Now →

Exercising for your bones doesn’t have to take much of your time. With the Densercise™ Epidensity Training System, you can achieve excellent results in just 15 minutes a day, three times a week.

That’s because Densercise™ contains focused, target-toning exercises, so you’ll build muscle and bone efficiently and quickly.

Have a great weekend!

References:

1 Allison, Sarah J, et al. “The influence of High-Impact Exercise on Cortical and Trabecular Bone Mineral Content and 3D Distribution Across the Proximal Femur in Older Men: A Randomized Controlled Unilateral Intervention.” Journal of Bone and Mineral Research. August 17, 2015. Vol 30, issue 9. Doi: 10.1002/jbmr.2499.

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27 comments. Leave Yours Now →
  1. Ita March 9, 2019, 11:20 am

    Thank you, Ita.

  2. Margaret May 13, 2017, 6:22 am

    Hi, I walk 3 miles 3 to 4 times a week. Is that good to increase my bone density in my hip:femor bones?
    Thank you for all your info .

  3. Elef November 28, 2015, 2:50 am

    Dear Vivian,
    It is more than a month that I don t receive your e-mails. Please check why, because those mails were very useful for me and they helped since 2011 I stopped taking Fosamax. According your advises my osteoporosis is better.
    Thank you
    Elef

    • Customer Support November 28, 2015, 9:38 am

      Hi Elef,

      Please check your e-mail for a message from Customer Support, where these issues are typically handled. 🙂

  4. Marlene Appleton October 4, 2015, 7:49 pm

    Yes, I agree. I also cannot do hopping exercises because at 64 year of age and having weak hips due to osteoporosis and arthritis, degenerative disk disease, sciatica, and bone spurs, I am afraid that hopping will set off a very painful syndrome of sciatic back pain, migraine headache, and leg pain, plus put my bones further out of alignment. Please let us know if there is a safer hip strengthener for those of advanced age with serious joint and bone problems.

  5. Teresa ochoa September 21, 2015, 2:00 am

    I wish I could do most of the exercises you recommend, but hopping, jumping, is something , that physically, I can not do, due to the fractures of the tibia, and fibula of my left leg, which I suffered falling forward, in a, side walk, wearing platform shoes.in 200 7. That was a, slow and painful recovery, and now, I am aware, of how important, is to stay bone healthy. I will continue, your program, and appreciate all your newsletters, I do not want to start taking those dangerous drugs.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA September 21, 2015, 10:15 am

      I’m so glad you’re on the mend, Teresa – more importantly, you’re on the right track for your bone health. Feel free to search all the Weekend Challenges – there are many that do not involve jumping or hopping. Some are actually done while sitting down, like these:

      https://saveourbones.com/weekend-challenge-seated-core-and-oblique-strengthener/

      https://saveourbones.com/weekend-challenge-seated-femur-rejuvenator/

      Good luck!

      • Hopping comment March 10, 2017, 5:28 am

        I learned I have an insufficiency fracture of the femure right at the neck of the ball. I saw what hopping can do to strengthen bone and muscle in this area. So…. like a good ole’ geazer… I adjusted it to deal with my current fragility. I just lightly stomped me feet. It didn’t hurt so… all is well. This whole week I have been “stomping”… a little stronger each day and off and on throughout the day, and by the end of the week I stopped feeling any pain in the area and can walk much better. So I’m thinking my stomping is really making a difference in my healing. THANK YOU so MUCH for showing me this possibility.

        • Hopping comment March 10, 2017, 5:39 am

          Note: I started gently and over the week have just increasing the strength of the stomp a few degrees. It kind of now looks like the pow wow dancing Native Americans do and will continue that for maybe a week or two, just giving my body plenty of time to mend. Overdoing it would only set me back.

  6. Carmen Moore-Henson September 20, 2015, 4:54 pm

    Vivian,
    Thank you so much for this issue. At my age of 63 I still manage to do these exercises.
    You have been helpful for many years, and I will recommend your site to my friends.Take care and continue helping others.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA September 21, 2015, 10:11 am

      Thanks for spreading the word about drug-free bone health, Carmen. So many people aren’t aware that there is a drug-free option to osteoporosis!

  7. Darlene Wagner September 20, 2015, 4:43 pm

    Thanks again for all the exercises & good information you continue to give all. Like the pictures with the exercises helps keep the body in the right form.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA September 21, 2015, 10:11 am

      You’re welcome, Darlene. 🙂

  8. Louise September 20, 2015, 1:48 pm

    Hello Vivian, Sooo love your research and recommendations. I would like to order the Densercise package but could you ship it to me via UPS or Fedex. I would like it in book(let) format and I imagine that printing it would wear ou my little printer or taking it to Staples or somewhere like that to have it printed would be quite costly… Let me know Thanks Louise

    • Customer Support September 21, 2015, 9:35 am

      Hi Louise,
      We’re so glad you’re interested in Densercise! At this time, Densercise is only available as a digital e-book; there is no print copy available. The e-book format allows you to get instant access to the system so you can start Densercising right away. Plus it saves you the shipping and handling fees. You also get instant access to all 52 Densercise moves demonstrated by Vivian on video, so you can watch her on your computer screen on-demand, then do the moves right away. 🙂

  9. Sondra September 20, 2015, 12:40 pm

    Thank you for your fantastic exercises! I love the way they are demonstrated, makes it so much easier than a written description alone. Please keep up the fine work.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA September 21, 2015, 9:31 am

      I’m glad you find the demonstrations helpful, Sondra!

  10. Annabelle September 20, 2015, 4:26 am

    Good exercise but is not advisable if you have stress fractures of the spine. Thank you for your welcome emails Vivienne.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA September 20, 2015, 10:31 am

      No problem, Annabelle – you are most welcome, and if you choose to skip this weekend’s challenge, there are many more to choose from! You’re bound to find many that fit your individual needs.

  11. susan September 19, 2015, 9:26 pm

    So is it safe to jump if you know you have osteoporosis? I don’t want compression fractures

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA September 20, 2015, 10:30 am

      Hi Susan,
      If your doctor or physical therapist has warned you not to perform jumping exercises, then by all means listen to him or her. But generally speaking, jumping is excellent for building bone, as the post explains.

  12. Marie-Helene September 19, 2015, 12:58 pm

    Thank you Vivian for the hips exercises. Unfortuntely i cant jump because of my chronic sciatica and herniated discs. I really enjoy reading your infos , they are a great help.
    Have great weekend and lots of blessings. MH

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA September 19, 2015, 2:41 pm

      Love your positive attitude, Marie-Helene! And thanks for your kind words 🙂

  13. Diane Martinson September 19, 2015, 9:48 am

    Like the lady with the hip replacements I have avoided jumping, hopping, and even jogging because I keep reading they can cause compression fractures if you have osteoporosis in the spine, so this wouldn’t be for me either, right?

  14. EM September 19, 2015, 9:34 am

    Hey! I have both hips replaced. I’m wondering, and I believe, that hopping isn’t good for me. Right?

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA September 19, 2015, 1:50 pm

      High impact exercises are typically not recommended if you had a hip replacement. Your orthopedic surgeon surely gave you guidelines for this, and when in doubt, don’t hesitate to ask him or her.

  15. Jo September 19, 2015, 5:52 am

    According to Dr Loren Fishman, author of “Yoga for Osteoporosis: the Complete Guide”, yoga is the most effective exercise for building bone because the action of opposing muscle groups on the bone produces many hundreds of pounds of pressure on the bones. He has done a pilot study with impressive results. It can be accessed at http://sciatica.org/. A bigger study on the subject is underway at the moment.

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