Weekend Challenge: Hip Bone Rejuvenator
This weekend’s challenge involves controlled jumping movements that have been scientifically proven to increase hip bone density. The Hip Bone Rejuvenator engages your entire lower body – hips, thighs, calves, ankles, and feet – as well as your core.
In fact, it’s a typical ski jump move, but you don’t have to head to the slopes to reap the benefits. You can do this exercise right in your living room. But if you can’t jump, don’t worry – I also share links to exercises that build the hip bones without jumping.
Nonetheless, research has revealed bone density benefits specifically linked to jumping, and we’re going to look at the data. But first, I’d like to discuss why strong hip bones are so important in the fight against osteoporosis.
When you get a DXA scan, which measures bone mineral density at various points in the body, you’ll find that typically your lumbar vertebrae and pelvis are included. That’s because so much depends on these areas of the skeleton – they are central to balance, posture, gait, stability, and alignment. This is why a fracture of the hip can be so devastating.
Today’s exercise targets these areas with high-impact jumping, plus the bones and joints of the legs and the core muscles. Let’s look more closely at these crucial areas of the body.
- The importance of strong pelvic bones cannot be overemphasized. Your hips are actually the center of your body, and as the halfway point between your head and your feet, your hips provide a centralized “hinge” for rotation, stability, and posture. Through targeted exercise and controlled motion, you can strengthen the hip bones to increase flexibility and bone strength.
The muscles of the hip area include those in the lower back, the glutes, the lower abdominals, pelvic floor muscles, and even muscles of the leg. There is a significant muscular structure to hold the pelvis in place while allowing for a wide range of motion and flexible movement. When this muscular structure is worked, it stimulates bone growth and increases both stability and flexibility.
- The femur bones attach to the pelvis via the femoral neck, a “bridge” of bone between the top of the femur and the ball, which fits snugly into the hip joint’s socket. This is a vulnerable area in the hip socket, and if you’ve ever taken bisphosphonates, the risk of femoral neck fractures is increased significantly.
- Fractures of the ankle usually involve a break in one of the lower leg bones, the tibia or fibula. The talus, a small bone that lies in the middle of the heel bone, tibia, and fibula may also break if bones and muscles are weak.
The ski jump motion of the Hip Bone Rejuvenator targets the ankle from various angles, strengthening all the bones, muscles, and ligaments of the joint.
- Knees are, unfortunately, a site of pain for many people. One of the major causes of knee pain is misalignment, which can be caused by tight or weak core and leg muscles. Controlled, proper jumping is an excellent way to strengthen and release tight muscles associated with the knee. (Remember, if your knees or any other part of your body are aching, please don’t attempt any impact exercise without talking to your doctor or physical therapist first.)
- Your core muscles, as indicated above, play a role in areas of the body that are not necessarily within the core itself. These muscles influence the movement of your spine, ribs, pelvis, and even your legs. They are key muscles in holding your torso upright, and they allow you to bend forward, twist, and turn without straining your back.
Your core muscles are engaged throughout this exercise. So let’s take a look at how to do it.
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Bend your knees slightly and lean forward at the hips, as if you’re getting ready to ski downhill.
- Keep your chest up as you bring your arms down to your sides, elbows bent as if holding ski poles.
- Now jump up and to one side, as if hopping over an object sideways.
- Land with knees supple and flexed, back into the ski position, and jump to the other side.
- Repeat about 10 jumps total, or five on each side. Feel free to do more or less repetitions, depending on your fitness level.
If you find that this doesn’t challenge you enough, try placing a box on the floor beside you and jumping over it. The higher the box, the more challenging the workout.
In fact, higher jumping can increase the bone-building effectiveness of the exercise, which is high-impact like this one, which makes a good companion to today’s exercise: The Dynamic Hip And Core Builder.
The action of jumping is what makes these moves high-impact, and that’s directly responsible for building bone density, as the study I’ll share with you next proves.
Randomized, Controlled Trial Shows Superior Bone-Building Benefits Of Jumping
The study was done on 60 women aged 25 to 50, whose bone mineral density increased significantly over the course of the four-month study. One group of women jumped 10 times a day, twice a day for a total of 20 jumps each day. The other group did two sets of 20 jumps a day, for a total of 40 daily jumps. The only guidelines were to jump as high as they could off the floor, and to rest 30 seconds between jumps. No special equipment was used – not even shoes.
After four weeks, both groups improved their hip bone density significantly, with the women who jumped 40 times each day having slightly greater improvement. The control group, which did no jumping at all, actually lost more than 1% of their bone density over four weeks.1
This is further proof that the body is made for motion. Allowing your body to do what it’s designed to do brings health and vigor to your bones. So enjoy jumping!
But If You Can’t Jump, Don’t Despair
I’m sure there are some of you who are reading this post thinking, “But I can’t jump!” There are lots of reasons why jumping is contraindicated for some people. It might be because of a fracture, injury, or even severe arthritis or inflammation.
But don’t worry – there are still exercises you can do to build bone density in the hips without impact. Feel free to try these two Weekend Challenges in lieu of the Hip Bone Rejuvenator:
There is always something for everyone, just like the Densercise™ Epidensity Training System. The variety of “Densercises” means you’ll never have to worry if you can’t do certain moves. You can simply choose a more suitable one that targets the same area, or change out a “Densercise” for a Weekend Challenge.
Here’s another really handy thing about Densercise™: its digital format allows for quick and easy searches of any relevant topic. For example, if you’re looking for exercises for hip bone density, you can quickly search the PDF file for “hips,” and you can browse through all the exercises that target the hip bones. You can also search for terms like “weight bearing” and “resistance” to completely customize your workout.
Or, if you prefer, you can simply follow the four week Densercise™ workout cycle which is specifically designed to target different bones and muscles with weight-bearing, resistance, and flexibility moves.
Treat Your Bones To Densericse Epidensity Training
Learn the 52 exercise moves that jumpstart bone-building – all backed by the latest in epigenetics research.
And no matter what time of year, you can work muscles involved in weight- bearing sports like skiing. Densercise™ can be done in any weather, any time, any place. Talk about convenient!
I’d love to hear what you think of this weekend’s exercise. Please share your thoughts and comments below.
Enjoy the weekend!
1 Tucker, L.A., et al. “Effect of two jumping programs on hip bone mineral density in premenopausal women: a randomized controlled trial.” Am J Health Promot. Jan-Feb 2015. 29(3): 158-64. DOI: 10.4278/ajhp.130430-QUAN-200. Web. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24460005