This weekend’s exercise is designed to increase bone density in the hip bones by working the iliopsoas muscles.

Located deep in your core, these muscles are part of your hip flexors, and they are involved in balance, posture, and stabilization of the pelvis and lower back.

The Hip Flexor Strengthener stimulates bone growth in the hips, especially the femoral neck, and lower back, plus improves balance and stability.

So let’s get started!

Why:

The iliopsoas muscles are often simply called the psoas, and they are made up of the psoas major and iliacus. Together they make up the muscles of the inner hip, connecting the front of the femoral neck with the lumbar vertebrae.

  • The iliacus runs from the femoral neck to the top front of the ilium (the wing-shaped bone at the top of the pelvis).
  • The psoas major consists of a deep layer and a superficial layer. The deeper layer attaches to the lower lumbar vertebrae, whereas the top layer attaches to the lower thoracic and lumbar vertebrae.
  • The iliopsoas is prone to contracture as we age, and regular stretching is required to keep this from happening. A shortened iliopsoas can pull the pelvis and vertebrae out of alignment, and contribute to lower back pain. In addition, a tight iliopsoas greatly limits hip extension.

    As you might suspect, a shortened iliopsoas negatively affects posture due to the misalignment it causes. Improper posture can contribute to Dowager’s Hump (kyphosis) and spinal curvature that can worsen osteoporosis (and vice versa).

    Regular stretching keeps the iliopsoas at a normal length. Generally speaking, though, stretching this muscle group does not happen during normal, everyday movements. It needs to be deliberately stretched through exercises like today’s challenge and another Weekend Challenge that complements it, The Lunge Stretch.

    In addition to stretching the iliopsoas, the Hip Flexor Strengthener exercise works this muscle to stimulate bone growth in the lumbar vertebrae, pelvis, and femoral neck. Strong bones in these areas are absolutely crucial for preventing hip fractures. And strong iliopsoas muscles enhance balance, which prevents falls that could result in a fracture.

    So here’s how to do the Hip Flexor Strengthener.

    How:

    For today’s exercise, you’ll need a stool, chair, or other object that is approximately knee height. It’s a good idea to do this move near a wall so you can steady yourself.

    1. Place one foot on the chair. Your knee will be bent at about a 90-degree angle, and your thigh will be level.
    2. Keeping your back straight (do not lean forward or backward), lift your foot about six inches off the chair.
    3. Lower your foot back down. Repeat eight to ten times, or whatever is comfortable for you.

    You may find, as I did, that this move feels different from a regular marching step or leg lift. That’s because the position of the leg engages the iliopsoas muscles, which tend to be neglected in everyday movements.

    These “everyday movements” tend to become less vigorous as we age, making regular, deliberate exercise particularly essential for older adults. Relatively recent data has some sobering statistics on this topic that show a distinct decline in activity levels as age advances.

    Activity Levels Across Age, Income, And Gender

    Overall, women in all age and income groups have lower activity levels than men, and not surprisingly, both genders showed a decline in physical activity after the age of 45, which should inspire us all to change those numbers! 1

    Given its huge bone health and overall health benefits, exercise is not just for young people. And especially as muscles atrophy and contract with age, it’s vital to work these muscle groups to keep them strong and supple.

    In addition, older adults are more prone to falls and fracture than young people, making balance exercises more important than ever. Exercises like the Hip Flexor Strengthener, as well as the 52 exercises in the Densercise™ Epidensity Training System, can help target these muscles and enhance balance, offsetting the inactivity associated with advancing age.

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    People of any age can benefit from Densercise™, of course; but it’s especially geared toward those who would like to begin an exercise regimen specifically designed to build bone density.

    You can start “densercising” anywhere, any time. Because it’s a digital download, there’s no waiting time or shipping fees. And if you have questions about the moves, you can take a look at the Densercise™ demonstration videos for clarification.

    Have a great weekend!

    References:

    1 http://www.mchb.hrsa.gov/whusa11/hstat/hshb/pages/201pa.html

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Comments on this entry are closed.

  1. MT

    Hip Flexor Strengthener
    Quite simple to do. I tried on my chair for 90 degrees and a large container again my knee was 90 degrees.

  2. Lisa

    Recovering from knee replacement and doing well with aqua/land PT.
    My quads needs some strength – any suggestions?

    Much appreciated

  3. Ang

    Hip flexor strength exercise!!!! This exercise really works. Thank you!

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      You are welcome, Ang! I am glad to hear this exercise is working for you.

  4. Faye

    Thank you Vivienne for the many wonderful Weekend Challenges. I have started on these weekend challenges doing 10 reps, resting for 10 reps, etc) until 5 mins is up. Is this ok? I now must work seriously with your exercise programme and cookbook. Can the “Hip Flexor Strengthener” and the “Lung Stretch” be done daily?
    I have just started incorporating “Dynamic Hip and Core Builder” I know that can be done daily. April my Bone Density test came back “very High Risk (32% risk of any osteoporotic fracture and 14% risk of hip fracture over next 10 yrs). My Doctor wants injections twice yearly Prolia (I say no) Showed him your programme, wasn’t interested. Just said if you break a hip by 75 you could be dead before you are 76. I turned 71 March this year. For someone who looks 50 and very fit, my bones are a total contridiction to my exterior. Had a Bone Dexa done April this year. Results, L1-L4 anteroposterior
    spine T Score -3.1. The left total hip site T score was -1.8. (Three yrs ago this site was -2.1). The left total radius T score was -2.9.
    I have been diagnosed with Osteoporosis since I was 51. Took Fosamax for 9 mths stopped it, it didn’t feel right. Then took Actonel for 1 year and stopped after finding your programme. No one else to blame but myself, when one feels healthy and strong it is hard to believe that the bones are not good. MInd you I will still keep picturing stronger bones.

    I have been doing your exercises but not routinely, so as of Monday this week
    Your programme simply must become my life (at least my Doctor agrees with that) If I work different areas of my body can I do these other exercises daily, plus I am back to walking 4 Times a week.

    At my stage of life, I am told from age 75 bone density rapidly disappears.

    If bone density is a living mineral, surely If I stick rigidly to the exercises and your cookbook principals, I should start improving. I am taking “Pure Plant Source Green Calcium” 600mg am & pm, plus Vit D in spray form. Vit D was only 67.
    Thank you Vivienne for such an amazing programme. Look forwards to hearing from you. Kind regards, Faye

  5. Diane

    Do you think you will make a complete video of all the densercise exercises. I know you have a few on you tube but a video would be wonderful.

  6. Rosetta Hodge

    I had shingles about 6 mos ago and was told I could get it over and over. What do you think about the shot?

  7. jillian

    I hope i have not been to premature in sending for this program.I have a couple of compression fractures of the spine,is it an appropiate time to take these exersises on if they have not healed yet?…Regards.J.H.

  8. Cate

    What exercise for a lot of trapezious spasms, the usual physical therapy exercises not doing anything.

  9. Marion

    How much does the densercise prog cost in British pounds? Will the prog work on my tablet here in the Uk? Thank you

    • Customer Support

      Hi Marion,

      After you click the Add to Cart button for the product you want to order, take a look at your subtotal at the bottom of the form. Next to the amount, there’s a Change Currency button, which you can click to convert the amount into your country’s currency.

      If you prefer to do a currency conversion before you go to the order page, there are many free currency converters online. Just do a search for “currency converter” and choose one.

      And there should be no problem with running the demonstration videos on your tablet. More importantly, there should be no problem reading the main component of Densercise, the Densercise manual, on your tablet.

  10. mary broen

    I did purchase the Densersize and downloaded it. But I cannot find it on my computer. What can I do without repurchasing?

    • Customer Support

      Hi Mary,
      Please send a message to Customer Support about this issue, and we’ll be glad to take care of this for you!

      • Mer

        I wonder why they can’t answer these questions right where they read them. Lots of important questions going unanswered on this page!

  11. Abby

    I’d like to have a video or CD of the dencercise exercises. It would be great to watch on my TV not on my computer. Or maybe someone can educate me how I can copy these to a Cd thru my computer.

  12. shula

    Thank you for suggesting this simple yet effective exercise.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      You are most welcome. Sometimes, the simple ones are the most effective.

  13. lulu

    Please can you tell me the best place to get Calcium tablets from – is it AlgaeCal or True Osteo?
    Thanks
    Lulu

  14. Lois Runyon

    I am 80 years old and back about five years my osteopenia went to osteoporosis. But I have been trying to follow some of your program and this year, my bone density improved slightly to move me back to the osteopenia category with only “moderate risk of fracture.” I have taken NO prescription bone drugs for many many years. I BELIEVE in your program and it encouraged me to stop the Fosamax and Boniva in the first place. THANK YOU!

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      That’s fantastic news, Lois! Thanks for inspiring the community with your success story!

  15. Mary

    Thankyou for the exercise. They are very useful.Have to make sure we do them. Wish there were organised groups to promote all your exercises.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Let’s hope such groups will form in the future, Mary!

  16. rosemary

    Thanks,
    Will this exercise be helpful for somebody battling osteoarthritis?

    rosemary

    • Angelofyah

      Yes. I have researched and proven knowledge that incorrect diet choices causing over acidity in the blood and the lack of sufficient exercise (movement ) are the 2 main causes of Osteoporosis and Arthritis in general.

  17. Sue

    There are so many exercises to do, it’s a bit daunting. I know that I can’t do all of them all of them time. Could you please suggest perhaps the 5 or 10 most important ones to do, as that is more manageable and realistic than 52. Many thanks.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Hi Sue,

      Feel free to pick and choose according to your personal fitness needs. No one exercise is “more important” than another; it all depends on where you’d like to build bone density, your schedule, and your health history. You certainly don’t have to perform every exercise every day! Just choose a few to work on each week if you like. 🙂

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