This weekend’s exercise is a great place to start. It helps relieve knee pain – an all-too-common problem – and prevent knee injury. Interestingly, it does this primarily by working the muscles of the buttocks, or glutes, which has a tremendous number of benefits besides improving knee joint health. I’ll explain, next.
Working the glutes is usually promoted as a way of shaping and toning the buttocks, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But the advantages go far beyond just a shapelier behind to include the following bone-smart benefits:
Improved Gait And Balance
Strong glutes help to achieve a powerful, healthy stride and well-balanced gait, all of which help to prevent falls. Also, strong glutes promote hip extension, which is required for a large number of actions, from bicycling to walking to jumping.
Good posture is not often linked to strong buttocks muscles; but the glutes really matter when it comes to holding the body upright. In fact, the glutes are uniquely human, allowing us to walk upright on two legs. So their role in balance is significant.
Improved Bone Density
Savers are well aware of the bone-building effects of regular exercise. Specifically, working the glutes builds bone in the pelvis, an area of key importance when it comes to low bone density and avoiding fracture. Breaking a hip can be devastating, so it makes sense to include plenty of hip-strengthening exercises in your repertoire.
Reduced Knee Pain And Injury Protection
As I am sure you’re aware, when one muscle or muscle group is weak and underperforming, other muscles will try to compensate by doing the weak muscle’s job…but the compensatory muscles aren’t designed to do this, so it results in muscle stress, pain, and other musculoskeletal problems.
In the case of the glutes, which also perform vital hip-stabilizing functions, underperformance means that various muscles of the lower body must step in and do their best to act like the glutes. As you might imagine, this can lead to overstressed muscles and limited motion, including compromised hip extension. Under these conditions the lumbar spine, knee and hip joints can also become compressed and the pelvis misaligned.
The entire lower body, in fact, suffers when the gluteal muscles are in poor shape. All of this sets the stage for injuries such as shin splints, sprains, ligament tears, and tendonitis of the Achilles tendon.
It’s wise, therefore, to protect your lower body from injury and promote alignment and proper function of the legs, including the knee joints, by strengthening the glutes.
As you’ll soon see, this weekend’s exercise helps you do just that.
If you don’t have a carpeted floor, an exercise mat will make this move more comfortable. You’ll need to be near a wall.
- Lie on your back with your feet against the wall and your knees bent approximately 90 degrees.
- Place your right ankle just above your left knee. Your hands should be on the floor, palms down, elbows straight.
- Squeeze your buttocks and lift your bottom up off the floor, then slowly bring it back down.
- Repeat this lift eight to 10 times, and then switch legs for another set of eight to ten.
Because of your supine position while you perform this exercise, your knees are not bearing any weight, making it ideal for those who already suffer knee pain. Here are three more Weekend Challenges that also work the glutes without stressing the knees:
Because targeted exercise is so vital to rebuilding bone, many Savers already have the Densercise™ Epidensity Training System. The Weekend Challenges offer the opportunity to further tailor your exercise routine to meet your personal needs and goals. For example, there may be a “Densercise™” that works the glutes, but requires too much weight-bearing on your knees for your comfort level. You can simply replace that Densercise™ with a challenge like this weekend’s.
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.
Or, if you prefer to add variety and/or intensity to your Densercise™ routine, or add extra focus on a particular area of your body, you can incorporate relevant Weekend Challenges into your regimen.
Here’s to kicking off the New Year with strong glutes and pain-free knees!
Have a great weekend,