Weekend Challenge: Lower Body And Waist Toner
If you live in the northern half of the world, then you are in the middle of summer, and that means swimsuit season is in full swing. This weekend’s exercise can help you look your best while spending time at the pool or beach. Of course, that’s not all.
The Lower Body And Waist Toner works to build muscle in and around the pelvis and the legs, stimulating new bone growth to prevent fracture in these key areas.
So let’s get right to it!
Toning up your lower body and waist is not just about looking good. Your bones depend on targeted exercise to rejuvenate and rebuild strength and density.
When you perform the Lower Body And Waist Toner, you’re working the following muscles and muscle groups, and strengthening the bones associated with them (primarily the pelvis, lower ribs, lumbar vertebrae, and femur).
1. Gluteus medius and minimus
Often overlooked in favor of the more evident gluteus maximus, the gluteus medius and minimus are important muscles, too.
Lying underneath the gluteus maximus, the gluteus medius abducts your leg (moves it away from the body) and stabilizes the pelvis. It also rotates the knee inward. It is aided in these motions by the gluteus minimus, a small, deep buttocks muscle that deserves special mention due to its location.
The gluteus minimus is a fan-shaped muscle that links the top of the pelvis to the top of the femur. The fan shape comes from the muscle’s origin along the side of the ilium, the arched top of the pelvis. The muscle then narrows and attaches to the top of the femur, so its role in enhancing bone strength in the hip and thigh is evident.
2. Abdominal Obliques And Quadratus Lumborum
The abdominal obliques (inner and outer) are muscles on either side of your waist, allowing you to bend, turn, and twist your torso. The quadratus lumborum consists of various lower back muscles, as the name “lumborum” indicates. The two are mentioned together because they share their work of pelvic stabilization, lifting the hips and waist from the floor when you’re in a side bridge position, and bending your torso into plank and bridge positions.
Because of their location along and below the ribs, the abdominal obliques are associated with the waistline. The external obliques originate at the fifth through twelfth ribs, and from there they attach at various points on the pelvis, including the iliac crest.
The internal abdominal obliques lie perpendicularly to the externals, connecting the tenth through twelfth ribs, lower back, and pelvic crest. Working the obliques, then, is an excellent way to increase the strength not only of the lower ribs and pelvis, but of the lower lumbar vertebrae as well.
Speaking of the lower back, the quadratus lumborum is a back muscle, beginning at the iliac crest and attaching to the lower three (or four in some individuals) lumbar vertebrae. Working this deep muscle helps relieve low back pain in addition to enhancing pelvic stabilization. For more exercises that address low back pain, please see the following Weekend Challenges:
3. Tensor Fasciae Latae
A relatively short muscle connecting the hips to the knee, the tensor fasciae latae is actually surrounded by layers of connective tissue to the point that it is entirely enclosed. It aids the glutes, mentioned above, in leg abduction and medial rotation. This muscle also stabilizes the knee joint.
4. Hip Abductors and Adductors
The abductors move the leg away from the body, while the adductors move it back toward the center. The adductors originate at the pubic bone and insert at the top of the femur. The exception is the gracilis, an adductor muscle that inserts at the top of the tibia of the lower leg.
The abductors include all three of the gluteal muscles as well as the tensor fasciae latae.
In this weekend’s exercise, you’ll be performing hip abduction and adduction, to stimulate the bones and tone the muscles in the waist and hips.
It’s best to use an exercise mat or a carpeted floor.
- Lie on your left side. Bring your right arm down in front of your chest for support – your right hand should be on the floor near your left shoulder and your right elbow should be bent. Place your left hand on your right side near your right hip.
I realize this sounds complicated, but please bear with me; it’s actually quite simple once you get the hang of it. Please see the animated pictures for clarification.
- Bend your left knee so your left foot is behind you.
- Lift your right leg while bending your torso up to raise your shoulders at the same time as you raise your leg. Bring your leg and shoulders back down again and repeat.
- Aim for eight to 10 leg and shoulder lifts and then switch sides for another set of eight to 10. Feel free to do more or fewer reps depending on your fitness level.
You can add variety to this move by increasing your speed, number of reps, and/or the height of your leg and shoulder lifts. And if you’d like to add a couple of other exercises that work the same areas of the body, you can follow today’s move with these Weekend Challenges:
Densercise™ Helps Get You Ready For Summer… And Every Season
It can be challenging to tone up after a winter spent mostly indoors. The Densercise™ Epidensity Training System is just the thing to break sedentary habits and prepare for summer activities. Densercise™ includes over 50 moves that can be done indoors or out, and they require little space.
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.
And when summer’s over, Densercise™ is the perfect indoor exercise regimen for chilly, rainy weather that comes with fall and winter. Like strong bones and pH-balanced nutrition, Densercise™ is appropriate for all seasons!
Enjoy the weekend!