Weekend Challenge: Lower Body And Waist Toner - Save Our Bones

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.

  1. 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.

  2. Bend your left knee so your left foot is behind you.
  3. 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.
  4. 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

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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!

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Comments on this article are closed.


    I have been following your advice for two years -my doctor wanted me to start Fosamax and I ‘negotiated’ a pause until I could build some bone.
    He is sending me for a dexascan and wants me to have an injection of Denosumab if I am still at -3 T.

    Please help -have I got good evidence to re-negotiate and not accept the injection. He says this one is new and safe! Thanks for all your help and information best wishes Margaret

  2. Johanna

    I like getting your weekly exercises, as your explanations for the exercises are so informative. The more you know the reason behind the exercise, the more you are motivated. I know you have a book on these but I wish you would put together a DVD, or better still an app to buy. Having the exercises on your phone would be so convenient!

  3. shula

    Thank you for explaining the benefits of this exercise.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      You’re so welcome, Shula!

  4. Carol H

    These are great exercises. Thank you! I enjoy your articles and sites. I am wondering if my nutriional supplements are benefiticals. I would great appreciate you opioion ? My muscles and face are getting thiner and thiner. I need to get my weight back up to at least 100lbs. 5″1″ I am only 95 lbs now.:(

    Q: Vitamin D3 or K2 do I need to take both?

    Also, my Z score -1.8 -1.8. -1.6

    T-score -4.0. -3.7. -3.2

    I am taking 3 times a day,
    100 mg Magnesium aspartate & Calcium Microcrystalline hydroxyapatite 2,760
    Boron 5mg.
    Also; once daily. 3,800 D3. 100 mg K1.
    All from Douglas Labs.

    Since Jan. – I am no sugar or white diet.
    Doing Weigh exercise, dancing.

    The Dr. wanted me to take Fosamex, I said no…. So I contacted my nutritionist and he put me on the program listed above.

    I am 1/2 way thru the year and hoping for growth of my bones. Do you think what I am taking will give me results?
    I was thinking of adding you. AlgeCal to the mix,,, what do you think?
    Or just stay with what I am on and change when the year is up and my scan is done again?

    Thank you for your SAVE site and articles.

    Much appreciation,

    Carol Hartman

    A DC just opened a studio across from my work place, she wants to do lymphatic treatments on me and suggest I take Progesterone and Bio-Estro-Care 1mg natural Estriol USP and 0.2mg natural Estradio USP
    Is this cancer causing? or safe?

    Thank you again..

    • live4ever

      Wieght loss can be serious. Please get a complete physical from medical doctor! If results are good, then you can use your blood tests to assess your nutritional weak spots. If you smoke quit immediately. Stick to your good resolve to eliminate alcohol and white foods. U might try the diet for your blood type. Stress can use up food energy so eat small protein regularly. I use Blue Bonnet organic whey protein powder to add nutrition with out fat or carbs. (Use in Smoothie daily with banana etc can maintain weight) 80%alkaline diet will pay off for your bones. Vivian’s program works if we work the exercises!! A great mineral supplement is Multi-Mineral made by KAL. Has all trace mins in perfect dosages. Try taking a separate magnesium as calcium completes for absorption. Have you tried digestion enzymes to assure best absorption? Hope some of this helps. It is trial to find right supplements. Best wishes

      • live4ever

        PS pls have dr check Vit D blood levels. This is #1 health benefit for everyone. Your results need to be 50+ Better is 60-80. Check Vitamin D Council website. I take 10,000 IU (250 mcg) daily and still only measure 50.

    • Save Institute Customer Support


      Please check your inbox tomorrow afternoon for an e-mail from Customer Support. ?

  5. Ivy

    Thank you for promoting these exercises. I’ve been in yoga for over 12 years. The hip abductors and adductors are 2 exercises that yoga enforces to get the body moving and help bones and muscles. The lower body needs toning to keep it in balance.

    • Corin Dawson

      Thanks for all the years of service my mom is no longer lwith us so you can discontinue sending those emails .

    • You can take my mom off you list she is no longer with us

      Thanks for all the years you sent out emails for my mom.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      You’re welcome, Ivy, and I agree with your comments about Yoga and the needs of the lower body.

  6. suseela Dasari

    I do practice this exercise at Pilates. Very useful .thank you

  7. suseela Dasari

    It is very good exercise if we get the grip on it. Very motivating inspirational work you are offering to the world.
    Thank you,All the best,

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      It’s our pleasure, Suseela!

  8. Anne

    We do this exercise at our pilates class, I will practice at home more often now I know the benefits Thanks for the exercise and diet advice, all very helpful.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      You’re very welcome, Anne!

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