Weekend Challenge: Lower Body Builder - Save Our Bones

Today’s exercise works the lower body, focusing on the hamstrings, glutes, and quads. It’s a comprehensive move that targets bone density in the legs and ankle bones, plus it improves balance.

The Lower Body Builder also opens the hips, stretches the muscles of the lower body, and stabilizes the spine. And it feels fantastic!

Let’s take a closer look at the moves involved and why this is such a good exercise to build your bones.


The Lower Body Builder involves a sideways lunge, so it really stretches the inner thighs and hamstrings. Because you work one side at a time, the Lower Body Builder is a unilateral exercise, which makes it excellent for improving balance.

This exercise is so good at enhancing balance because it isolates the side-step, which is the exact same move you’d make to avoid stepping on something or tripping over an object. So in essence, it “teaches” your body to stay upright in those situations, by building muscle memory and strength.

Here are some of the muscles involved:

  • Gluteus maximus, or buttocks muscles, which are the largest, heaviest muscles in the body. They are crucial for maintaining a stable gait and aligning the pelvis.
  • The hamstrings, which criss-cross over the backs of the legs. Strong hamstrings are important for balance and spinal alignment. You use your hamstrings every time you bend your knees or extend your hips. Your hamstrings help you go down into a lunge and come back up again.
  • This exercise stretches the hip flexors, which get tight when you sit down for long periods, which is the case for more and more people these days.
  • The quadriceps are the muscles in the front of your thighs. They help bring you up and out of a knee-bend along with the hamstrings, and they play an important role in aligning the knee joint, femur, and pelvis.

As you work these muscles, the associated bones will be stimulated to increase in density, grow stronger and resist fracture: the femur, pelvis, tibia and fibula, ankle joint, and knee joint are all targeted with the Lower Body Builder.

There are even more benefits to doing moves like the Lower Body Builder.

More Advantages To The Lower Body Builder

  • Unilateral exercises like this one work both sides of the body evenly, promoting a balanced gait and equal strength on both sides.
  • Increased flexibility of the hips and hip flexors promote an aligned pelvis and lower back, and increase mobility overall.
  • Today’s exercise enhances the stability of your core muscles, which, among their many jobs, keep your vertebrae and pelvic bones in alignment. Strong core muscles are essential for balance.
  • The sideways lunging motion in today’s exercise helps decompress the spine and take some load off the vertebrae. This gives the muscles in the back a chance to relax and realign, too.

And It Gets Even Better!

The Lower Body Builder is a strength-training exercise, and according to a Tufts University study, postmenopausal women who participated in strength training twice a week for more than four months increased their strength by 75%, their balance by 13%, and bone density in the hips and spine by 1%.1

In sharp contrast, the control group actually lost bone density and showed decreased balance and strength. The study goes on to point out that strength training can greatly reduce the risk of falls.

In order to reap these wonderful benefits, it’s vital to perform the Lower Body Builder correctly. So let’s take a look at how to do it.


  1. Place your feet wide apart, as per the illustration. Make sure your toes are facing forward.
  2. Make a fist with one hand and place the fist inside the other hand, and hold your hands up to your chest. This gets your hands out of the way and places the shoulders and arms in the correct position for the exercise.
  3. Keeping your feet firmly planted on the ground, bend one knee and go down sideways into the bend. Go far enough that your elbow almost touches the bent knee. The other leg will get a comfortable stretch. Bring your hands up to your chin as you do this.
  4. Now come back up to the middle again, bringing your hands back to your chest.
  5. Next, go down into the other side, bringing your hands up to your chin again, for one rep.
  6. Do 10 reps, or whatever number is comfortable for you.


  • Keep your back straight during the move and hinge at your hips, not the middle of your back.
  • Don’t let your toes point outward as you go from side to side.
  • Keep looking straight ahead.
  • Keep the weight of your body in your heel as you bend your knee, and think of sitting back on your rear rather than rolling your weight forward into your toes.
  • Feel free to hold on to a chair, stool, or other stable object as you get accustomed to the motion.

Advanced Version

If you‘d like more of a challenge, you can perform this exercise with weights. Dumbbells, wrist weights, or even water bottles or soup cans will work. Bring the weights up to your chest as you go down into the lunge, and lower your arms when you come back up.

You can also do this exercise by holding just one weight with two hands.

How To Build Your Bones, Increase Your Strength And Improve Your Balance

In SaveTrainer, the Save Institute's online video workout platform, you will find strength-training moves that, as shown by the study mentioned earlier, build bone and improve balance, both of which are crucial elements in preventing fracture.

SaveTrainer offers a variety of classes focused on balance and coordination. In fact, SaveTrainer will design unlimited customized four-week fitness plans for you, based on a series of simple questions. Then you'll have a step-by-step process for attaining the protections discovered in the study we reviewed today.

With new videos continuously added, SaveTrainer keeps your workout fresh and engaging, helping you to maintain your fitness goals and prevent falls and fractures.

Please let the community know about your experience with the Lower Body Builder by leaving a comment below.

Enjoy the weekend!


1 Seguin, R.A., et al. “Strength training and older women: a cross-sectional study examining factors related to exercise adherence.” Journal of Aging and Physical Activity. 2010. Volume 18, Pages 201-218, ISSN 1063-8652. Web. https://www.nutrition.tufts.edu/faculty/publications/strength-training-and-older-women-cross-sectional-study-examining-factors-relat

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Comments on this article are closed.

  1. Marlene Villar

    Very good exercise, Vivian. Thank you very much
    for sharing. Marlene

  2. Susan

    Hi Vivian thank you so much for the emails. I find them ALL so helpful.
    I’m 69 and diagnosed with osteoporosis last September. I did not want to take bisphosphonates and found I didn’t have to when I found your website and exercise plan.so happy.
    Thank you so much. Unfortunately I think I was over enthusiastic because I strained my metatarsal almost immediately and recently a strained tendon in inside leg around knee doing the lower body. I am continuing with the execises I can do , not many at the moment, but can you advise me how to warm up without standing please or putting pressure on feet and legs. Also, I know it sounds strange but are there any seated balance exercises please.sorry this is a long one , thank you so very much for all your emails. Susan

  3. Ashok krishna agrawal

    I am a 70 years old vegetarian hindu relegious man from india. I am receiving your emails for the last 3 years. I like it. Your teachings are for men also. I can equate your effort like ancient indian saints who enlightened the world. Even today indian saints in the modern design are present in developed countries. Sri deepak chopra also is an indian born and educated saint in the U S A. May god bless you with energy to do more for benefit of the mankind. Good wishes. ASHOK KRISHNA AGRAWAL.

  4. Diana

    As so many others said, I’m so pleased to get your e-mails once more. I really appreciate the weekend challenge. Do you have any videos you can share of your club in California? Wish there were one here!
    Thank you so much for the information.

  5. Joan

    Delighted to be receiving emails back Vivian missed them a lot thanks

  6. Darlene Wagner

    Thanks for all the great info & particularly the exercises!!

  7. Torrice Donatella

    Great thanks,Vivien, for your splendid special exercises, I do regularly many of them,that I choose also from Densercise, as I follow the recipes of Bone Appetit and the special tips of Osteocleanse. Donatella Torrice from Roma Italia

  8. Cindy

    I too had stopped receiving your emails and as I get so many, I actually hadn’t noticed until this recent one came through. I check my “spam” folder every week and there has never been any in there so it must have been a problem with your system as it seems I was not the only one affected. I went back and the last Time it looks like I got anything from you was September 2015. Glad to be back on the list and getting them again. Thanks

  9. Rosaleen

    So pleased to receive your emails again Vivian !
    I missed them and all your good advice and updates,
    Thank you

  10. HELEN

    Dear Vivian,
    I have been struggling for some time. I am 92 and have osteoporosis even though I have taken calcium and Vit D fro years. Have tried some of the drugs as Evista, Actonel and Forteo but had side effects enough to be discontinued. Some of the exercises I can’t do but I do walk when I recover from pneumonias. etc. I have to take my portable O2 with me. I put it on my walker as I need it for balance but I appreciate all the info I have received. Helen

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      You are an inspiration, Helen! Keep learning and doing everything you can.

  11. Peggy

    Dear Vivian, Thank you so much for the valuable information shared with your subscribers. Could you please elaborate on this information copied from a recent article (below in quotation). Is 1% increase in bone density after four months a significant improvement? Could the reader assume improvement in bone density would be 3% after a year if following the same exercise routine? “The Lower Body Builder is a strength-training exercise, and according to a Tufts University study, postmenopausal women who participated in strength training twice a week for more than four months increased their strength by 75%, their balance by 13%, and bone density in the hips and spine by 1%.1

    In sharp contrast, the control group actually lost bone density and showed decreased balance and strength. The study goes on to point out that strength training can greatly reduce the risk of falls.

    In order to reap these wonderful benefits, it’s vital to perform the Lower Body Builder correctly.”

  12. christine

    I have 2 fractured vertibrae,which healed,osteoprerosis in my left hip lower back and neck.can i safely use the density program.I was very fit untill last year when diagnosed with parkinsons,I need to cocentrate on balance too.Thank you for all your weekly updates.

  13. Mary Derksen

    I am 87. Do not have osteoperosis, but my left kidney was taken out last year, and apart from some balancing problems, am very grateful for my good health. I walk every day, and am always trying your new exercises. Thank you.

  14. Mary Derksen

    Thank you so much for your good advice. I do not have ostereoprosis, but I had a kidney out last year, and also have some balance problems. I think your exercises are good for me. I am 87.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      I am glad these exercises are a good fit for you, Mary!

  15. Ruben

    I thought maybe I had been bumped off the mailing list when I upgraded to Windows 10.
    So grateful for all you do. I have benefitted from all your products and information. Thank you……

  16. Jo

    I am very happy that your emails are now in my inbox. I thought I had somehow accidentally blocked your emails!! and was wondering how to get you back !! Thank you for all your advice and exercises. I download and print all of them. Welcome back!

  17. Ann

    I thought I was the only one not getting your emails. Now I know I was one of many.

  18. Lois

    So glad to hear from you. again! Thank you


  19. p

    I too am happy your emails are back, I thought I did something wrong or deleted them accidentally. so happy to have them back : ) I love this exercise. Thanks so much for all you do & your ever present encouragement.

  20. eileen

    its so good to hear from you again

  21. Jennie

    Hello and many thanks for all you provide for us.
    I am now doing densercise regularly, working up gradually, but was quite surprised not to have noticed either guidance on working up gradually to full exercising or any information related to age (I am almost 69 and haven’t been doing this type of exercise regularly).
    But I was glad to see today’s exercise did carry specific information about the advantages to be gained by post-menopausal women. My question is: How do I fit these extra exercises into my Denscercise regime? Do I replace one that acts on similar muscle groups?
    Many thanks, Jennie

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      You could certainly replace one of the challenges with a similar exercise in Densercise, Jennie; or you could simply do the challenges on days you are not Densercising. 🙂 It is whatever is convenient for you!

  22. Elef

    I also thank you Vivian and your customer support team for receiving again your e-mails that from 2011 I received continually. Your advices have helped me very much and my osteoporosis evolution has stopped for one year now!!From 2011 I have stopped taking Fosamax pills and I walk and exercise every day following most of the exercises of your Densercise book.
    Thank you very much!

  23. esiaton@aol.com

    I go to the YMCA daily. I do weight lifting,,walking, bicycle and swimming. I don’t want to be couch potatoe. It helps.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Great attitude! It sure helps to not be a couch potato 🙂

  24. Kay

    Thank you for sending the e-mails again. I have been doing exercises from 3 DVD’s but they get boring so happy to try some new ones.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Variety is important, Kay. I am glad the Weekend Challenges provide that for you!

  25. karen

    Just want to say I see and feel improvement in my upper back since you sent that exercise to help for head and neck alignment. I have shared it with friends and will try this one too. Also went off the fosomax. Didn’t take it for long and felt awful when I was on it. Eating many of the foods you advise and feeling better…thank you

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Thanks for sharing such wonderful news, Karen. Keep up with the Program!

  26. Marian

    I have been following saveourbones for quite a few years and was disappointed when I stopped receiving your regular e-mails. I was very pleased that you are sending them to me again.
    I bought the denserzise video for my computer but my computer died so I no longer have it. Do you have a DVD of the program?

    • Customer Support

      Marian, so sorry you no longer have access to your computer. Densercise is only available in digital, downloadable format. Let us know when you have access to a computer, so we can help you out 🙂

  27. Carolyn

    I am so happy to be receiving these excellent tips again. I thought you had ceased sending the weekend challenges and emails. Thank you!

  28. alice simpson

    Thankyou for all the exercises which I do regularly. I just wish that your emails were in my inbox and not among my junk mail.

    • June

      If Vivian’s emails are ending up in your spam box you just tick “not spam” and they automatically go into the inbox. When the message is in the inbox there is a box on the left which you tick, then after the star to the right there is a box which you click on which makes this “important”. From there all her future emails should be marked important.
      Some of us are not familiar with all aspects of computers but once shown we will be fine. Good luck and have a great day.

  29. Marilyn

    Like Shirley above, I am back on your list for your emails. Thank you Vivian and your customer support team. Also, I do appreciate any balance exercises. At 66 years of age, I notice my balance is off lately. Thank you.


    • Kathleen

      Me, too. All of the above. Thanks, Vivian.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Glad you’re back on track, Marilyn!

  30. Shirley Carini

    I recently learned something new. If you are a senior and are scheduled for an operation, request that you be given no more anesthesia than necessary. Seniors don’t usually need as much as others.

    • Shirley Carini

      Vivian, Thank you for getting me back to receiving the emails from you. I especially enjoy the weekend challenge and any hints for balance exercises.

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