Weekend Challenge: Multi-Tasking Osteogenic Loader
I’m quite sure you’ll love the Multi-Tasking Osteogenic Loader because it provides some of the same benefits as jogging or walking, but you can do it indoors in a small space. It’s perfect if you live in the Northern Hemisphere, where autumn is slowly but surely setting in.
As its name implies, this weekend’s exercise provides osteogenic loading, which is the principle of applying force to the bones and joints to stimulate new bone formation. The Multi-Tasking Osteogenic Loader applies this bone-building stimulation to the chest, arms, hips, and legs.
Osteogenic loading is most effective when a short rest is taken between sets, as confirmed in a study we’re going to take a look at today.
So get ready for a fun, effective workout!
Osteogenic loading (OL) is a very important aspect of bone health. It’s so important, in fact, that in the spring of 2015, the World Congress On Osteoporosis announced for the first time ever its official recommendation of OL as a viable, drug-free method of treating osteoporosis. Of course, the Save Our Bones Program has been recommending this all along!
The reason is that OL involves axial loading of the skeleton, which simply means applying force along the longitudinal axis of your body (in other words, from the top of your head through your pelvis and down to your feet). This type of exercise targets all the load-bearing bones and joints, which need to be strengthened to prevent fracture.
Additionally, the Multi-Tasking Osteogenic Loader enhances coordination, which in turn improves balance to prevent falls.
Here are the main bones that are targeted in today’s move.
This is your upper arm bone. The top of your humerus joins with your scapulae and clavicle to form your shoulder joint (also known as the shoulder girdle).
Your scapulae, or shoulder blades, are pivotal in maintaining and correcting your posture, thereby preventing kyphosis.
A part of the shoulder girdle, your clavicle helps keep your shoulders aligned and your chest open, so it’s also a “posture bone.”
Radius and Ulna
These bones make up your lower arm. The tops of these bones form your elbow joint, and the ends form the beginning of your wrist. The radius ends on the same side as your thumb, and the ulna runs along the outside of your arm.
The running-bouncing gait of today’s move is excellent for your femur, or thigh bone. This is a bone you definitely want to strengthen, especially if you’ve ever taken osteoporosis drugs that weaken the femur.
Tibia and Fibula
These bones make up your lower leg. The tibia is the larger of the two, and is also known as your shin bone. The thinner fibula extends below the tibia at your ankle joint, creating the bump on the outside of your ankle.
It’s no secret that the pelvis is a bone of significant concern for those with bone loss. Hip fractures are uniquely devastating, often requiring a long recovery period.
Metatarsals, Calcaneus, and Other Bones of the Feet and Ankles
The complexity of your foot and ankle joint is remarkable. I’ll just touch on the main bones, but the bouncing, back-and-forth movement of your feet in this weekend’s exercise works all the bones in your feet.
Your metatarsals are the long bones that run along the top of your foot and terminate in your toes. The calcaneus is your heel bone, and it slants upward to join the small, puzzle piece-like bones in the back of your foot and ankle. The arch is one of the strongest structures in the world (ask any architect or builder!), and these bones join the metatarsals to make that arch. Flexible and light yet incredibly strong, your feet and ankles are a marvel of engineering!
You’ll need two small dumbbells to do this exercise. Cans of food or water bottles work fine, too, but you can do this without weights while you get the hang of it. Also, make sure you wear comfortable athletic shoes.
- Stand up straight with your feet shoulder-width apart. Hold one weight in each hand.
- “Run” back and forth in place, bringing one foot forward at the same time as you bring the other back. Land, then bounce back up and switch feet while neither foot is touching the ground.
- While you’re moving your feet, rhythmically move your arms, too, in the following pattern: bring the weights straight out in front of you, then bend your elbows and bring them in. Then push the weights up over your head, and bend your elbows to bring them back down. Repeat these motions in rhythm with your feet.
- Rather than counting reps, time this exercise for 30 seconds; that’s one set. Stop, rest for 10 seconds, and then repeat for another 30 seconds. If you can, repeat this pattern until you’ve exercised a total of five sets (and rested for 50 seconds total). If you can only do this for a couple of sets, no problem – you can work up to more.
- Make sure you rest 10 seconds between sets, since, as explained below, it has been scientifically shown to enhance the bone-building effect of OL.
Why Resting Between Sets Is Important
For one thing, it feels good to rest during an OL workout! But there’s more to it.
According to research using two very different animal models (birds and mice), scientists found that a brief rest between OL sets actually enhances the bone-building effect.
The researchers studied the ulnas of turkeys and the tibias of mice that were subjected to OL, with and without periodic rests. The animals that were allowed a brief rest between each “loading cycle” (this would be the equivalent of a set in the exercise above) showed enhanced osteoblast activity. The scientists rationalized that:
“…it should be possible to augment bone structure without subjecting an individual to high-magnitude high-impact loading. If so, low-magnitude or mild exercise regimes interspersed with rest intervals between load cycles may prove a safe and highly effective treatment for both acute…and chronic (e.g., paralysis or aging induced) bone loss.”1
Each rest period gives the bone-building cells a moment to “recover” from the stimulation of OL and start the deposition process.
The researchers conclude the following:
“In summary, insertion of a 10-s (seconds) rest interval between each load cycle transformed a low-magnitude minimally osteogenic loading regimen into a potent osteogenic stimulus in two distinct in vivo models of bone adaptation.”
Work More Osteogenic Loading Into Your Exercise Routine
I know that not everyone may be able to perform high-impact exercises. If this describes you, don’t despair. There are plenty of low-impact yet highly effective bone-building moves. You’ll find both types (and much more) in the Densercise™ Epidensity Training System.
At the very beginning of the Densercise™ manual, you’ll read the following:
“Because short bursts of intense exercise build bones most efficiently, most of the exercises will be done in sets of three followed by a 10-seconds rest, for a duration of five minutes.”
As you can see, Densercise™ is set up to provide you with maximum osteoblastic activity, and not just because of the suggested evidence-based 10 seconds rest between moves. The Densercise™ Epidensity Training System also includes an Eating Guide, so you’ll know exactly what foods to eat before and after exercise, to accelerate your bone-building results. Plus thanks to its digital format, you can get started minutes after you place your order.
As always, I invite you to comment on today’s exercise. Feel free to let the community know how the Multi-Tasking Osteogenic Loader works for you!
Enjoy the weekend!
1Srinivasan, Sundar, et al. “Low-Magnitude Mechanical Loading Becomes Osteogenic When Rest Is Inserted Between Each Load Cycle.” J Bone Miner Res. 17. 9. (2002): 1613-1620. Web. September 15, 2016. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1435731/