Weekend Challenge: Plyometric Full-Body Exercise
I hope everyone had a wonderful New Year, and that you’re all as optimistic about 2017 as I am. It’s going to be a great year, and what better way to kick it off than with an energetic, bone-strengthening plyometric exercise?
“Plyometric” may be a new term for some of you, so we’re going to look at what it’s all about and how it applies to your bone health. And that’s not all – research has shed light on the mystery of the amazing impact plyometric exercises have on antioxidant levels and on decreasing disease risk.
So let’s jump right in!
Plyometric exercises are high-impact and involve large body movements. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines “plyometric” as “exercise involving repeated rapid stretching and contracting of muscles (as by jumping and rebounding) to increase muscle power.”
Muscle power and strength tend to decline with age, and that plays into the issue of bone loss. Strong muscles apply force on bone, maintaining and increasing density.
This time-honored, research-supported concept has been with us since it was first introduced by German surgeon Julius Wolff in the late 1800s. This is now known as Wolff’s Law, which states that bone responds to applied force from muscle and gravity (osteogenic loading) by increasing strength and density.
Plyometric exercise puts Wolff’s Law into action.
Today’s move takes this concept and targets the pelvis, knee joints, femora, tibia, fibula, and ankles, and it also improves shoulder mobility. To target these areas to promote bone growth, the Plyometric Full-Body Exercise works the following muscles.
The quadriceps, which is the four-part muscle on the front of your thigh. Because they span the area between the knee and hip joints, using these muscles is essential for improving knee pain and building bone in the femora (thigh bones).
The glutes include the gluteus maximus and gluteus minimus, which make up your buttocks muscles. Strong glutes support your lower back, promote pelvic alignment, and build bone in the pelvis.
The core muscles include most of the muscles in the torso, particularly the deep muscles that lie directly against the vertebrae, sternum (breast bone), and pelvic bones. You use your core for just about every motion, and they are pivotal in maintaining balance.
The gastrocnemius is engaged in today’s exercise, helping to propel you up off the floor and land firmly. This is the calf muscle, and you can feel it working when you jump or stand on tiptoe.
Besides the gastrocnemius, there are many other muscles in the back of the lower legs, which stabilize and mobilize the ankle: the plantaris, soleus, tibialis posterior, and fibularis brevis (to name a few).
As you exercise these muscles and target the bones involved, you’ll not only build bone density through the principles of Wolff’s Law; you’ll also improve your bone health by increasing your antioxidant levels, as you’ll learn next.
Study: Exercise Boosts Antioxidant Levels
If you’ve read the Save Our Bones Program, then you know the importance of t antioxidants to maintain and rejuvenate bone through prevention of oxidative damage. The irony is that exercise increases cellular respiration, which in turn increases free radicals that cause oxidative damage.
Researchers explored this phenomenon in greater depth, and found that the free radicals produced during moderate exercise actually promote insulin sensitivity.1 This is great news for Type II diabetics.
But there’s more. The researchers also found that exercise stimulates an “adaptive response” from muscles. When stimulated by exercise, muscles set various metabolic pathways into motion that regulate antioxidant levels, thus balancing the effect of exercise-induced free radicals.2
They concluded that “moderate intensity cardiovascular exercise in conjunction with a [sic] eating a diet rich in foods high in antioxidants”2 is the best option for bones and overall health.
As its name implies, this exercise is good for the whole body! So let’s look at how to do it.
If you are uncertain of keeping your balance while jumping, it would be prudent to try this exercise for the first time near a bed.
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your arms down at your sides.
- Bend your knees and your elbows and go into a squat.
- Jump up off the floor, bringing your hands up over your head (elbows still bent) and, while airborne, bring one leg forward and one back behind you.
- When you land, go down into a lunge, touching the knee of your back leg to the floor. Bring your arms down at the same time, elbows slightly bent.
- Without stopping, launch back up into the air and switch feet, bringing your arms up once again. When you come down, repeat the lunge move.
- Continue jumping and landing 8 to 10 times, as your fitness level allows.
Antioxidants And Exercise Go Hand-In-Hand
Like the study mentioned earlier shows, eating antioxidant-rich foods and exercising are both important for reaching optimal antioxidant levels, and this combination is essential for rejuvenating bone and reversing bone loss.
In fact, what you eat before and after your workouts makes a big difference in your body’s ability to balance the free radicals produced by exercise. That’s why the Densercise™ Epidensity Training System includes a bonus Eating Guide, which shows you exactly what foods to eat before and after exercising, to replenish your antioxidant levels and build strong bones and muscles.
With Densercise™, you never have to worry about “stressing” your body with too much exercise, since each exercise sessions lasts 15 minutes. While challenging, Densercise™ avoids exhaustive workouts and instead focuses on targeted moves that build bone in fracture-prone areas. And the Eating Guide shows you how to give your body exactly what it needs to get the most out of your exercise routine.
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.
Enjoy the weekend!
1Ristow, Michael, et al. “Antioxidants prevent health-promoting effects of physical exercise in humans.” PNAS. 106. 21. (2009): 8665-8670. Web. January 5, 2017. http://www.pnas.org/content/106/21/8665.long
2Kravitz, Len, PhD. “Is Exercise the Best Antioxidant Supplement?” PDF. https://www.unm.edu/~lkravitz/Article%20folder/Antioxidants.pdf