Weekend Challenge: Seated Core And Legs Toner
As we’re approaching Mother’s Day here in the U.S. and in many other countries, I’d like to wish all mothers in the Saver community a happy, joyful and special day this weekend!
I know that as mothers, we do a lot for our family, so taking some time to do something for ourselves is a challenge in itself. It is my sincere wish that all mothers will take some time this weekend to do something just for themselves, and that may include an uninterrupted bone-building exercise session!
The Seated Core And Legs Toner is a very convenient move that can be easily done anywhere, because all you need is a chair. So whether you choose to celebrate Mother’s Day with exercise or relaxation, this challenge can be taken up whenever you’re ready.
You’ll easily recognize the motions in this weekend’s challenge. You’ll be doing bicycling motions with your legs, which benefits not only the muscles in your thighs, but also targets your pelvis and core muscles.
Let’s get started!
The ultimate goal of improving bone density and strength is to avoid fractures. Of course, there are many, many more benefits to a bone-healthy lifestyle; but the primary point is to keep your bones from breaking.
That means we need to be aware of what bones are most prone to fracture, how fractures happen, and what makes bone able to resist a break. The Weekend Challenges, like the exercises in the Densercise™ Epidensity Training System, are designed to target areas that are chosen based on these key concepts.
The Seated Core And Legs Toner targets primarily the pelvis, femur, and vertebrae, areas of the skeleton that are prone to fracture but that are effectively strengthened with targeted exercise and nutrition.
In addition, today’s exercise tones the core muscles, which play into fracture prevention two ways: by strengthening the bones to which they attach (such as the pelvis and lumbar vertebrae) and by improving balance to prevent falls.
The pelvis is an important area, especially if you have low bone density. It’s important to strengthen this central bone to avoid hip fractures, one of the most painful and difficult fractures to recover from. Today’s exercise works the hip joints without impact, so it’s a great exercise if you need to avoid a lot of force applied to your joints.
Because this is a bicycling motion, your thigh muscles and femur bone get a great workout. Both the front and the back of the thigh are involved in today’s challenge.
The main muscles in the front of the thigh are the quadriceps, a four-part muscle consisting of the rectus femoris in the center, and the vastus medialis and lateralis on the inner and outer thigh, respectively. The fourth part, the vastus intermedius, lies underneath the rectus femoris.
Many people are surprised to learn that the quads originate at the anterior iliac spine (the back of the pelvic “wing”) and rim of the acetabulum (the “socket”), and attach at the base of the femur where it forms the knee joint. That means working your quads targets not only the femur, but your pelvis as well.
It’s not just the front of the thigh that gets worked in this move. The backs of your legs, the hamstrings, also get used. Named for the tendon that attaches them to the knees and hips, the hamstrings allow you to bend your knees and bring your legs up and forward, as in today’s challenge.
In addition to the legs, the Seated Core And Legs Toner also works the core muscles, which are vital for balance and good posture. Specifically, this exercise targets the abdominals, which are part of your core, as you hold your torso in a semi-reclined position throughout.
Your abs include more than just your belly. They also include your obliques, which run along your sides, and deep muscles of the abdomen and back, such as the transversus abdominus and the multifidus, respectively. The transversus abdominus lies very deep in the abdomen where it stabilizes the pelvis and spine.
The multifidus is a back muscle that attaches all along your spine, from your neck to your pelvis. It lies close to the vertebrae and is a seldom-mentioned but crucial muscle for proper spinal alignment.
As I mentioned earlier, fracture prevention is the major goal in improving bone health. The pelvis, femur, and vertebrae are all prone to fracture, especially if you’ve ever taken osteoporosis drugs, and they are all targeted in today’s challenge. So now, let’s take a look at how to do it.
You’ll need a chair for this exercise, one with a back. But if you’d like more of a challenge, you can try a chair or stool without a back.
- Sit on the front edge of the chair with your hands on the sides of the chair seat and your feet flat on the floor.
- Lean back until your back is lightly touching the chair back.
- Now lift your feet and begin to make bicycling motions. If you can’t lift your feet very far off the ground, that is no problem; just lift them as high as you can.
- Slowly continue the bicycling for about one minute, and repeat at least five times. It’s okay if you can’t do this for a whole minute. Just do what you can according to your fitness level.
- Tighten your abs to hold your torso in a semi-reclining position, and to get even more abdominal toning out of this move.
- Don’t press against the chair back; hold your back just lightly against it.
- Keep your feet up throughout the exercise – try not to let them touch the floor.
- Your spine should be in a straight line from your hips to your shoulders. Don’t round out your back or arch it forward.
Believe me, it’s more challenging than it looks!
While the Weekend Challenges are unique to this website, the Densercise™ Epidensity Training System includes many similar exercises that work these and other key areas of the skeleton. An exercise program that is specifically designed to improve bone density, Densercise™ includes moves that also promote balance, build bone, and improve posture.
Like today’s exercise, Densercise™ does not require expensive equipment or any extreme movements. It takes just 15 minutes a day, three days a week to improve your bone health and decrease your risk of fracture.
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As always, I love to hear responses from the community. If you’d like to share any exercise tips or thoughts about the Seated Core And Legs Toner, please do so by leaving a comment below.
Happy Mother’s Day!