Weekend Challenge: Shoulder Mobility Plus - Save Our Bones

It may be a few weeks past Halloween, but go ahead and grab your broom – you’ll need it for today’s exercise!

You’ll be using the broom for stabilizing your arms as you perform this move, which improves shoulder joint mobility and flexibility. The Shoulder Mobility Plus also counteracts forward head posture (FHP) and strengthens your hip and thigh bones.

So get your broom out of the closet and take a few minutes to do this weekend’s move. Here are some reasons why you’ll want to add this exercise to your daily routine.

Why:

Counteracting the whole-body effects of poor postural habits is more important than ever. As research continues to reveal alarming statistics on the negative health impacts of prolonged sitting, it’s clear that poor posture and lack of exercise are creating a national health crisis.

In light of this, I’ve made it my mission to inspire and motivate the Saver community with exercises that build bone and improve overall health.

Specifically, this weekend’s exercise targets the shoulders, hips, and femora (thigh bones), stimulating the bone cells to proliferate in response to the action of muscle on bone. As Savers are aware, this is based on Wolff’s Law, which states that bone will adapt to stress applied to it. This application of stress is known as osteogenic loading, and it’s the underlying principle behind performing targeted exercise for your bones.

Today’s exercise enhances mobility and stimulates new bone formation in three areas: the shoulders, thigh bones, and hips.

The shoulder joint is a wonderfully complex structure. It forms at the juncture of three main bones: the humerus (upper arm bone), scapula (shoulder blade), and clavicle (collar bone).

Interestingly, the thin clavicle is the only bone that connects the torso and the arm, and it’s the only horizontal long bone in the body. You can feel the clavicle along its entire length, from its place of origin (the sternum) to the top of the scapula, where it rests on the acromion (a bony structure on the top of the scapula). This thin bone was named for the Latin word for key, clavicula, because it turns like a key in a keyhole when the shoulder engages in abduction.

The flat, triangular scapulae or shoulder blades form the back of the shoulder joints. Like the clavicle, the scapulae are easy to feel under the skin. Their orientation is paramount to the overall position of the shoulders, so it’s important to perform exercises (like today’s) that align these bones and strengthen the muscles around them.

At the outer, topmost edge of the scapula is the glenoid cavity, where the head of the humerus articulates to form a ball and socket joint. This is one of four total joints that make up the shoulder joint, or girdle. The other three are:

  • Acromioclavicular joint, where the clavicle meets the scapula
  • Sternoclavicular joint, where the chest bone and clavicle meet
  • Scapulothoracic joint, where the back ribs meet the scapula.

This weekend’s challenge uses the entire shoulder joint, increasing mobility, flexibility, and strength.

As you can see, the shoulder is quite a complex structure.

In addition to enhancing mobility and strength in the shoulder joint, today’s move also strengthens the femora, or thigh bones. These upper leg bones are of particular importance if you’ve taken bisphosphonates, because these drugs, such as Fosamax, Boniva, and Reclast (to name a few) weaken the femoral bone, even to the point of causing painful atypical femoral fractures.

And finally, the Shoulder Mobility Plus builds strength in the pelvis, a bony structure that is of keen interest for Savers who want to avoid the dreaded hip fractures. As you will soon see, this exercise involves bending at the hips while keeping the back straight, providing a good stretch and workout for the muscles surrounding the pelvis.

In addition to building bone, the Shoulder Mobility Plus also works against the slouching posture so prevalent in today’s culture. In so doing, this exercise helps to correct and prevent kyphosis (also known as Dowager’s Hump), and promotes a healthful postural stance.

In turn, good posture enhances balance and strengthens your gait, thereby adding another safeguard against falls.

So get your broom and let’s get started!

How:

  1. Hold the broom sideways, placing your hands far apart on the broomstick. Your arms should be hanging down in front of you, elbows straight.
  2. Bend your knees and lean forward at your hips as you go into a squat.
  3. As you come up out of the squat, raise the broom up over your head, bringing it forward and up in a smooth arc up over your head. Do not bend your elbows.
  4. Bring your arms back down again, elbows straight, and go into another squat.
  5. Repeat eight to 10 times, or as many times as your comfort and fitness level will allow.

To further work and align your shoulders, I suggest following this move with these previous Weekend Challenges: the Forward Shoulder Corrector and the Shoulder Blade And Back Straightener. Like the Shoulder Mobility Plus and all other Weekend Challenges, these two exercises do not require special equipment.

The same is true for the moves in the Densercise™ Epidensity Training System. You simply don’t need a lot of specialized, expensive accessories to get a good workout. While some of the “Densercises” involve a prop of some sort, it’s always something that can be easily found in a household, such as a towel or chair…or a broom!

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So keep moving, and enjoy the weekend!

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Comments on this article are closed.

  1. Claire

    So thankful for these weekend challenges! Since I found them I stopped going to the gym and exercise at home instead. I used to hate to drive to the gym and get caught in traffic, espeically after a snowfall. I also have the Densercize,so I do that too.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      That’s great news, Claire. When it comes to avoiding the hassle of driving to the gym in inclement weather, these indoor exercises are invaluable!

  2. Emma

    This exercise is fantastic Vivian! I tried it this morning and I feel like I can breathe better. Thanks so much, it’s very much appreciated.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      That’s good to hear, Emma!

  3. Chris

    I’d just like to take a moment to say Thank You Vivian, for taking the time to write these articles and including such simple easy-to-follow exercises each week. A friend led me to your site several months ago and I have been pleasantly surprised with the content and the way in which your newsletters are structured. Thank you so much for taking the time and trouble to make us more aware and helping us to Save Our Bones. It is really appreciated.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      What kind words, Chris! Thank you for taking the time to write them, and let us know how much the information means to you.

  4. Tammy

    Love this exercise, Vivian! I know I will do it everyday. thank you!

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      I am so glad this exercise works for you! Every time you sweep the floor it can be a reminder. 😉

      • carla riffel

        LOL, vivian, I exercise far more often than I sweep the floor!!

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