One of the things I really focus on with the Weekend Challenges is variety. I’m really thrilled to share with you each weekend a new and highly effective exercise for increasing bone density, improving balance and strengthening key muscle groups.
Today we’ll look at the Single-Leg Instability Pump. Despite its rather long name, it’s a simple exercise that targets your core and legs, promoting stability, strength, and balance.
Why: If you want to avoid osteoporosis drugs, it’s vital that you incorporate exercise into your bone-healthy lifestyle. This is because the action of muscle on bone stimulates your skeleton to build stronger, denser bones at the area of impact. So exercises like the Single Leg Instability Pump, which target fracture-prone areas (such as the pelvis), are perfect for building bone strength and density where you need it the most.
Balance is also a crucial component in preventing falls and fractures. The moves in this exercise are excellent for enhancing balance, because you work on one leg at a time. It targets your core and thigh muscles, which connect to your hips. Stronger hips are crucial for balance and increased bone density in this vital area.
Strong, flexible legs also help you catch your balance and avoid a fall.
How: Begin by standing near a chair with your feet hip-width apart. Then:
- Place your left hand on the back of the chair.
- With your left leg slightly bent, raise your right leg back to hip height, and flex your foot so the bottom of your foot is flat. Your leg and foot will stay in this position throughout the first set of repetitions.
- Hinge forward at the hips, holding on to the chair for stability.
- Keep your chin level as you bend forward. Keep going until your torso is parallel to the floor. (Make sure the chair is far enough forward that your head can come down.)
- Squeeze your right glute as you come back up and return to the starting position.
- Repeat 15 times, and then switch legs and do 15 more reps.
Advanced Version Of The Single-Leg Instability Pump
For a more challenging take on this exercise, begin as above, with feet hip-width apart. Instead of holding to a chair (but keep the chair in place just in case), do the following:
- Place your hands on your tummy, fingers interlaced.
- Bend forward at the hips and come up as described above, but keep your hands on your tummy throughout the 15 reps.
Part of your journey to better bone health is staying motivated and inspired. That’s why I want to encourage you to share your experience with the Single-Leg Instability Pump by leaving a comment below.
Enjoy your weekend!