You’re surely well aware of a common postural condition known as kyphosis, or Dowager’s Hump, typically associated with aging and osteoporosis.

The good news is that kyphosis is not an inevitable part of aging. In fact, this weekend’s challenge directly counteracts the curvature and compression associated with kyphosis by decompressing the vertebrae of the upper back and expanding the rib cage.

In addition to staving off and correcting kyphosis, The Spine And Rib Cage Extender offers more bone-healthy benefits, including alkalizing the body and increasing shoulder joint mobility.

Why:

It’s no surprise that the thoracic vertebrae are involved in posture; after all, these are the vertebrae that compress and curve forward to create a hunchbacked appearance. But what many don’t realize is the role the ribs play in posture.

One of the first ways that rib position negatively affects posture is by “rib thrusting.” Most of us have done this at one time or another, and the misconception is that it counteracts kyphosis. It’s the traditional “stick your chest out” stance that is actually another example of poor posture.

You can tell if you are a rib thruster with a simple test: stand with your back against a wall, your arms folded in front of you, and note what areas of your back touch the wall. Normal spine curvature and rib position will result in your head, mid-back, and pelvis touching the wall, with a small space at your lower back and at your neck. If you’re thrusting out your ribs, your mid-back will not touch the wall.

Rib thrusting strains muscles and weakens the abdominal muscles that attach to the lower ribs. It forces the shoulders back, pushing the scapulae together and compromising the mobility of the shoulder joint. Rib thrusting arches the back and destabilizes the spine, compressing discs in the opposite direction from a rounded-out back. And like all forced posture, it causes fatigue, both muscular and overall.

On the other side of the coin, slumped or hunched shoulders and forward head posture squash the ribs downward, allowing the muscles between the ribs and in the torso to atrophy and greatly compromising lung capacity. Today’s exercise balances these two extremes, aligning your vertebrae and opening the lungs so you can breathe deeply.

When It Comes To Rejuvenating Bone, Lung Capacity Is Essential

Deep breathing alkalizes the body. Medical science has long recognized that too-rapid breathing alkalizes the body to the point of excess, and the opposite is also true. If your breathing is shallow, which occurs when shoulders are rounded and ribs compressed, then acidifying carbon dioxide and toxins accumulate in the body.

In order for your body to remove these toxins, they must combine with oxygen. So taking in deep breaths and exhaling completely helps your body rid itself of bone-damaging poisons.

Today’s challenge puts this all together into one oxygen-boosting, skeleton-aligning move. So here’s how to do it.

How:

  1. Lie down on the floor or bed, as long as the mattress is firm. I recommend using an exercise mat.
  2. Raise your arms straight up in front of you and bend your knees, your feet flat on the floor.
  3. From this position, you will be raising and bending your alternate arm and leg. You can start with either one, but for the sake of clarity, we’ll start with the right arm and left leg.
  4. Without bending your elbow, bring your right arm up over your head while straightening out your left leg. Leave your right leg with the knee bent.
  5. Bring your right arm down to your side and your left arm up over your head, keeping your elbows straight. At the same time, bend your left knee (bring your foot along the floor toward your body) while straightening your right knee.
  6. Repeat this motion until you’ve done 10 reps on each side (a total of 20 moves). Of course, you can do fewer or more, depending on your fitness level.

This exercise may look easy at first, but it definitely requires coordination. Like the Fall Preventer and Height Preserver, today’s challenge is very effective without pushing your body to the extreme.

Exercise does not need to be extreme to be effective. In fact, research shows the opposite is true: overdoing it may actually do more harm than good.

“Too Much” Exercise Can Damage Your Heart, Research Shows

Canadian researchers investigated the potential heart-damaging effects of hard-core, extreme exercise, which is generally defined as daily, intense exercise that causes shortness of breath and heavy sweating. Reviewing many studies and data, the scientists found that the risk of developing a specific heart problem, atrial fibrillation, increased in those who engaged in extreme exercise.

The lead study author, Dr. André La Gerche, found a link between extreme exercise and atrial fibrillation, or A-fib, an arrhythmic condition of the heart that is characterized by irregular impulses emanating from the top heart chamber. 1 A-fib can increase the risk of heart failure and stroke.

Of course, this information is not intended to scare you away from exercise. Far from it! The researchers were quick to note that their findings are not a “get out of exercise” free card. They point out that moderate-intensity and vigorous-intensity exercises are both beneficial for both the heart and the whole body.

And of course, moderate and vigorous exercises are also good for your bones, which is why regular exercise is a crucial part of the Osteoporosis Reversal Program’s bone-rejuvenating protocol. The Densercise™ Epidensity Training System is an integral part of that protocol, and it does not include extreme exercise, but emphasizes moderate, targeted moves that are specifically designed to build bone density.

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So if you thought that you have to go to the extreme in order to build bone with exercise, think again. Along with a pH-balanced nutritional plan, you can reverse bone loss with the moderate yet effective exercises such as those in Densercise™.

Enjoy the weekend!

References:

1 La Gerche, André. “The Potential Cardiotoxic Effects of Exercise.” Canadian Journal of Cardiology. 32. 4. (April 2016): 421-428. Web. May 27, 2016. http://www.onlinecjc.ca/article/S0828-282X%2815%2901594-9/abstract

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15 comments. Leave Yours Now →
  1. Donna August 15, 2016, 9:16 am

    Hope this is not a strange question. Could there be any connection between thyroid health and your excellent program? I have been diagnosed by two practioners- one claiming Hashimoto and the other Graves! Thinking I need to consult a third party doctor for clarification. I am very confused and discouraged about kind of doctor I should seek. Thank you for any wisdom you can share.

  2. shula May 28, 2016, 12:52 pm

    THANKS

  3. Lesley May 28, 2016, 10:41 am

    I can never read your bulletins becauseyour advertisements superimpose over the text. Can this be fixed?

    • Customer Support May 28, 2016, 10:48 am

      Hi Lesley,

      You can close the pop-ups by clicking on the black X in the upper right-hand corner, or by clicking on the background of the pop-up.

  4. Donatella Torrice May 28, 2016, 8:30 am

    This exercise for spine and rib is splendid, and I do other, that are in your Densercise
    epidensity training system,that are very very useful
    Many Thanks and my best greetings to Vivien

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA May 28, 2016, 10:46 am

      Good for you, Donatella! Keep exercising for your bones. 🙂

  5. Carol May 28, 2016, 8:25 am

    Vivian, thanks for the exercise, it looks like a good one for me. I can’t wait to try it out along with my other exercises that I like to do while I’m in bed. I call them “Bedder Exercises”, they seem to help me a lot because I can’t get down on the floor at all to exercise.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA May 28, 2016, 8:38 am

      Great idea, Carol! Have you seen this Weekend Challenge that is intended to be done while lying in bed? You might like to add it to your routine! Here is the link:

      https://saveourbones.com/weekend-challenge-in-bed-core-toner/

      • carol May 30, 2016, 9:10 pm

        Thank you Vivian for the bed core toner exercise, it is a great one and will add it to my bedder routine. I also have one that I will share with you, where I put my right hand under my pillow and pull down on the top of the pillow while I push my right leg down toward the foot of the bed, I feel a good gentle stretch throughout my right side and then I do my left side. I’m sorry if I couldn’t explain it correctly but it works so well for me. I feel like it helps to make me a little taller after I’m done.

  6. Christine Morris May 28, 2016, 7:26 am

    Hi Vivian, always look forward to your weekend ‘visits’.
    I suffer with scoliosis and stenosis of the spine and wonder whether this latest exercise will help me also. If not are you able to suggest another type I can do? I do hope so.
    Thanks for all your help.
    Christine

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA May 28, 2016, 8:34 am

      Hi Christine,

      This exercise is intended to stretch and decompress the upper back vertebrae and expand the rib cage. That can certainly have a beneficial effect for scoliosis, but as each individual is unique, please check with your care provider for exercises that will be appropriate for your particular condition.

      • Christine Morris June 3, 2016, 6:58 pm

        Thank you Vivian. Not much in exercise offered here in England via the doctors. Have been to several Gymnasiums but it seems I know more about bone health than they do! That’s because of Save our Bones. I’ll keep on gently doing your exercises. I feel they do me some good as they keep me reasonably supple. Maybe there is a Saver out there who can give me some tips.

  7. Jean Smith May 28, 2016, 4:17 am

    Thanks for the exercises and other info. I will try them. However, I would love to know what supplements I can take to also help.I saw the end of someones comments to you saying they couldn’t take Nightshade, whatever that is. Donot know if I can take that either but it sounded like you had recommended something.? Is there something? Just use read in anew ad to try and sell a Healthy. Food book. They claim eating Prunes will not only stop bones from getting brittle that they reverse the condition. Is that true.? Thanks jean

    • live4ever May 29, 2016, 9:38 am

      Jean, Eating a few prunes is like taking a multi-mineral for the smaller minerals that are so important for our bones!! Soak or cook if real dry. Chew well. They taste delicious! Good source of fiber. More than 3 or 4 can be laxative… that is why some people give up eating them. Moderation is best. Read the label for their nutrition.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA May 28, 2016, 8:31 am

      Hi Jean,

      I hope you enjoy this week’s exercise, and the other Weekend Challenges – feel free to share your experience and let us know how it goes. 🙂

      You’ll find information on the other questions you had about supplements, nightshades, prunes, and so forth right here on this site. All you need to do is use the Search feature and type in the topic you want to research. Keep learning!

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