Weekend Challenge: Strengthening Balance Booster And Femoral Head Mobilizer
This weekend, you’re going to work your lower body with an exercise that improves balance, increases mobility in your hip joints, and strengthens your legs. The entire exercise is done standing up, and it encompasses three different ranges of motion in your hips.
The Strengthening Balance Booster And Femoral Head Mobilizer directly targets the bones and muscles involved in balance, and it stimulates bone regeneration in your hips – a very important area in which to stimulate bone growth, especially if you’ve taken bisphosphonates in the past.
Good balance and strong hip joints: these are crucial elements in avoiding fractures, and not just hip fractures. Obviously, falling can result in a fracture in just about any bone; but hip fractures are of special concern in the osteoporosis community.
The complex hip joint is vulnerable to the effects of bisphosphonates, particularly the femoral neck. This is a bridge of bone between the top of the femur and the “ball” of the hip’s ball and socket joint. Because of its position and shape, the femoral neck experiences a significant share of microdamage throughout the day.
All bones become microdamaged on a daily basis; that’s one of the reasons why a lot of bone remodeling takes place at night while you sleep. Your body is repairing the microdamage that’s part of a normal day’s wear and tear.
But the femoral neck experiences quite a bit of stress, so it sustains more microdamage than other bones. This is significant, because bisphosphonates actually stop the repair of microdamage, allowing it to accumulate unchecked. And it accumulates with particular rapidity in the femoral neck, resulting in a weakened bone that’s vulnerable to fracture.
For more on this topic, and to read the studies proving the association between bisphosphonate use and atypical femur fractures (fractures of the femoral neck), please click on this link:
If you’ve taken bisphosphonates and are concerned about high-impact exercises possibly affecting a weakened femoral neck, then today’s exercise may be just the thing for you. It takes the hip through a rigorous and varied range of motion, but all without any hard impact with the ground.
In addition, this exercise is performed on one leg, so it promotes balance. If you’re more comfortable with something to hold onto while you do this exercise, such as a chair or wall, feel free to do so.
For the sake of clarity, we’ll begin with the right leg. In case you lose balance, it’s best to stand near a wall, a chair, or any other static and stable object.
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, arms at your sides.
- Keeping your knee straight, swing your right leg up while bringing your left arm forward (keep your elbow straight).
- Swing your right leg back behind you, still keeping your knee straight, while bringing your right arm forward and your left arm back. (Think of the arm movements involved in cross-country skiing.)
- Continue swinging your right leg front to back with the corresponding arm motions, making sure you’re using your muscles to swing your leg, not just relying on gravity to swing it back and forth. Repeat for about one minute (feel free to decrease or increase the time).
- Now switch gears (but not legs!), and swing your right leg out to the side, and then to the left, crossing it in front of you. You’ll need to swing your arms in the opposite direction as your leg to maintain balance.
- Once again, repeat for about one minute.
- Now bend your right knee at an approximate 90-degree angle.
- Bring your bent knee out to the right as far as you can, swinging your arms to the left to maintain balance (and get them out of the way of your leg).
- Bring your bent knee back in front of you, and then back out to the side. Repeat for about one minute.
Now switch legs and do parts I, II, and III on the other leg.
Here are four Weekend Challenges that make great follow-ups to this weekend’s move:
If you already have the Densercise™ Epidensity Training System, then you know how important these types of exercises are for preventing fractures. Working on balance and bone strength is equally important in fracture prevention.
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I’d love to hear your thoughts on today’s Challenge. Feel free to share by leaving a comment below.
Enjoy the weekend!