Weekend Challenge: The Femur Strengthener
Today’s challenge targets the femur, or thigh bone. By working the muscles of the upper leg, the Femur Strengthener promotes strong, flexible thigh bones that are resistant to fracture.
This exercise is done while sitting in a chair, so it’s perfect for the home or office. It’s particularly convenient if you are seated at a desk for long periods each day.
Why: Strengthening the femur is of utmost importance, especially if you’ve taken bisphosphonates, the most commonly prescribed osteoporosis drugs. An enlightening meta-analysis reveals that “Bisphosphonate exposure was associated with an increased risk of subtrochanteric, femoral shaft, and AFF.”1
AFF, or atypical femur fracture, is an usual type of fracture that is associated with bisphosphonates. In fact, the association is so obvious that the FDA actually includes a warning about AFFs regarding the popular bisphosphonate Fosamax. Not surprisingly, this meta-analysis also reveals that bisphosphonates raise the risk of femoral shaft fractures as well.
Femur fractures take a very long time to heal (typically four to six months), and if the fracture occurs in more than one place, it can take even longer. In addition, femur fractures can be extremely painful.
So it makes sense to strengthen this important bone, and the best way to do that is with pH-balanced nutrition and regular targeted exercise like the one below.
The Femur Strengthener focuses on the muscles of the thigh, helping to stabilize the femoral head and increase bone density. It’s remarkably simple, but don’t let that fool you – it’s very effective, especially when added to a daily routine of weight-bearing exercise.
- Sit up straight in a chair with your feet flat on the floor.
- Keeping your foot flexed, slowly lift one leg straight out.
- Hold for a few seconds, then slowly lower your foot back down to the floor.
- Repeat with the other leg.
- Keep switching sides until you’ve done 30 lifts (15 on each side) or as many as you comfortably can.
- If this feels too easy, you can balance a can of food or weight on your ankle, or use strap-on ankle weights.
- It’s a good idea to do the Lunge Stretch after this exercise to relax your muscles and keep your pelvis aligned.
Advanced Version: Double Leg Femur Strengthener
For more of a challenge, lift both legs at the same time and repeat 10 to 20 times or as many times as you comfortably can. The advanced version has the added benefit of strengthening your core muscles as well.
I’m really thrilled to share with our community practical, simple suggestions for incorporating bon-building exercises. Because when it comes to bone health, it’s really important to practice regular density-increasing exercises, and that’s one of the reasons why I created the Densercise™ Epidensity Training System.
It’s an easy-to-understand and fun way to build bone density with exercises you can do in the comfort of your own home. The digital eBook is laid out in a clear format that takes you through four weeks of exercises that take just 15 minutes a day, three days a week.
Plus, you’ll get instant access to the complete Densercise™ Online Video Collection. These are 14 videos where I personally demonstrate each and every Densercise™ move for you — making it even easier for you to get started.
And as always, I welcome you to connect with the community by leaving a comment below.
Have a wonderful weekend!
1Gedmintas, L; Solomon, DH; and Kim, SC. “Bisphosphonates and risk of subtrochanteric, femoral shaft, and atypical femur fracture: a systematic review and meta-analysis.” Journal of Bone and Mineral Research. 2013 Aug; 28)8): 1729-37. Web. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23408697