Weekend Challenge: The Hip Bone Protector - Save Our Bones

With hip fracture numbers unrelentingly increasing, today’s challenge is about increasing bone density of the hip bones.
The Hip Bone Protector is a very effective exercise to strengthen muscles around the hip bone, improve balance, and build bone in that fracture-prone area.

It works the pelvic rotator muscles, so it also stabilizes and aligns the hips plus it adds mobility to the hip joint. Not to mention that it also improves your balance.

Let’s take a closer look at why this exercise is so effective.

Why: The Hip Bone Protector uses a combination of external and internal hip rotations. These movements stretch and strengthen key muscle groups that surround the hip joint – specifically, the quadratus femoris, piriformis, gluteus medius and gluteus maximus. There are also numerous smaller muscles in addition to these that are targeted by the Hip Bone Protector, including your core muscles, thus helping you maintain better posture.

  • The Quadratus femoris is a relatively small muscle, but it’s very important – it actually connects the top of the femur (the base of the femoral head just below the ball) to the base of your pelvis.
  • The Piriformis is also deep in the pelvis. It attaches to the base of the femoral head just above the quadratus femoris, and connects to the inside edge of the sacral vertebrae.
  • The Gluteus medius lies just below the better-known gluteus maximus. This fan-shaped muscle runs from the outside of the top of the femur and spreads out to connect to the entire outside edge of the pelvic crest.
  • The Gluteus maximus, or “glute,” is a very substantial muscle. It attaches further down along the top of the femur and fans out to connect to the entire back of the pelvis.

How: To do the Hip Bone Protector, stand near a chair or wall to steady yourself. Here’s how to do this two-part exercise.

Part 1: External Rotation

  1. Stand with your feet hip width apart.
  2. Place your hand on a chair or wall if you need to steady yourself. If you don’t, hold your arms straight out sideways. Either way, keep your back straight, your head facing forward and chin up (not looking at the floor).
  3. Lift one knee in front of you and immediately rotate the leg back and outward, opening the angle so your thighs are parallel to your extended arms. Imagine you are taking a step back over something large.
  4. Bring your bent leg back to the starting position, and continue the rotations. This is a fluid move, as if you’re drawing counter-clockwise circles with your knees.
  5. Repeat 10 times or as many times as you comfortably can, and then switch sides.

Part 2: Internal Rotation

Part 2 is basically like Part 1, but in reverse. You start out in the same position.

  1. Bend your knee and bring your knee up in front of you.
  2. While keeping your knee up, open the knee angle toward the side, as if you’re stepping over something large in front of you and as if you’re drawing clockwise circles with your knee.
  3. Your thigh should be parallel to your arms. Then bring your bent leg around and put your foot back down to the start position.
  4. Repeat 10 times or as many times as you comfortably can, and then switch sides.

When these muscles are supple and strong, your hips are held in proper alignment, improving balance and gait. Clearly, this reduces your risk of falls. In addition, as you work these muscles doing these and other bone-building exercises regularly, the force exerted on your pelvis actually stimulates bone growth, thereby increasing bone density in your hip bones.

If you like the Hip Bone Protector, you’ll want to check out the Densercise™ Epidensity Training System. The instantly downloadable manual gives you detailed instructions and clear illustrations that take you through a simple, easy, but effective exercise program specifically designed to build bone density in all the areas that are prone to fracture.

And if you need a visual explanation on how to do the moves, Densercise™ gives you permanent access to a series of online videos where I demonstrate each exercise.

As always, I welcome your comments about your experience with the Hip Bone Protector and other bone density exercises! Please let the community know how you’re doing by leaving your comment below.

Till next time,

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Comments on this article are closed.

  1. Shahnaz

    It might sound irrelevant but there is a cone tin between leg muscles and bowlegs. I want to find out if there is any specific exercise to fix bowlegs? I did some research and found out that since our legs are not properly aligned in bowlegs it put more pressure/weight on one side and we are prone/at risk to early arthritis. Please help out.

  2. Deborah Greitzer

    Ive been on the Save Our Bones dietary program for about 5 years, and have been engaging in a vigorous exercise program since I was in my thirties. (I am now 65.) However I just fell when riding my bicycle and fractured my pelvis.

    I’m very discouraged. How can I not only get myself back to where I was before the injury, but become evrn stronger? I was working out at least an hour a day, including Pilates classes and DVDs, strength workouts, running, and biking. In the winter, I cross-country ski, for one to four hours a day.

  3. Corrie

    For quite some time I have had discomfort and pain around the glutes area, which is aggravated after sitting at the computer for a length of time. I found relief almost immediately after doing this exercise a few times. Thanks. Keep up the good work.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      That is wonderful news, Corrie!

  4. Ruth B.Thomas

    I purchased densercise and need to know the email address for the online videos. Thanks,


  5. Mary Kay Rudeen

    Vivian, I was wondering what you think of the newest product I keep hearing about, Visi Probita, an enzyme hydrolyzed collagen? It is a chewable, an evolutionary protein that breaks down proteins putting peptides in the bloodstream which helps all parts of the body including bones. It is rather expensive for the chewables for a month but have you heard of it?

  6. Cheryl Rathborne

    Hi Vivian, trying to follow your exercises but when doing this hip one I hear and feel everything clicking. Would that just be my just doing theses exercises for the first time and they will soon loosen up my last scan was just entering the osteopenic range, I am 59 and have ceoliac disease and take no medications.

  7. jenifer moss

    many thanks for all the info. I am one of those people who suffered badly from
    the Actonel drug.
    I believe a demo. on you tube would be a great idea,[regarding excersize].
    also I met an honest gastro….who actually admitted that Actonel cannot induce
    regrowth of bone.


  8. Susan

    Hello Vivian!

    Thank you so much for creating this wonderful program! I have a question on the drawing you provided. I have no clue where the hip is in all the muscles! And I am assuming this is a drawing of the leg? Can you please share a drawing that shows the entire area with the hip and upper body included. I found it very confusing!

    Also I agree with those who asked for a video………I, too, am a visual learner!

    Thank You!
    Have a WONDERFUL Week!

  9. Tania

    Hi Vivien,
    I’ve had three hip replacements on the same hip and a total knee on the opposite leg.
    I’m not sure that I will be able to do these exercises safely as the surgeon has given me
    explicit instructions on what I should do and should not do. However I want to save my remaining knee and hip that aren’t replaced. Guess I should ask my surgeon for further instructions on how to do exercises for my body. Wish I had all of this knowledge thirty years ago when the first hip went bad.

    • Marion

      Like your other emailers I found the picture confusing but, more important, the hip rotating exercise was painful in the side that I have a replaced hip in. I could not get it near the angle of my outstretched arm. I swim every day. is this any substitute?

  10. Sandra

    Thank you, Vivian, for all of your emails. I have slight osteoporosis in my hip (-2.6) but my back is fine. I try to eat the 80/20 ratio of alkaline/acid foods. I love fruits and vegetables and don’t eat a lot of meat. I stopped taking TrueOsteo because I was concerned about ingesting what seemed to be sand in the capsules. I noticed this because I broke them open and added them to food or drink. Please advise on this. I enjoy walking almost every day for half an hour. I haven’t disciplined myself enough with the Densercise program (will try to do better) but these hip bone exercises seem to be a good workout. Thanks again for keeping us informed!

    • Sandra

      An additional comment: I wonder if marine algae itself which is in TrueOsteo has a gritty texture. Occasionally, you can get the same sensation from eating clams. Just a thought.

  11. Marlene Villar

    Good evening Vivian,
    My first time to do this kind of exercise. I liked it.
    I will now include into my daily exercises. Thank you very
    much and I truly appreciated your hard work and effort
    to share what is beneficial to us.
    My kind regards and take care always. Marlene

  12. Leslie (Ms. L. Carmel)

    Good Evening Vivian,

    Thank You Very Much For Another Weekend Challenge, With The Hip Bone Protector.

    And Until Next Time – Take Good Care Of Yourself, And Stay Well.


  13. Andrea

    Vivian, I wish you would make a DVD of the bone exercises, not just have it as an e-book. I would quickly and happily purchase a DVD. Please think about it. Thanks!

  14. Liz

    Vivian, please consider doing a youtube demo as Dr. Burns suggested. Some of us are visual learners. For us it is frustrating when we cannot visualize what we read.

    Ted A Burns MD
    June 21, 2014, 1:07 pm
    This would be better if it included youtube demo. Very easy to produce and minimize any chance of doing it wrong.

  15. Marlene Wilson

    Hi Vivian,
    It really bothers me that a lot of people are reaching out for your help and you are only answering a few people.
    I, like many others find it hard to understand how to do these exercises with just the drawing and instructions you provide so I end up not doing them at all.
    Is it possible to provide the demo that many of us requested?
    I’m afraid that doing the exercises wrong is worse than not doing them at all.

  16. Sue

    My spine is in normal range but my hips and femoral neck are in the osteopenia range. The femoral neck is -2.1 which is the worse reading on my last Dexascan. I belong to a gym and have been using the Hip Adduction and Hip Abduction machines hoping to improve bone density in the hip. Do these machines accomplish what your Hip Bone Protector exercises do? I also do seated leg press for the quads, hamstrings and glutes. I am 65 years young.

    Thank you for all of the information you regularly give us!

  17. INELL


  18. Elizabeth

    Like the hip exercise. Have been doing the same exercise at a class I attend, several times a week, will be practicing at home on a daily basis, now I know just how beneficial it is. Thanks for the useful information you provide.

  19. Ted A Burns MD

    This would be better if it included youtube demo. Very easy to produce and minimize any chance of doing it wrong.

  20. Carleen Rowan

    Hi Vivian, I totally do not understand the difference between part 1 and 2. Can you or someone who understands it fill me in please?

  21. wilma greene

    I work out every Tues. for 1 hr & we do a similar exercise(seated) I am 81 yrs young. Silver Sneakers group paid for by my Coventry ins. I have osteoporosis, but see no physical signs of it, just going on the Dexa Scan they check once a year. No calcium since deposit was found in my lungs & heart via CARDIOSCAN, heart dr. suggested I cut back on the 1200 mg + D calcium…Love your web site. Thanks!!

    • jane

      Vitamin K2 directs calcium to bones thereby minimizing risk of calcium deposits in soft tissue.

  22. Pola

    I hurt my hip on December 2013, I’m limping and it hurts at times. Should I attempt these exercises?

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Pola, listen to your body – only you know your individual situation and health history! A good rule of thumb is, if it hurts, don’t do it. 🙂

  23. Jeanne mansolillo

    I have severe osteoporosis and multiple sclerosis. Is there an exercise that can be done sitting down that would strengthen the hip?

  24. Helen

    I too had difficulty understanding the move until I keyed in on the phrase, fluid move and it should be like you are making a clockwise and counter clockwise circle with your knees. Then I got it I think. It is like drawing a circle with your knee up in the air making sure to swing your knee out to the side so that it is parallel with your outstretched arms. I hope this is correct.

  25. George

    Vivian, Is there a way to demo this move like you used to do? Thanks!

  26. Diane

    I’m a little confused as how to do this exercise. They both say to lift knee and move it to the side so it’s parallel to your arms, can anyone tell me how each part is different?


  27. Dorothy

    What are some exercises for a 85 year old person with osteoporosis.

    Thank you for all of your hard work and time that you put into research. It is greatly appreciated.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      You’re in the right place, Dorothy! Densercise is appropriate for any age. 🙂 It’s never to late to build healthy bones!

  28. Zara

    Quick question: I just attempted this exercise and would just like to know if it’s ok to move the body as the hip is turned in front of me with the internal rotation
    Thank you

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Zara, the upper body should be kept still during this exercise so your spine stays aligned and stable. 🙂 You don’t want to twist your back!

  29. Zara

    I just love the support offered by the Save Our Bones program – the weekly emails are really appreciated.
    The Densercise exercises are absolutely fantastic, they aren’t too hard and the 15 minutes every second day is easily accommodated in my busy schedule.
    It’s also wonderful to know that the exercises are building bone
    thank you Vivian!
    You however mention in this article that each Densercise exercise is demonstrated in a video. Unfortunately I have only managed to find a demonstration of some of the exercises on video – I have tried sending an email to my support person, but as yet have had no success in locating the extra videos? Can you help, it would be appreciated to know that I am doing the exercises correctly

  30. Pamela Thompson

    So much for exercises for people to prevent hip bone fractures but how about exercises for people who have had hip bone replacements several years ago and are now experiencing problems.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Pamela, I would think that strengthening and toning the muscles around the hip joint would be a wise choice, even if you have an artificial hip! 🙂 Stability in the pelvic area can benefit everyone.

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