Weekend Challenge: Upper/Lower Body Bone Builder And Coordination Enhancer

This weekend I’m thrilled to share with you a resistance exercise that tones and builds muscle while improving coordination, both of which are important for preventing falls.

The Upper/Lower Body Bone Builder And Coordination Enhancer targets the hips, thighs, glutei, shoulders, and triceps, so it covers a lot of ground.

And you’ll also discover how this exercise is based on a fascinating, scientifically proven yet little-known aspect of balance enhancement.

Why:

A study from Glasgow Caledonian University found that combining activities is the key to improving balance with exercise. “…multiple exercise types appear to have the greatest impact on indirect measures of balance,”1 notes the study in its conclusion.

As Savers know, activities like walking and jogging are weight-bearing exercises with excellent benefits, but when it comes to balance enhancement specifically, multi-tasking exercises are more effective.

For example, walking while carrying something (such as weights or cans of soup) was found to be more effective at improving balance in older individuals than simply walking alone. Dancing is another fun and coordination-boosting activity that is even more beneficial by carrying or holding something while you do it.

The effectiveness of combining activities seems to lie in both cognitive enhancement and muscle tone. Balance requires the engagement of your whole body, so when you use a variety of muscle groups, as in this weekend’s exercise, it brings the whole body into play.

We’ll look at the cognitive aspect in more detail later, but first, I want to show you the exercise. It’s a lot of fun, and works both your upper and lower body.

How:

You will need 2 small weights to perform the Upper/Lower Body Bone Builder And Coordination Enhancer. Cans of soup work fine, and as you get more comfortable and stronger, you can use larger weights if you like.

  1. To begin, stand with your feet together and the weights up near your shoulders. Your palms should be facing outward.
  2. Step to the right with your right foot, and come down into a squat.
  3. Stand up again and bring your left foot back in so your feet are together again. At the same time as you bring your left foot in, raise the weights above your head.
  4. Step out to the right again, bringing the weights back down to shoulder level as you go into the squat.
  5. Once again, stand up and bring your left foot in while raising the weights over your head.
  6. Repeat this entire exercise 10 times or however many times you are comfortable with. Basically, this move requires you to “walk” sideways across the room. If your room is too small to allow for that many reps, you can turn and continue back across the room the other way, still using your right foot.
  7. Switch sides (starting with the left foot) and repeat another 10 times.

Tips:

  • When going into the squat, keep your weight in your heels and imagine you’re sitting back into a chair. Also, when you bend down, make sure your knees are aligned with your toes.
  • Go slowly at first so you keep your balance. You can try it without weights at first, just to get used to the moves.

Exercise Benefits Your Bones, Your Muscles And Your Brain

All exercise has a beneficial effect on mood and the brain, but the coordination involved in carrying objects while simultaneously moving specifically enhances those areas of the brain involved in balance.

According to a recent study, coordination exercises involve more brain activity than plain exercise. Researchers conducted two experiments: in the first, participants watched two videos, one of coordination exercises and the other of control exercises. Then, participants engaged in both the coordination exercises and the control exercises. Brain activity was measured during all of these activities, and researchers concluded that “coordination exercises contribute to the improvement of motor activities and also cognitive control.”2

This study further pointed out the importance of engaging in exercise that involves the neuromuscular system, so fitness is approached from as many angles as possible. In addition, this multi-tasking approach keeps your muscles guessing, which is vital to building muscle and improving bone density.

Your cerebellum is the area of your brain responsible for voluntary movement, and it’s also the center for higher-order thinking. Voluntary movement, decision-making, memory, language, emotion, and many other facets of human cognition and motion are interconnected.2 No wonder exercise benefits so many areas of your health!

Densercise Engages Brain And Body

In the Densercise™ Epidensity Training System, you’ll find a wide variety of challenging, simple, effective moves that – in addition to building bone density – also address balance and coordination. Because DenserciseTM has a month’s worth of exercises, you will give key muscle groups a chance to rest and build (and your bones a chance to strengthen) while you work other areas.

Densercise™ makes the perfect holiday gift for yourself and loved ones. Imagine the peace of mind that comes from knowing you’re preventing falls and fractures with exercises that are specifically designed to meet these goals, plus much more.

So if you haven’t yet, treat yourself and your family to a stronger, more coordinated you this season!

Have a great weekend!

References

1 Howe, TE, et al. “Exercise for improving balance in older people.” Cochrane Review. Glasgow Caledonian University, Glasgow, Scotland. 2007. Web. http://www.uptodate.com/contents/joint-protection-program-for-the-lower-limb/abstract/21

2 Mochizuki, Akito A. and Kirino, Eiji. “Effects of Coordination Exercises on Brain Activation: A Functional MRI Study.” International Journal of Sport and Health Science. Vol. 6 (2008) pp 98-104. PDF. http://thepowerplatform.com/Support/Studies/Coordination%20Exercises%20on%20Brain%20Activation.pdf

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12 comments. Leave Yours Now →
  1. lynn Cladis December 16, 2014, 10:31 am

    I live in the Midwest and we get very little sunshine. Can you please recommend a good vitamin D lamp. There are so many and I want to make sure I get a quality product.

    Thank you for all you do. You are truly saving lives.

    Lynn Cladis

  2. Bea Tabat December 15, 2014, 9:14 pm

    I would like the Densercise Epidensity Training System manual, but I would like it in paper form. Is that a possibility?

  3. Nanci J. December 15, 2014, 6:36 pm

    Hi, I just got some terrible news in which I am looking forward to changing into better and better news.. My back xray refeels severe scoliosis with a double curvature. I havnen’t had an xray for a little over 35 years. The numbers were truly life changing for the future…. I knew since I stopped swimming a year and half ago I had to start up with another exercise (I jogged in the pool for 23 minutes 3x per week for over 30+ years with a few back stokes thrown in amongst other pool exercises). After sinus surgery this past \April I wanted to start a new exercise regime that could make a postural difference if it wasnt too late. I am just getting a second Dexa Scan to see what my numbers are and I will be cleared for exercise soon (which was the whole purpose to see where my base line is after 35+ years). Is the Densicise the way to go and will have any effect on the structural probl3e of Scoliosis.??

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA December 16, 2014, 10:25 am

      Nanci, Densercise (and the Weekend Challenges) are intended for the general public. These programs and exercises do not take the place of advice from a physical therapist or doctor, so make sure you get the go-ahead from a medical professional who knows your health history before engaging in any exercise program. 🙂

  4. Bo Dela Haye December 14, 2014, 3:46 am

    “The Upper/Lower Body Bone Builder And Coordination Enhancer targets the hips, thighs, glutei, shoulders, and triceps, so it covers a lot of ground.” :

    this movement needs total core activation and ( a.o. ) appeals to a good mobility in the upperback region ( thoracic spine ), hip mobility and ankle mobility.
    Why not build things up from the ground stead of throwing in some exercise that appeals to more than most people can handle?

    Teaching your followers to properly perform lunging patterns first, in a well written, 3 – D performance, will be more challenging and effective on improving their awareness for the need for balance , besides bringing a nice stretch for the hip flexors and extensors.
    An example ? stand tall and go into a stand on one leg with a high knee , hold steady for 15 – 30 seconds, then go into a foreward lunge ( sagital plane ) with a soft landing of the leading foot: hold for 5 seconds, arms along side the body and return to the starting position( push away from your support points ).
    progression : perform an inline lunge and hold for 10 secs ; for many of us just standing inline is already very challenging !
    2nd progr.: make a bigger lunge step foreward and ( fully ) extend the back leg; hold for 5 – 10 seconds while bringing both arms, slowly, up till they are parallel with your back leg ( shoulder flexion and thoracic extension ) .Keep head and cervical spine in neutral ( look ahead to the floor in front of you); from there you can progress into a full shoulderflexion and thoracic extension.

    Also think of doing the movements like for instance the Y-balance test provides: this will be more challenging for most of your followers than this exercise that “covers a lot of ground “.

    “And you’ll also discover how this exercise is based on a fascinating, scientifically proven yet little-known aspect of balance enhancement”.
    My Q is : how do i discover the “scientifically proven aspect ” ?

    A “little – known aspect of balance enhancement ” ? How many reports, functional exercises and articles do you want to read that cover the topic about balance improvements?

    whishing everybody a merry christmas and a happy new year
    BO

  5. Jean December 13, 2014, 5:43 pm

    I lost the info that you sent about the TrueOsteo supplement
    Could you please send it to me again?
    Thank you

  6. sara December 13, 2014, 1:48 pm

    recuperating frm cracked hip with pins doing well but want to continue the correct exercise after complete healing

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA December 13, 2014, 5:44 pm

      I am sorry to hear about your cracked hip, Sara. I am glad you are doing well, and I wish you a speedy recovery!

  7. Betty December 13, 2014, 8:38 am

    Thanks again Vivian. I have a lower back flare up at the moment but hopefully will be able to do more soon.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA December 13, 2014, 12:01 pm

      Take care, Betty! I hope you are out of pain and exercising soon. 🙂

  8. Sandy December 13, 2014, 8:09 am

    Thank you Vivian for all the valuable and useful information you share.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA December 13, 2014, 12:01 pm

      You are very welcome, Sandy. I am glad this information is so helpful to you!

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