Weekend Challenge: Weighted Core Strengthener - Save Our Bones

Your core muscles are vitally important for just about every activity you engage in. A strong core promotes balance (and therefore fall prevention), coordination, good posture, strong bones, and much more.

Today’s exercise is a core muscle strengthener. It can be done with or without weights, and if you choose to use weights, you can easily substitute water bottles or cans of food.
So let’s get started!


In addition to promoting optimal bone health, a strong, flexible core has real-life applications. Here are some tasks and activities that you may never have associated with your core muscles, yet they’re essential for the safe performance of these tasks. If your core muscles are weak or tight, you’re at greater risk of falling during any of these activities.


There are many activities that come under the heading of “housework.” Just about all of it requires various amounts of bending, twisting, reaching, stooping, and more. If you’re mopping, for instance, you have to bend and stand back up, and move the mop back and forth across the floor. Dusting, vacuuming, washing windows, carrying laundry, and so forth all use core muscles.


When you engage in sporting activities such as tennis, golf, soccer, weight-lifting, bowling, swimming…any sport, you’re using your core muscles. Swinging a racket or bat, running, jumping, pedaling, and kicking a ball are all examples of actions that use your core muscles.

Yoga, Pilates, Aerobics, etc.

Rather than a sport, you may prefer exercise programs and activities like the above. These also use your core muscles, and in fact, many moves in Yoga and Pilates deliberately target the core.

Office Work

Did you know that a strong core prevents aches and pains from desk work? Strong core muscles make desk work less damaging by promoting proper posture and functional movement as you answer the phone, type, bend to pick up a file, etc.


Yes, even bathing taps into your core muscles. In fact, falls in the bath or shower are significant risks for those with weak core muscles and poor balance. A strong core makes bathing a much safer activity.


The kneeling, bending, reaching, digging, cutting, hoeing, and other garden activities are hard work. Anyone who’s ever done it know it’s great exercise! But you may not know how much you’re using your core while you’re weeding, planting, and so forth.

Household Projects

DIY projects around the house involve your core muscles. Maybe you’re lifting a shelf or drilling a hole in the wall to put something up. You might be painting, sanding, doing yard work, or hammering. You’re using your core the whole time.

Getting Dressed

It probably never occurred to you to think of the muscles you use when you dress yourself. But holding your arms over your head, “wiggling” in to a shirt, stepping into a pair of pants, and all such moves use your core muscles.

What Are The Core Muscles?

Now that we’ve looked at the myriad of activities involving your core, you might be wondering just what muscles are included. Most people think mainly of the abdominal or tummy muscles when they think of the core, but there is more involved.

The main core muscles are deep, lying close to the spine and connecting to the pelvis. They include the pelvic floor muscles, transverse abdominis, rectus abdominis, erector spinae, the obliques, the psoas, and the diaphragm. Because these muscles lie deep in your torso, they don’t “show” like the more superficial ones do, so they may get neglected in your average workout.

But working the core is essential for the reasons noted above, and also in order to build bone strength in key areas of the skeleton. Your spine and pelvis need pressure from muscles and gravity to build and strengthen, a fact elucidated by Wolff’s Law.

So given the importance of these muscles, let’s take a look at how to strengthen them, starting with the Weighted Core Strengthener.


Feel free to do this exercise without any weights if you prefer, and you can also use water bottles or cans of food instead of dumbbells if you wish. I suggest you use an exercise mat if you don’t have a carpet.

  1. Sit down on the floor and extend your legs out straight. If you’re using weights, hold one in each hand with your hands out to the side (elbows bent).
  2. Lean back slightly and bring your knees up to your chest.
  3. At the same time, bring your hands forward to the sides of your legs. Keep your elbows bent.
  4. Extend your legs again, but keep them off the floor; your heels should not touch the floor.
  5. At the same time as you are extending your legs, bring your arms back out to your sides, elbows bent. Your upper arms will move away from your body as you bring them back, but your elbows stay bent.
  6. Bring your knees up and your hands forward again. Repeat the leg extension, knees up, and arms back and forth in one smooth movement.
  7. Repeat this move 10 times, or as many reps as you are comfortable with.

As you can see (and feel!), this move also works the arms and chest muscles, even if you don’t use weights. You can feel your core muscles really kicking in, too.

Many moves in the Densercise™ Epidensity Training System target the core. For example, the Chair Knee Lift on page 38 works the core muscles, and many other exercises include directions like “engage core.” As I discussed earlier, this key muscle group is involved in many, many motions, so you can rest assured that a comprehensive, bone-building workout like Densercise™ will also work your core.

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How did you like this weekend’s exercise? Did you find it challenging or easy? Please share your experience with the Saver community by leaving a comment below.

Enjoy the weekend!

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Comments on this article are closed.

  1. Paulette taykowski

    I have dancersize on mail from you but make it easier if I could do it from dvd on tv

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Stay tuned, Paulette – we’re always expanding and growing at the Save Institute! In the meantime, enjoy the free exercises we post every week and the Densercise manual and online videos. 🙂

  2. Consolacion

    I’ve been almost taking an osteoporosis drugs called FARMEMAX for almost 2years from now…I’ve read your article and got shock coz right now I felt two symptoms you’ve mention (MUSCLE and JOINT PAIN).I hope it’s not too late for me to recover for my bones.

  3. Carolyn

    Is there a place to go back to all the weekend challenges?

    There was an exercise that worked the psoas muscle that was good and I would like to review it again.

    Thanks….and thanks Vivian for all that you do for us!

  4. jay wohlrab

    I had to have fundoplication surgery due to large hiatal hernia………PIP drugs for 15 years caused osteoporosis…….NO CORE EXERCISES ALLOWED OR CAN RUPTURE FUNDOPLICATION…….would love other ideas for strengthening bones besides walking and bike riding………

  5. Joyce Smith

    This core exercise really works on the tummy, arms, everything. I broke 3 vertabra 6 yrs ago and still I do this exercise with no problem. I am slim and healthy. I try to eat as healthy as I can, not always great at it, but I keep trying.
    I am 67 1/2 yr. old, I look 15 yrs younger, but I believe it is because I am conscience of taking care of myself.
    I have done YOGA for years, but still I do not have good balance, as doing the tree pose and extending it on out. This is frustrating to me. Suggestions welcome.

    • Linda

      My yoga instructor kept encouraging me to keep trying, eg: stand on one foot while brushing teeth, and that has helped me. I’ve also added some simpler balancing routines to encourage myself (such as holding both arms out and lifting one leg, bent at the knee).

    • Marie

      Can I get the Dancersize in printed form?

  6. terri

    Today’s core exercise is not for people with spine issues

  7. sandy

    What role do chia seeds play in bone growth?

    • valerie

      i’ve submitted a comment but still can’t see the answers

    • valerie

      I like to see the answers to all the questions

  8. Rose

    I have 2 fractures which have healed. Would this exercise be appropriate for me. 72year old female.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Hi Rose,
      While you don’t mention where your fractures occurred, if they are healed, you will have more exercise options than if they were still actively healing. Nonetheless, to be safe, please check with your doctor or physical therapist to make sure this exercise is right for you. 🙂

  9. Mcsulli

    I work out a lot yet I have never seen this one. A great addition to my program!

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      It’s easy to add this exercise to your routine. I am glad you’ll be doing so!

  10. Yuleen Jacobson

    I have just tried this exercise with 2 kilo weights. It’s an excellent exercise for the tummy, legs and arms. I will continue with this one on a daily basis. Thank you!☺

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      That’s great to hear, Yuleen! It sounds like this move really works for you.

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