Weekend Challenge: Whole Body Strengthener - Save Our Bones

This weekend’s challenge is a resistance exercise that involves the whole body. It’s designed to increase bone density in key areas, such as the hips, femur, shoulders, and ankles.

The Whole Body Strengthener also targets the upper back to ensure good posture.

Let’s begin with a look at the many muscles involved in this exercise.


As the name implies, The Whole Body Strengthener works the entire body. The muscle groups involved are from shoulders to calves, targeting important fracture-prone areas. Let’s start with the largest muscle in the body, the…

Gluteus maximus

Often referred to as the “glutes,” these are the buttocks muscles. Unique to humans, the glutes are one of the key body features that allow us to walk upright.

The glutes bring the femur into alignment and stabilizes it, allowing you to walk and stand back up after you bend over or stoop down. The lower parts of the glutes are involved in adduction and rotation of the legs, and the upper parts act as hip joint abductors.

Quadriceps femoris

You’ll often hear this muscle group referred to as the “quads.” They run along the top of the thighs and extend the knee joints and act as hip flexors. When you walk or run, your quads are responsible for stabilizing your kneecap and swinging your leg forward with each step.


Technically, the hamstrings refer to the tendons that run behind the knee and attach to the muscles along the back of the thigh. But the term is often used to refer to the muscles themselves.

The hamstrings actually cross, and work to extend the hip when your torso is still. The hamstrings also rotate and flex your knee inward when it’s bent. The hamstrings are required for pretty much any lower body motion, from running to walking to jumping. They work antagonistically with the quads, allowing your body to move through space and remain upright.

Calf muscles

These are on the back of the lower leg and run from the heel to the knee. The calves extend the foot, ankle, and knee, and are crucial for balance. When you point your toes, you can feel your calf muscles working. You use your calf muscles when you go up and down stairs, curl your toes, or ride a bicycle. Strong calves work to keep ankle joints stable.


When you think “arm muscles,” these are the ones that probably come to mind. When someone “flexes” their muscles, it’s usually the biceps that they show off.

Running between the elbow and shoulder, the biceps work across three joints: the shoulder, elbow, and upper forearm. The most common action of the biceps is bending your elbow and supination of your forearm – that is, turning your palms up or forward-facing.


The deltoids are the shoulder muscles that form the rounded, smooth top of the arm. You use your deltoids when you raise your arms up or point them forward and back. They work antagonistically with muscles in the chest.

The deltoids stabilize the head of the humerus bone, preventing dislocation when you pick up something heavy.


The “traps” form a diamond shape across your upper back, going from neck to shoulder and attaching along the cervical and thoracic vertebrae. The traps move the spine and shoulder blades, and are worked when you raise your shoulders. The traps work with the deltoids to allow you to throw a ball.


These diamond-shaped muscles lie between your shoulder blades, under the traps, and are extensions of the shoulder girdle. They stabilize the shoulder blades, holding them to the ribcage. The rhomboids also rotate the shoulder blades inward toward your upper vertebrae.

Working These Muscle Groups Strengthens Vulnerable Areas Of Your Skeleton

Shoulders, hips, thighs, and ankles are very important areas to stabilize and strengthen. Fractures in these areas are a concern for those with osteoporosis, so working the muscles in these areas strengthens bone and stimulates bone growth as per Wolff’s Law. That, of course, is the key to increasing bone density.
In addition,exercises like this one also help improve balance, preventing falls.


  1. You will need two hand weights to do this exercise. You can also use cans of food.
  2. Begin with your feet shoulder-width apart, arms down at your sides, palms facing in (holding your weights).
  3. Squat down to a 90-degree angle (approximately). Your weights will come close to the floor. Keep your back straight.
  4. Stand back up and bend your elbows with your palms facing you (a biceps curl). This will bring your hands to your shoulders.
  5. Raise the weight above your head, rotating your arms so your palms face outward.
  6. Bring the weights back to your shoulders, rotating your palms back inward, and then lower your arms back down to the starting position.
  7. Repeat steps 1 through 4.
  8. Do 5 reps, rest for a few moments, and then do 5 more (or whatever fits your comfort level).
  9. “Old” Study Points To Resistance Exercise As Superior To Drugs

    An extensive study review published in 1999, clearly shows the bone-strengthening effects of resistance exercise. After reviewing approximately 24 studies on the relationship between resistance training and bone density, researchers concluded that:

    “High-intensity resistance training, in contrast to traditional pharmacological and nutritional approaches for improving bone health in older adults, has the added benefit of influencing multiple risk factors for osteoporosis including improved strength and balance and increased muscle mass.”1

    While this is a concept the Osteoporosis Reversal Program embraced from the get-go, it wasn’t until 2015 – 16 years later – that Mainstream Science actually paid attention to this highly relevant and scientifically-proven information.

    In fact, at this year’s World Congress on Osteoporosis, for the first time ever, more than 4,500 scientists acknowledged a non-pharmaceutical, exercise-based approach for the treatment of osteoporosis. Specifically, they recognized osteogenic loading – that is, the application of force along the longitudinal body axis – as a legitimate (even superior) alternative to drug therapy to increase bone density.

    The Densercise™ Epidensity Training System Offers Many Resistance Exercises

    In Densercise™, you’ll find many osteogenic loading and resistance exercises. Examples include the Rear Leg Lift (page 40), the Pelvic Tilt (page 20), and the Shoulder Raise (page 50) – just to name a few. They are interspersed with weight-bearing and postural exercises, making Densercise™ a comprehensive exercise system designed to increase bone density. And of course, Densercise™ offers all the myriad benefits of exercise, from improved mood to enhanced cardiovascular health.

    And please remember to let us know your thoughts about The Whole Body Strengthener by leaving a comment below.

    Enjoy the weekend!

    Take Exercising For Your Bones to the Next Level!

    Learn the 52 exercise moves that jumpstart bone-building – all backed by the latest in epigenetics research.

    Learn More Now →


    1 Lavne, J.E. and Nelson, M.E. “The effects of progressive resistance training on bone density: a review.” Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. January 1999. 3(1):25-30. Web. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9927006

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Comments on this article are closed.

  1. Carolyn

    Vivian, as a suggestion how about putting your Densercise classes on DVD – looking
    at the above comments it will definitely be a winner.

    Keep up the good work!

  2. Maria Murphy

    I too wish there were a Dencercise DVD. An eBook will not do it for me, nor will I order one.

    • Ildi Urban

      Dear Vivian,
      I agree with Maria. PLEASE PLEASE create a DVD for DENSERSIZE – I am sure a lot of us would get one, if we could exercise along with the DVD…..here’s hoping….

  3. Juliet Le Page

    Hi Vivianne, Small correction if I may….Please review the section on Calf mechanics. It is correct the calf muscles plantarflex the foot, but the calf muscles do not extend the knee, the quadriceps do. The hamstrings are responsible for knee extension.

    • Juliet

      Sorry, now I am doing it :). The Hamstrings are responsible for knee flexion is what I meant to say!

  4. Karren Clayton

    The Weekend Challenge exercises are so good that I print them out. Just wondering if you have a book of them or are they in the Dancersize stuff?

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      That is a great idea, Karren! The Weekend Challenges are separate from the exercises in Densercise, so if you print them out, you can build your own unique exercise “book.” 🙂

  5. Linda

    I have read all the comments and fnd it interesting, that you only comment once in a while. Do you want feedback? I thought you truly wanted to help people but again it’s all about money. DVD’s would help everyone. Books and ebooks are obsolete now. Please listen to people reaching out for help. Thank you.

  6. Ingrid

    About the densersise e-book. I copied it and look at the pages when doing the exercises. Works for me. With later additions, I illustrate them myself.
    I love the hop scotch.
    And… my score has increased!!
    My advice: If you must have medication, keep up the exercise and the alkaline diet.

  7. Ingrid

    re whole body strengthener. What a fantastic exercise! It feels so good.

  8. Kathryn

    Considering my degree of visual tracking difficulties as well as visual motor coordination weaknesses, there is no way I can follow and accomplish some of these exercises via eBook form. Yes, it is cheaper to produce information the way you’re doing it, but you are deliberately excluding people who may really need this help.
    Yesterday, a second dr tried to push bisphosphonates back on me, mainly because I’ve lost 19% density in my left hip and have fallen twice due to extreme hypoglycemia. My balance and coordination have gotten much worse since I took myself off an MS medication that I had a very severe reaction to. It also isn’t helping that one of my legs is shorter than the other.
    This weekend challenge includes part of what I ordinarily do for weight lifting – without any squatting because this is virtually impossible for me and has been since I got MS about nine years ago. Some of your program I physically cannot do; another things I want to try appear inaccessible because you only offer eBook format which is very unfair as I mentioned previously. You’re certainly NOT considering or considerate of the needs of all of your targeted audience.

  9. Ira

    Yeah, first one has to be able to stand… Oh well, for healthy people only I suppose.

  10. Teresa ochoa

    I agree with most of the comments. I tried to follow, and practice, the exercises, but I have not bought the densercise, because I do not like e books. I would buy it right away in hard copy, or better yet DVD.
    I love to receive your newsletter, specially, the exercises, and recipes. Thanks Vivian. We hope you make a DVD of exercises

  11. Kay Barlow

    I would like a DVD that I could put in my DVD player and follow on my TV screen. I thought I could use my densercize on my iPad propped in front of me but that doesn’t work. I printed a few pages, but reading and following directions while I’m trying to do the exercises is frustrating. How about a DVD to follow along with?

  12. Helen

    Yes, I’d rather have the Densercise in book form also, please…..
    Again, thank you for sharing!

  13. katherine

    I would Happily Pay whatever you asked for a Densercise DVD and would then have more time to do your extremely avaluable exercises (because of all the time I would save not fumbling with pages and trying to figure out how really to position myself correctly 🙂 .) Would you be willing to do it if a poll showed overwhelming agreement with my statement? If so, I know that I would do many more of your great exercises! Thank you!

  14. June Gould

    I would love all the wonderful info from Vivian in a spiral bound book. It would be so much more convenient. I download e books and they get filed away and sometimes are difficult to retrieve. I would gladly pay for an e book rather than printing many pages. I, too, miss having manuals in print. Wish there was an option for getting them in a hard copy.

  15. Bev

    I agree with everyone else regarding disliking ebooks which is the reason I have not purchased Dencercise. Vivian, please get it to us in book form!!!!! I bought an
    ebook through your site a few years ago regarding posture written by a chiropractor, I believe. It totally disappeared from my computer. So I was out that money for nothing. Can you tell me how to get it back???? PLEASE get us Dencercise in book form. Thank you.

  16. mary Welland

    Please please please a ‘proper’ book of the exercises. For me an e-book is useless as I cannot do exercises in front of my Mac or a DVD player and I do not have a laptop or similar. The only option is to print off the e book. it is easy to browse through a book and to have it to hand wherever one wants to exercise. I have now got to the state where I never buy e-books as they are so inconvenient.

  17. Frances Epsen

    I agree with everyone above about disliking ebooks. I also do not buy them but would buy a spiral book.
    Thank you, Vivian, for your devotion and knowledge and generosity of sharing regarding bone health.

    • lily

      I also agree – I just purchased the e-book and find it difficult to do exercises in my study where my desktop computer is. Too difficult and expensive to copy, takes up too much paper and ink! I would love it in DVD format

  18. Another Pam

    Everyone else has said it. Ditto all the comments about ebooks.

  19. Patricia

    Why do you answer some inquiries and never answer the ones about e-books and dvds? Older women like me have problems looking at a computer while trying to exercise. Dvds are much clearer and my tv is in an area where there is plenty of room to exercise. A spiral bound book would be much better than an ebook. I too, would never buy the e-book. Please consider these options because many women, like me, are missing out on a lot of good information. And please, at least let us know if you will even consider these options. Thank you!

  20. Customer Support

    Hi Judy and others,
    Thanks for your feedback about Densercise! We will take your requests for a printed book and DVD into consideration. 🙂

  21. eleanor peed

    Not only do I hate ebooks, I hate not receiving manuals with computers, phones, printers, cameras, and all the items we used to receive manuals with for easy reference.

  22. Claudia

    I exercised from the time I was 18 years old. When in my 20’s I went to the gym at least 4 times a week. I started teaching in my 40’s. I truly believed that was the key to living a healthy life. I also looked good,so that was a plus. Two years ago I got out of bed and cracked a pelvis bone,the other side cracked the next day. Test revealed all my bones are brittle. I still walk amost everyday. This exercise would hurt me more that it would help. I can’t even set on the floor. I am now 71 years old and though I hate this I have adjusted. We do what we can do. I hope some of you can do this exercise with ease,because it is a great one. I have Vivian’s book and I try to follow it every day. Thanks again Vivian. I am doing great.i do hurt a lot but I also have good days.I am blessed.i left out that in my 50’s I had to have back surgery. I have never been the same.In my 60’s I walked, still walking. I still look pretty good. LOL keep up the good work everyone.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Dear Claudia,
      I am sorry to hear about your fractures! It’s excellent that you are walking daily now. You are wise to know which exercises will and will not work for you. Thanks for sharing, and it never hurts to “look good”! 🙂

      • Ira

        Way to go Claudia! One day when they find cure for MS I might be able to join you in never giving up!

  23. marie

    I agree with Jean a spiral bound book would be good . I have paid for ebooks from a well known company downloaded them , they disappeared without trace !

  24. Nancy

    I loathe e-books, therefor I do not buy them. They are not friendly. It’s as though the seller doesn’t respect his or her work enough to give it a solid published hard bound book, which makes a proud statement. It’s rather like a hand shake, some are weak and wimpy leaving you feeling insecure about the other person. Where-as a good gentle, but solid grip, leaves one feeling more confident in the meaning of the gesture of a hand shake.
    Besides I find e-books make more messy papers laying around. At least hard books can stand upright and proud.

  25. jean

    I’m with Judy B on this one – a paper book, spiral bound, so the user can open it flat to look at while exercising. I realize production costs have to be taken into consideration by the producer, but the cost of printing pages off the computer can be prohibitive too.

  26. Linda

    I too, do not like e books and have had bad experiences with the downloading and printing. I would love to buy a DVD but no more e books for me!

  27. AM Olson

    I’m with Rowena Hajjar & Judy Bergsrud. eBooks are not my preferred style either, but I understand that they are less costly to produce & supply. Guess that is the trade off – no paper, less money to buy. Sure would be nice to get a sample view, though, so would know what it it like. And a sample view that is a view of a couple of pages from several parts of the book, not jut the table of contents & first few introductory pages. Would help buyers like me decide whether to buy or not. Thanks for listening.

  28. Rowena Hajjar

    I do not want any more e-books! I would really like DVD’s or REAL BOOKS of these exercises, with DVD’S being my first choice. Is there any chance that this could happen? Thanks for listening.

  29. Judy Bergsrud

    Hi, I was wondering if you are ever going to put the Densercise in a paper book, instead of just on the computer? Judy

    • Amelia

      I do not like e-books either. It is too much trouble ,running out of ink and a lot of wasted paper. I would rather buy the book. It may be cheaper for the writers and less trouble but I get an unbound copy that takes up space and is not neat and tidy on the shelf.

      I downloaded a cookbook. (among others) I don’t think I will be doing it any more.

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