Today I am going to talk about how to start your osteoporosis therapy exercises program. Exercise for Better Bones is my prescriptive exercise program for people with osteoporosis. I invited several clients to talk about their experience with their program. Both Josephine and Ken had specific bone health challenges but had specific needs.
Today’s exercise is the Straight Leg Raise. You will find it later in today’s lesson.
I also included a bonus for you: a 20 minute home workout routine for you to follow. This is a sample workout from my Stronger Bones, Stronger Body series. This edition is designed for Active level individuals (as described in my book Exercise for Better Bones.)
Josephine wanted a program that she could fit into her lifestyle. She did not want to go to the gym at night and preferred a home-based exercise program. Ken came to realize the importance of posture and form in his exercise program. His osteoporosis required that he maintain a good posture and he had to change the way he moved.
Purchase Exercise for Better Bones
You can purchase Exercise for Better Bones on Amazon (the book is available in both print and Kindle formats).
Osteoporosis Therapy Exercises Prescriptive Program
Today you have the opportunity to listen to users of the Exercise for Better Bones. Let’s start with Josephine and then hear Ken speak about his experiences.
Josephine: One of the things about doing this program is that, now it’s part of everyday. I found different things to do, and exercises that I actually enjoy doing, that I can do on a daily basis and fit into my routine.
Any time I tried it in the past I might have done it for few weeks and then stopped. But this time, I think just because of the nature of the exercises and once I’m particular with thinking about some of the strength ones and some of the cardiovascular.
Walking and Cardiovascular
Walking and building up my stamina certainly has improved over the six months.
Basically the way my program works is in fact, I can do it all in my bedroom.
Often what happens is, I’ve been out for a walk. I’ve done some cardiovascular exercise and then I come back and it’s with the use of a ball, basically, in my own bedroom space. I’m able to work through all of the exercises.
The biggest drawback to going to gym for me was that you had to go out again in the evening. In order to keep doing it, I think being in the comfort of your own home is terrific, and it’s a lot easier to do it.
All my exercises actually can be done in the space that’s there within the bedroom. My program requires a small amount of space and very little equipment.
Ken: Swimming have been my form of exercise virtue all my life. I swam competitively when I was young, both high school and university, and continued.
If I had lose weight or I had to get in shape I went to the pool, and swam some laps. And, I always considered that…I think that was part of the shock.
I always considered that to be the best of all exercise and I kept everything going. To realize that there was a major component that was lacking in that. My exercise had to change.
Margaret: The MelioGuide Exercise for Better Bones program provides you with a detailed list of exercises based on your activity level and fracture risk. We identify the bones and muscles that are targeted in each exercise, provide clear directions of how to perform with safe form, as well as detailed exercise schedules.
If you’ve been thinking of starting an exercise program that you know its safe and efficient for your bones, then I encourage you to click on the link, to purchase an Exercise for Better Bones.
This basic, but very important exercise, is referred to as the straight leg raise exercise. I am going to show you how to do this properly without causing unnecessary and uncomfortable strain in your lower back.
Try this exercise: it will give you an opportunity to see my teaching style in action.
This an active straight leg raise since you will be actively using your breathing, core strength, posture, shoulders, hip flexors, and quadriceps as you raise your leg.
You will need two pieces of equipment:
- Pillow (optional depending on your comfort level).
- Small support for your waist.
You might need a second pillow for additional support (I will explain this later).
Straight Leg Raise Exercise Benefits
The straight leg raise exercise benefits and strengthens muscles in your quadriceps and your hip flexors.
The straight leg exercise is often used in Physical Therapy to help patients improve the strength of their lower extremities. You will often see it used after patients have had knee replacement surgery. It is also used by Physical Therapists when they want a client to improve their walking.
Follow these steps to do the straight leg raise exercise properly. Setup It is important that you set yourself up correctly to do the straight leg raise exercise.
Before You Start this Exercise
Do the following before you start the exercise:
- Always go down onto your shoulder before you roll over. If it’s comfortable for you to use a pillow, then, by all means, I recommend that you do so.
- I encourage you to use a little support in the small of your back whether it is a pillow or some other support. The size and thickness of that support should be the same the depth of your hand when it is placed flat on the floor.
- Slide the support out to one side and after you have verified that the support is the correct size, bring that back in a position to support your lower back.
- When you use the muscles of your legs, you also use your abdominals. This keeps your low back safe. Like all of the exercises that I work through with you online, I want you to think about your posture and alignment. This very important!
If you are comfortable without a pillow, then, by all means, do the exercise that way. However, if you chose to do the straight leg raise this way, you get to have an extra stretch through your neck.
If you feel you need support through your neck, you can use a little roll just at the base of your skull. That should fill in that cavity or space behind your neck.
Step by Step Instructions
Follow these step-by-step instructions:
- Make sure that you tuck your shoulders down and orient your palms to the sky.
- Keep your knees well bent.
- This is a nice opportunity to stretch your toes before we begin the rest of the exercise. (You can never get enough toe stretches!)
- Keep your toes stretched and raise your leg.
- Bring the leg down.
- Pay special attention to your breathing and try to control it as you execute the exercise. Here are the steps you should follow to control your breathing.
- Take a nice breath in.
- Exhale as you raise your leg.
- As you start to tighten your pelvic floor, also tighten the muscles around your quads. (Tip: Pulling your toes towards you really helps to tighten the quad muscles.)
- Lift your leg no higher than the opposite thigh.
- Slow the raise and slow the descent of the leg. Straight Leg Raise Exercise With External Rotation If your Physical Therapist gave you ten straight leg raises to do, five should be done in the position that I just demonstrated and five should be done with your leg slightly externally rotated.
External Rotation Instructions
Follow these instructions to do a straight leg raise with external rotation:
- Roll out the whole leg about 30 degrees.
- Breath in.
- Exhale as you raise your leg.
- Keep your tummy tight to the support beneath you.
- As you lower your leg, keep your tummy tight.
- Keep your back engaged or tighten to the roll behind your lower back.
- Breath and tighten as you lift.
- Keep everything tight even as you lower.
Straight Leg Raise Exercise With Extra Support
If you are following the instructions and still have a hard time keeping your back down and engaged, use another pillow for support. The higher the pillow, the more assistance you’re going to get.
Rest your thigh all the way down to your heel on the pillow. This extra support will take away the hardest part of the lift for the abdominal.
Let me demonstrate the straight leg raise exercise again, this time with the pillow support.
- Breath in with toes pulled in tight.
- Exhale as you raise your leg.
- As you lower your leg, keep your shoulder blades tucked.
- Keep you posture aligned and stay long through the back of your head and neck.
Stronger Bones, Stronger Body Workout Video
After I produced the Exercise for Better Bones prescriptive osteoporosis exercise program I had many requests for a home workout program to complement Exercise for Better Bones.
When I launched Exercise for Better Bones, I produced a comprehensive list of videos demonstrating each of the individual exercises in Exercise for Better Bones.
But even when I made those videos available, my readers and clients still wanted an easy to follow home video series that they could use several times a week. That lead to me producing Stronger Bones, Stronger Body and other home exercise workouts for flexibility, balance, aerobics and yoga.
The video below explains my thoughts on this topic.
20 Minute Sample Workout
This 20 minute sample workout is taken from the Active level title for Stronger Bones, Stronger Body. Give it a try! You can find the complete Stronger Bones, Stronger Body — Active Level here.
Tomorrow’s Lesson • Yoga and Osteoporosis
Check tomorrow’s email for the sixth lecture of this course on yoga and osteoporosis.