Hi. Welcome to Pelvic Exercises. I’m Michelle Kenway. Today, I’d like to show you 3 terrific exercises to address the bone health of your hips. These are actually osteoporosis exercises specifically designed to improve the bone health of your hips, and also too, to protect your pelvic floor. Many women living with both pelvic floor issues and osteoporosis or decreased spine density issues have a lot of trouble exercising safely, knowing that what they’re doing for their bone health is effective, but also, to protect them for their pelvic floor. These exercises you can be assured that they are protective for your pelvic floor, not going to place undue pressure on your pelvic floor, and also too, going to effectively address the bone health of your hips.
The first exercise is called a Clam Exercise; terrific little exercise to address bone health your hips, especially if you’re bone health has decreased. Remember before starting, that if you already have osteoporosis or decreased bone density in your hips; be sure to get your doctor’s approval to exercise. That’s always the case when starting a new exercise program if you haven’t exercised previously. Also too, much of these exercises are all pain-free. You shouldn’t feel any discomfort while you are exercising. Let’s get started.
Here’s our first exercise; it’s a Clam Exercise. I’m going to lie onto my side. I’m going to put my feet roughly in line with my bottom bones, and I am going to lie down on my side comfortably. If you need to use a pillow to support your neck, that’s absolutely fine. You can see that’s the position I’m in with my bent legs and my head down. The clam exercise involves you lifting your top knee just away from the bottom knee. It’s only a very small lift. Don’t think that it’s a case of the higher the better; if you lift it high, you’re going to start to use your back. We don’t want to use our back in this exercise. We really want to isolate specifically into the hip.
To load my bones a little bit more, I’m actually going to use a dumbbell here. I’ve got a 2 kilo dumbbell; you might want to start with no dumbbell or then start to gradually use a larger weight, maybe a kilo. Place this close to my knee as I can, and I’m going to do that same exercise, lifting that that top knee away from my bottom knee, slowly lifting, slowly lowering down, as you can see; keeping that really nice form. My head’s protected, my neck’s protected. I’m really just exercising into the muscles around my hip. Slow and steady.
For any bone health exercise, remember, we try to do 2 lots of 8 of that specific exercise. I’m hoping I’m about 5 here. I’ve been busy talking and not counting. Let’s call this Number 6. Slow steady movement, not too high, keeping my knees in line with each other. One more time lifting up and slowly lowering down, making sure that you lower the weight down slowly when you perform that exercise. Obviously, you repeat that exercise again on this side, and also too, then perform the same exercise on the other leg in that same position at home; optimally, alternate days of the week, so 2 to 3 times a week to effectively address your bone health.
The second exercise is Side Leg Raise. Staying effectively in that similar position or same position, I’m going to keep my bottom leg slightly bent. I’m going to take my top leg now, straight this time. I’m might move a little bit higher so you can actually see that my toe is pointed downwards. Again, I’m going to use a dumbbell weight along the line of my thigh. You can at home use a cuff weight around your ankle to really effectively strengthen through the hip with this exercise. Here’s my position: My toe’s pointing down to really effectively use my muscles around my hip and let that weight stimulate some bone growth in my hip. I’m going to lift that leg just a small . . . if you can see, it’s not too high; my leg’s in fact just about level with the rest of my trunk, and slowly lowering down. Again, lifting up and slowly lowering down. Can you see how I’ve got my toe pointed downwards and I’m really exercising into those hip muscles. I can actually see my toe in front of my body as I look down, so I know that my leg’s in a good position. I shouldn’t have that leg forward. Again, lifting. I think we are on Number 5 here; and slowly down. Again, that exercise should be pain-free. Slowly down. Last couple; nice steady breathing. Lifting the leg, and down. One last time; lifting up, lowering it down slowly and taking a break.
As I said earlier, you perform that exercise a couple of times on each side, and then move onto your next exercise. Our final exercise is a bridging exercise today. This is an exercise that’s great for hips, and also to affect your back. If you’ve been diagnosed with decreased bone density in your back, also a great exercise to effectively address both those areas. For this exercise, I’m on a firm surface again. I’m going to roll over onto my back. I’m actually going to use 2 weights this time. At home if you’re starting this exercise, you might like to even start with no weight. I’m relaxed through my hip and shoulders; I’ve got my heels nice and close to my bottom. Here’s my dumbbell weights, and I’m going to place them gently onto my hips. Roll my shoulders back and down. I’m going to push down through my heels, and I’m going to lift my bottom off the ground, up to that position there, and slowly down.
My knees are actually fist-width apart, and they’ll stay fist-width apart throughout the entire exercise. My feet are the same; they’re about hip-width apart approximately as you lift and lower. Lifting up, push down through your heels, lift your bottom, and then make sure your slowly lower down. Again, lifting up, so bottom up and slowly lowering down. Some ladies find that these bridging exercises can cause their backs to become sore. If that’s the case, if you find that your back is sore, don’t lift too high. You might find that just doing a smaller lift like this keeps our back comfortable. It will still help to improve your hip bone density. That’s a way of just modifying that exercise if you need to, if you’re someone with a sore back that gets a sore back with this exercise. Let’s do one more of those exercises; lifting up, bottom up, and then slowly lowering your bottom down. Take a break.
Again at home, you can perform that exercise again for another 8 repetitions to, again, effectively address your bone health. What have we done? We’ve done 3 terrific exercises for bone health of your hips. We’ve done a Clam Exercise, which was that side-lying leg lift. We did a side-lying straight leg raise. We also did our Bridging Exercise lying on our back. You can be gradually increasing the weight that you use. For the first couple of weeks, you might use no weight at all. Remembering you’re sure to always use a weight that is comfortable, increasingly lifting a heavier weight so that you stimulate that bone growth.
If you’d like to see some more great bone health exercises, please see my Bone Fit DVD, available at PelvicExercises.com.au. Feel free to visit our site for more great free training videos and therapy articles. Thanks so much for exercising with me today. I’ve enjoyed our exercise session. I look forward to exercising with you soon. Bye for now.