How to Strengthen the Neck of the Femur
The neck of the femur, or femoral neck, connects the femoral head -- the rounded tip of the femur that fits into the hip socket -- to the trochanters. The greater and lesser trochanters, which are bony protrusions on the femur, look similar to small shoulders. The femoral neck is narrower than the rest of the femur, and it is subjected to a lot of stress when you move. The femoral neck is the site of a large number of hip fractures.
Walk an average of 30 minutes every day. Weight-bearing exercises, such as walking, help bone growth and lower your risk for hip fractures. If you are in good health, you might be able to perform other weight-bearing cardiovascular exercises such as jogging.
Do some forward lunges. According to research presented at the American Society of Biomechanics conference, forward lunges can help prevent femoral neck fractures. To perform a forward lunge, stand with your feet next to each other. Lift one foot off the floor slowly, and take a step forward. With both feet on the ground, bend your knees and allow your back heel to lift off the ground. Return to the starting position by pushing off the floor with your front foot. Start by performing as many repetitions as you can with good form. Work your way up to 12 repetitions.
Perform wall squats to build bone density and leg strength. This exercise is a good alternative for individuals who have trouble balancing in a lunge. Because you lean your entire back against the wall while you bend and straighten your legs, you can use the wall to maintain your balance. Hold each wall squat for three or four seconds and repeat up to 12 times.
Walking, forward lunges and wall sits can be a part of a balanced fitness routine. Round out your strength-training program with other exercises that target your arms, chest and abdomen. Eat a well-balanced diet that contains enough calcium and vitamin D. Well-balanced diets are important components of bone health.
If you have balance problems, osteoporosis or arthritis in the hip, consult with your health care provider before engaging in activities that stress the femoral neck. To prevent injury, warm up with at least five minutes of light cardiovascular exercise such as moderately-paced walking before all of your workouts.
- Treatment of Common Hip Fractures; M. Butler, et al.
- Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research: Patients With Femoral Neck and Intertrochanteric Fractures. Are They the Same?
- American Society of Biomechanics: Effects of Exercises for Prevention of Femoral Neck Fracture on Dynamics and Finite-Element Model Simulation
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Hip Fractures Among Older Adults
- The Merck Manual for Health Care Professionals: Osteoporosis
- American Fitness Professionals & Associates: Osteoporosis and Exercise
- American Council on Exercise: Forward Lunge
- Action Plan for Menopause; Barbara Ann Bushman and Janice Clark Young
Kat Black is a professional writer currently completing her doctorate in musicology/ She has won several prestigious awards for her research, and has had extensive training in classical music and dance.