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Exercises For Thigh Bones


Butterfly variation

The thigh bone in anatomy is called the "Femur." The word "Femur" is the Latin word for thigh.  There are two femur bones, one in each thigh. The femur has a hollow area within which it contains morrow. The production of white blood cells (WBCs) and red blood cells (RBCs) occurs in the bone morrow of the bones of the thigh. From this bone marrow about 180 millions of RBCs are produced every day. During our daily life innumerable RBCs get destroyed and they are replaced by this factory inside the femur. Some production also occurs in the liver and the spleen during early life. But it is negligible later on. The mass production is inside the femur. RBCs and WBCs of the immune system protect the body against both infectious diseases and foreign materials.

Out of the 208 bones in the adult human body, the femur or thighbone is the longest, biggest and the strongest bone and extends from the hip to the knee. It has great amount of minerals and essential elements like 99% of calcium, 88% of phosphorus, low amount of copper, cobalt and other trace elements. Both the ends of the femur are attached on each side with different bones. The head of the femur joins with the cavity in the ileum. It is known as a ball and socket joint. At its lower end it joins with the tibia, fibula and with patella. These bones have two types of bones- compact outer part which is stronger and cancellous and the inner part which is lighter in weight and contains pores. This structure has extra ordinary strength.

The functions of the femur include creating the structure of the thigh, bearing weight, supporting movement of the legs, creating insertion points for muscles and forming blood cells within its bone marrow. Like in a big factory, continuous uninterrupted production of protective elements goes on for all 24 hours.

These bones start degenerating at about 48 years of age because of our being ignorant and negligent about this bone. For example many of our daily chores are done while standing- we use vacuum cleaner in standing position, clothes are washed in washing machines while standing, dishwasher cleans crockery while we stand, kitchens are designed to allow cooking while standing and even toilets are having western style seats. So where do you have the occasion to sit with folded knees? Yes, if we go to attend a gathering to mourn the dead, we may have to sit with folded knees & legs. But these days, chairs are provided there too! So the exercise of femur is lacking. Slowly the functioning of the femur is reduced and conditions that can afflict the femur include infection, trauma, rickets, osteoporosis, cancer, bone marrow disorders and genetic conditions. 

Femur bone is a very important bone. We can’t stand without this bone, what to talk of  walking or running. If these bones are not given proper exercises, they will tend to contract, and there will be stiffness and heaviness in the body. Blood circulation and nerve force will consequently be impeded. Their malfunctioning will disturb the organs. We should remain conscious to protect it. If we make a habit to do the following exercises for sometime during the day, we can protect it all our life and maintain the right circulation in all the body parts.


1. Sit down on the ground by keeping the legs straight. Bend the legs from the knees in such a way that both the soles of the feet remain together, let the heels be nearer to the perineum. Interlock your fingers around the toes and move the knees up and down   like the wings of the butterfly. Do it minimum 8-10 times. Breathe normally. 
As we do butterfly, the heels move away from the body unconsciously.  Each time make conscious efforts to bring the heels closer to the body.

2. Same position but instead of holding the toes, place both hands on the respective knees. Hold the right knee by the right hand and the left knee by the left hand. Now move the knees up and down as done before. Do it minimum 8-10 times. Breathe normally.

3. (a) Sit by keeping the legs straight. Put the right leg on the left thigh. Hold the toes of the right foot by the left hand and hold the right knee by the right hand. Move the right knee up and down for eight to ten times. Breathe normally while doing this. Then rotate the right knee by right hand clockwise first for eight to ten times and then anti clockwise for eight to ten times. Inhale deeply while the knee moves towards the body and exhale while the knee moves away from the body. Then straighten the right leg.

(b)The same exercise should be repeated with the left leg also. For that put the left leg on the right thigh. Hold the left knee by the left hand. Move the left knee up and down for eight to ten times. Then rotate the left knee by left hand clockwise first eight to ten times and then anti clockwise eight to ten times. Inhale deeply while the knee moves towards the body and exhale while the knee moves away from the body. Then straighten the left leg.

Then try to sit in Padmasana (Lotus) by keeping the right leg on the left thigh and then left leg on the right thigh for sometime. If you can’t, then try half Padmasana for a few days. Slowly you’ll be able to sit in full Padmasana.

These butterfly exercises are advantageous for joints of hips, knees as well as ankles. The working capacity of the legs increases because stiffness of joints decreases. Ladies get great advantages to their ovaries. When we perform this exercise it gives the flexibility to the inner thigh and pelvic muscles and also it is good for the lower hips, knees and ankles. Number of joints get lubricated and chances for arthritis and joint pains minimise. 

Courtesy: Dr. Rita Khanna

Aum Shanti


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