Getting Up – Survival Fitness
Being capable of getting up and down off the floor, without support, is a life saving skill. We take this skill for granted when we’re young and youthful, but as we age many of us will find our ability to simply stand up becomes compromised. How often do you see an older person have trouble getting up off of their chair, car, or public transit seat? If they have trouble squatting up and down from their seat, you can guarantee that getting up and down off of the floor is almost impossible without support or assistance.
If you’re young and injury free, this may not seem like a big deal to you. But as you age, it can (and most likely will) literally mean the difference between life and death. Falls are the leading cause of injury based death in adults over the age of 65. If an older person loses balance, the ability to regain balance, or pick themselves up from the floor could mean the difference survival or death. Being able to stand up could mean the ability to call for help, or not simply lay there alone for hours or days until found – hopefully alive.
As we age our balance, mobility, strength, and coordination begin to decline with each passing year. Without regularly training our ability to regain our balance, challenge our coordination, or get up and down from the floor, we’ll loose the ability completely.
What you do all the time, what your practice, and what your train will be the abilities you keep as you age. What you don’t train, you will lose. Things do not get better in time, they only get worse, and you must train essential movement patterns diligently in order to keep them. So even if you’re not older right now, you must train in order to maintain your ability to get up.
So what can we do, during dedicated gym time and in day to day life, in order to make sure we maintain our ability to “get up”?
“Getting Up” In Your Day To Day Life
1.) Get on the floor:
Spend time on the floor while watching tv, playing video games, or using your lap top. The more time you spend on the floor, the more comfortable you will be with getting up and down from the floor. Exposure to the environment, and getting comfortable always getting down and getting up from it, will ensure you have many ways of accomplishing that task. The regular exposure to being on the floor, will mean getting up and down from it is something you’ll be doing all the time. This means you’ll be “greasing” your ability to do it with ease. Furthermore, sitting/laying in different positions on the floor means you’ll never be in one static posture for too long (as you are with sitting in a chair) and is great for over all health and posture.
2.) Take the stairs:
Strong and sturdy legs are needed to get up and down from the floor. Using the stairs each day, in the office, the mall, or at home, is a great way to add in some lower body “work” and maintain the ability to shift weight onto one leg at a time, while it raises and lowers your body. Think of them as “shallow lunges”. For an extra challenge, while going up the stairs try skipping a step and making your strides longer/higher – this will make it feel more like a lunge or step up.
“Getting Up” And Down In The Gym
1.) Train your push up:
The push up? What does that have to do with getting up?
Well, let me tell you – if you fall on your face, you’ll want to roll over right? If you can push your bodyweight up and down, you can certainly push and roll yourself over. Also, the ability to push your upper body up will allow you to get into a position to lunge or squat back up on your feet. Upper body strength is needed to get up and down off the floor, from your belly or your side, train it.
2.) Don’t skip your leg days:
Train the classic lower body movements! Train them off of machines, train them on an open floor, and get used to raising and lowering your own bodyweight. Train your squats, lunges, hinges, step ups, and bridges. Get comfortable getting in and out of those positions with your own body weight at first, and then add weight. Train them regularly, and do it forever and ever. If you train these movements, you’ll maintain the mobility required to do them. Further more, if you’re training these movements with additional weight, you’l be developing the ability to EASILY perform them without any added weight, meaning getting up and down from the floor will not be difficult from a strength perspective.
3.) Try adding in Turkish Get Ups:
Turkish get ups are a fantastic exercise for developing core stability, shoulder stability, total body coordination, they work the upper and lower body, and … you guessed it … they help train you to get up and down from the floor. While the turkish get up is a great exercise, it’s also a HIGHLY technical exercise. This means you’ll need to learn it from a skilled trainer, who can help guide you through the finer points and technique. If you want to add them to your training, you’ll need to learn how to perform them correctly in oder to avoid injury. Ask one of our skilled Wynn Fitness Trainers for help and they’ll be more than happy to guide you.
So there you have it, some simple ways to add “getting up” to your day to day life and training routine. In our next blog post we’ll be continuing to cover “survival fitness” , helping you age well and last longer in this wild world.