Being able to get up from the floor is often a task that we take for granted until it is something that we are no longer able to perform. When we are younger, we typically don't think twice about getting down and back up from the floor, but as we age, this is usually a task that becomes increasingly difficult. The reason it becomes difficult is because it is a skill that we usually stop practicing or performing. However, the ability to get down and up from the floor is so important for our independence and safety as we age.
We typically think of practicing how to get up from the floor as only being a task for older adults. However, this is a skill that we should practice at all ages, so that it does not become a skill that we must relearn when we are older. In this month's blog, we will look at the different steps in how to safely get up from the floor and then we will break down each step and provide you with an exercise that can help you accomplish that step easier. Our goal is that you be able to use these videos as a guide to not only help yourself maintain this skill, but that you can also share this knowledge with your friends and family so that they can also maintain the ability to perform this important skill.
Getting Up From the Floor
We will start by showing you how to get up from the floor from lying on your back. Obviously, there are multiple ways to accomplish the task of getting up from the floor; however, for simplicity we are going to cover one way that is typically the most efficient and effective way for most people to get up from the floor. Reference the video below for a visual of what these steps look like.
Lying on your back, start by bending one knee and use that leg to help you roll to your side
From lying on your side, press up onto hands and knees
From hands and knees go to a 1/2 kneeling position
From 1/2 kneeling raise up to a standing position (you may need a sturdy piece of furniture to help you press up from the kneeling position)
Step 1: Roll to Your Side
Now let's break down each step and look at an exercise to help support that step. As you can see above, the first step is rolling to your side. This can sometimes be a challenging step for people due to a lack of core strength and even trunk mobility. To help with this step, we are demonstrating an arm bar movement. This movement requires both core stability and trunk mobility to really assist with the physical requirements for this step. The arm bar is a challenging movement if it is not something that you have done before. I would recommend starting without holding onto a weight and then progress to adding weight as you feel comfortable. If this is a movement you are familiar with, for an added challenge you can hold the handle of the KB with the bell up! I would perform 2 sets of 5-8 reps each side.
Step 2: Press Up Onto Hands and Knees
After you get to your side, the next step is to press up to your hands and knees. In my experience, when transitioning to your hands and knees, it can be challenging to get your bottom arm in a position to be able to press yourself up from the floor. So for this position, we have provided a sidelying press up, which works on getting the bottom arm in the correct position and helps to build arm strength and also core stability to begin pressing up from your side to allow you the ability to transition to your hands and knees. It is important to perform this exercise on both sides, so that you not only strengthening both sides equally, but to ensure that you can safely get up from either side. Perform 2 sets of 10-15 reps/side for this exercise.
Step 3: 1/2 Kneeling Position
Once you get to your hands and knees, your next move will be to come to a 1/2 kneeling position. Being in a 1/2 kneeling position takes a good amount of core/hip stability and balance. Performing an alternating 1/2 kneeling is a great way to help improve your balance and stability in this position. When switching legs, make sure to keep your trunk stable and limit swaying side to side. If you have knee pain or difficulty kneeling, you can place a small pillow or a folded towel under your knee to provide some padding. If you have difficulty maintaining your balance in this position, you can hold onto something for support and to advance this exercise, you can hold onto a weight. Complete 2 sets of 20 reps total (10x/side).
Some people following knee surgery or a knee replacement have been instructed that they should never kneel again. If this is your situation, I would be happy to speak with you further on this topic or also show you alternate ways to get up without requiring you to kneel.
Step 4: Rise Up to a Standing Position
The final step getting up from the floor is to stand up from the 1/2 kneeling position. This may seem like a fairly easy step, but this task requires significant leg strength, core stability, and also balance. If you are not regularly getting down on the ground and getting back up or performing lunges and kneeling activities on a regular basis, this is the most challenging step in the process.
In the video, we demonstrate a weighted 1/2 kneeling to standing, but this movement easily be regressed if you are not comfortable with this step. If you are not getting up from the floor regularly, you may need to use a sturdy piece of furniture to assist you in standing up. You can place your hands on the piece of furniture to press up from as a good starting place. Then if you are able to get up without needing the assistance from your arms, you can perform the 1/2 kneeling to standing without weight or lightly holding onto something for balance/support. Then once you have mastered that skill, you can add weight. To advance this movement, you can increase the weight or hold the weight overhead. Perform 5-8 reps/side for this exercise.
Wrapping It Up
If we have not emphasized it enough already, it is SO important to make sure that you continue to practice the skill of getting up from the floor throughout your life. Do NOT wait to practice this skill until it is something that you are not able to do because by that time it takes a lot longer to relearn and/or build up the strength and mobility required to perform the task. We hope that you have found this series of videos to be helpful and that it can serve as a good resource for your friends and family. If you or a friend/family member are having difficulty with getting up from the floor or you are concerned with falls and balance, we would love to help assist with fall prevention and fall recovery. You can reach out via phone call or text at 515-985-9038 or email email@example.com.