Today, we are going from the floor to the ceiling!
Over the last month or so, we have been working on going from the floor to standing up with as little assistance as possible. Far from a circus trick to impress your friends (this trick gets more impressive the older we get - five-year olds won't be impressed at all, 55-year olds would likely quite impressed), this little gem may also predict how long you are likely to live. Researchers have found that the less assistance you need to get up off the ground, in terms of touches, the less likely you are to die. We have discussed several strategies including stiffening the torso, slowing down exercise to build strength and stability, and, most recently, kneeling on one knee and practicing driving up from the ground.
The original study is based on a participant sitting flat on the ground (say, cross legged) and getting up without touching the floor other than the feet. While this is a really good way to test for total pelvic-hip core strength, it is unlikely to be the way most people would get up from the ground by choice and, quite frankly, it puts a fair amount of stress on the knee joints. Given the patient population that reads this blog, we are going to reserve teaching/training methods to get up from the full sitting position for the clinical setting to avoid creating any unnecessary injuries!
Honestly, anyone who can stand up off the floor from a full kneeling position without using their hands is well on their way to good core strength, balance, stability - and I believe they will be able to maintain their health and independent living for a long time!
Put It Together!
- Start out on all fours (face all the way to the ground as if looking for a bug optional).
- Raise your torso up without using your hands to the full kneeling position.
- Raise one leg up so the foot is flat on the floor. If possible, do so without the use of support of either hand, but feel free to use one until you are stable. Drive up through the heel of the raised leg, ideally without any assist, but feel free to use the palm on the same side leg or touching a wall or chair as necessary.
- Actively bring the down leg up into the upright posture.
- Stand up tall! You did it!
If you have worked through this whole series, congratulations! If you are just starting with today's post, go back and read the previous ones from the beginning - it is worth it. The ability to go from "floor to ceiling" under your own power is really an incredible gift, just ask someone who can't do it. Believe me, that will not be the only physical limitation they have in their life. A solid frame to get up off the floor with translates into so many daily activities and minimizes the aches and pains of daily life. Remember to master all of the steps: getting out of a chair, creating a stiff torso with the wall exercise and half kneeling. Use modifications as long as you need to until you get it right. Slow down movements to bring out weak spots and don't be discouraged! The time you put in will return to you many fold!
Yours in Health,
Doug Williams, D.C. Care Chiropractic Lafayette, Indiana