Get Up and Get Going
Many physical therapy patients are unable to get up off the floor without the assist of a piece of furniture or a caregiver. Not being able to transfer efficiently from the ground to standing upright makes us more likely to be injured and less likely to live independently. Transferring from the floor to standing is an essential movement skill that responds very favorably to training. For the last year, I have been using a simple three movement training routine with physical therapy and fitness clients. Watch the video and give this routine a place in your training schedule.
This three exercise routine requires some open space and a lot of concentration. Perform the routine in the order presented with as little rest as possible. Once you have made it through all three movements, rest as long as needed before performing another trip through the three exercises.
- Half Get Up x 3 on each side.
- Forward Crawl x 10 – 30 yards.
- Sandbag Carry x 20 – 40 yards.
Half Get Up
To perform the Half Get Up, you need to find an open space big enough for you to lay supine. Make sure you have enough space—you do not want to collide with anything during this exercise. You can use a kettlebell or dumbbell or no weight at all (naked half get up). Alternate sides, perform one repetition on the right, and then on the left. Keep your eyes focused on the kettlebell at all times.
- Select a light kettlebell and place it on your right side. Roll onto the right side and grip the kettlebell in the web of your thumb and index finger. The handle should pass in an angle across the palm. Maintain a strong grip and a straight wrist during the exercise
- Roll over to supine and press the kettlebell to a lockout position. The left arm is held at a 45 degree abducted position on the ground.
- Bend the right knee and plant the right foot on the ground with a slightly abducted (20 – 30 degrees) hip position.
- Push with the right hip and rotate left as you drive the kettlebell toward the ceiling. Lift the upper body off the ground and onto the left elbow.
- Continue to push the kettlebell up and come up onto the left hand. Keep a strong grip, proud chest and the eyes on the kettlebell.
- Raise the hips off the floor by extending the left hip and pushing up with the right hip. You will be supporting the upper body with the left arm.
- Push the arms apart and hold a tight brace through the muscles in your middle. Hold this position for three seconds and then lower back down to the starting position in a controlled fashion.
- Switch to the other side and repeat.
When a tiger stalks it prey, it stays low to the ground and looks straight ahead. Try to keep that in mind when you crawl. As you crawl try to keep the knees close to the ground and the hips low. Hold your head up and use a long reach with the arms. Your torso will turn as you perform the reciprocal movement with your hips. Don’t rush through the crawl–use a deliberate and steady pace.
Start with a functional load—similar to the bag of groceries or basket of wet laundry. Work up to the 30 pound bag of dog food. Wrap your arms around the sandbag and hug it to your body. Do not interlock the fingers or grab the other arm. Just squeeze the bag tight against your body and walk. Keep the shoulder blades down your back and relax the neck. Brace the abdominal muscles and concentrate on contracting the gluteal muscles as you walk. Walk 20 – 40 yards.
Many of my clients have reported that all physical challenges outside of the gym became easier with consistent practice of this routine. Mowing the lawn, carrying in the groceries, and getting up out of bed in the morning all became more graceful and efficient. It takes about 12 minutes for most people to complete two trips through this routine. Try it twice a week for the next six weeks.
View video: here
Michael O’Hara PT, OCS, CSCS