Pose 1

Getting up off the floor - an important life skill!

By Jaconel Janssen

When was the last time you sat on the floor? Been a while? There are a couple of reasons why you might sometimes swap your soft sofa for a seat on the floor. Not in the least because you will have to get up again…

Many of us are reluctant to sit or do activities on the floor. Maybe we fear not being able to get up. Getting up off the floor requires strength, mobility and coordination. The loss of these skills doesn’t have to be inevitable with age. Use it or lose it, however unpleasant this sounds, is true.

This week’s movement is a chair-assisted floor-to-standing sequence. It will help you gain strength and mobility. Like your squats, make this lunge a regular part of your movement routine, several times a week. They are key ingredients of an active and independent life.

You can use a chair to help you come off the floor with this lunge. Start in an all-four position on the ground (hands and knees).

Use good postural alignment, ears in line with the shoulders, back ‘straight’, avoid rounding the upper back. This is a weight-bearing position for your wrists.

Then lift your hands off the floor, and come facing forward on your shins. Step one foot forward, toes facing straight ahead. You might need to put your foot further forward, so it is directly underneath your knee. Keep the knee facing forward too. Curl the toes of the back foot under.

Push into the front heel and back toes to slowly push yourself up, away from the floor. The chair will be helpful here. Over time, you might use more of your own strength and less of the chair. Do a few in a row, gradually building up the number of repetitions.

There is no need to get rid of your sofa, but do yourself a favour and get down to the ground more often. You will give yourself the chance to strengthen your ‘getting up off the ground’ muscles. This can be a real confidence booster as well as an important like skill. And if you have grandchildren, a dog or a cat, they will be delighted with your new skill too!

Would you like to get more ideas to strengthen your life? Get in touch to find out about chair or floor classes, a ‘movement bundle’ (short video classes you can download onto your computer) or a one-to-one session.

Jaconel Janssen is a Pilates and Buff Bones teacher and founder of Pilates People Cork. She teaches regular movement classes in Cork (Douglas area), both in person and online, and a regular outdoor class. For more information on classes or one-to-one sessions, visit www.pilatespeoplecork.com or Facebook Pilates People Cork or contact info@pilatespeoplecork.com or 085-1613505.