RQOW: Getting up from the floor

One of my readers wants to know: What muscles do you strengthen to make it easier to get up and down from the floor? It's interesting that this person asked that question because a study recently came out suggesting that the ability to get up and down from the floor is one measure of fitness and may even be related to mortality.

The study was published in European Journal of Preventive Cardiology and involved over 2,000 adults ages 51-80.

These adults were rated on a scale of 1-10 on how well they could rise from the floor using the least amount of support. Each time they used other body parts for support - a hand, a knee, forearm, etc. - or lost their balance, a point was subtracted. They followed these subjects over 6 years to see the relationship between mortality and their ability to sit and rise from the floor - or what they call SRT (for sitting-rising test). Their conclusion: "Musculoskeletal fitness, as assessed by SRT, was a significant predictor of mortality in 51-80-year-old subjects." You can see an example of the test in this YouTube video.

Most of us probably didn't know that SRT was used as a fitness assessment, but it makes sense. The ability to get up and down from the floor is a simple way of gauging someone's balance, coordination, strength and flexibility. I notice that, when I start training some of my older clients, many of them don't want to do exercises on the floor because it's hard for them to get up and down.

But, that ability improves as they build overall strength and coordination with strength training, cardio, balance and flexibility exercises.

All of that leads us back to our questions of the day: First, how do you rate when you get up and down from the floor? Take a look at the video I linked to above and take your own little SRT test.

Second, how do you improve your ability to sit and rise from the floor? I'm working on a specific workout for this but, for now, focusing on exercises that build all those things I mentioned above (balance, strength, coordination, flexibility) can help. Below are my favorite articles, workouts and exercises for targeting all of these different areas of fitness:

What do you think? Do you have trouble getting up and down from the floor? Do you worry about that and want ways to improve it? How would you strengthen your body so that this movement is easier? 

Updated: I wanted to let my readers know that I did, indeed, address this with a later blog post offering a workout to strengthen the muscles required to get up and down and a step by step article showing you how to safely get up and down from the floor. Getting Up and Down From the Floor.

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