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DOWN AND UP FROM THE FLOOR

If you are having difficulties getting on the floor and getting back up – and if this is something you want to do – you can learn a safe way, whatever your situation. There is no magical cure, however, since this is a learned skill which depends on:  your overall fitness level; your environment; your level of motivation; and your physical practice. And your way of maneuvering “down and up” will be a unique and safe method designed just for you! So let’s begin to find your way…

Begin with a self-assessment of you and your environment

Be honest with yourself and identify for right now where you’re at with your physical fitness; what physical weaknesses or vulnerabilities do you have and what are your physical strengths?  For example, if you’ve had a recent knee replacement, putting pressure on that joint is not a reasonable idea for now. If you have a strong upper body, let’s use those arms to push up from the floor. If you experience dizziness, a roll-over technique might not be suitable. If you have excess weight for your body frame, this presents more of a challenge.  Also, what is your overall fitness level? Your fitness includes muscle strength, flexibility, balance, and motor coordination – all elements you need to navigate your down and up successfully. If you are very sedentary and sit too much during the day, remember that any exercise will trigger “mitochondrial biogenesis” (cell growth) so get moving as a first step.  Now, let’s take a look at your particular environment at home and safety features. Do you live alone? Are you on one floor? Do you regularly use steps? Have you identified safety risks and hazards (eg, loose flooring, lack of hand rails, etc.)? Are safety features evident in your home, such as good lighting, non-slip rugs, clear paths free of obstacles, sturdy furniture, alert/communication devices, etc? Do you have an area (at home or at your gym) where you can safely practice your down and up?

Motivation…what’s your “why”?

????????????????????????Let’s be honest. You can probably live your life without ever seeing the floor up close again. If its hard or painful to do, you may avoid the floor totally and accept this reality. But, aside from the fact that its related to your safety and a good skill to have as you age, you can increase your motivation to learn and practice if you have a specific reason…your “Why?” Your “why” can be your desire to continue your yoga practice, or your gardening/yard work,  your love of sitting on the beach, or playing with your dog. For me, a big part of my “why” is my grandkids and wanting to roll and tumble with them. (check two of my “whys” on the left). I might also add a “shout out” to the many wonderful women at Empower Fitness who joined the gym with a determination to be healthier and more fit, and are already committed to getting down and up! In the picture below, a group of Empower Fitness gym members are practicing together at my “Down and Up” Workshop this morning…

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Set a specific goal and practice, practice, practice

(1) Method 1 (using knees):  Step back; Kneel on one knee; Hand on the floor; All fours; Lean and sit on side; Reverse steps to get back up

(2) Method 2 (using upper body):  Lean forward with knees slightly bent; Place hands firmly on floor; Walk feet back into a comfortable “downward dog” position; Your toes are turned under; Twist torso to one side and place butt on floor; Reverse steps to get back up

(3) Method 3 (using a prop):  Find a sturdy stool or chair to assist you; Lean forward onto chair and proceed with Method 1.

If any one of the above methods exceeds your current fitness level, break down into smaller steps. For example, if a goal is to bend on a knee, you might start with increasing the range of motion in the knee joint and strengthening the quadricep muscle for better support. Remember that accomplishing any physical goal requires you to move beyond a grand declaration, requires some sort of physical practice on a consistent basis. Get started, keep going, you can do this, you’re worth it!

1 Comment
  1. Thank you Joan for this great workshop. Now I will get DOWN on the floor more often to do the exercises to help my ‘core’ AND not be fearful of getting ‘UP’ from the floor in case I fall. You made it look so easy and guess what, it was!!
    Thanks again.
    Rorie

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Lawrence Shopping Center
(near Burlington Coat Factory)
2495 Route 1 at Texas Ave.
Lawrenceville, NJ 08648

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phone: 609.882.4500
fax: 609.406.1471

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