By Alex Schenker, MovNat Master Trainer and MNOC Coach

The ability to get up without your hands means more than just having a certain level of strength, flexibility, and coordination. It has been proven to be a shockingly accurate indicator to a person’s longevity, and certainly has direct implications on quality of life. That means if you can get up from the ground without your hands, you’ll likely live longer, and have less physical limitations and pain.

The beautiful thing about MovNat is that if you can’t get up without using your hands – or if you can, but feel unstable – we have a progressive approach to building that ability. That means no matter where you stand on the spectrum of capability with that skill, there is a place that you can start and build up from.

The Cross Squat Get Up starts either in a supine lying position (on your back), or a Cross Sit position on the floor. Rocking back helps to generate momentum that can be used to sit up and transfer your bodyweight from having your weight on your butt to having your weight over your feet.

At first, you’ll want to plant one foot flat on the ground as you rock to your feet. This way you can press the rest of the way up mostly into the foot that is flat, while the outer edge of the other foot rests on the ground. This way may feel like a one-legged squat with a kickstand, and it allows you to taper how much you load the edge of your foot.

Once you build the intrinsic foot strength required to press up and lower down on the outer edge of both feet, you won’t need to shift your weight to one leg as you transition up and down. But proceed carefully if you haven’t built strong ankles and feet yet.

When you get the feeling of this movement, there are lots of variations that you can use to progress this skill, and different practical applications, such as breakfalling, or rising to your feet while turning 180°.

Try to practice this movement slowly and be careful to only progress when you are properly conditioned and ready. Skipping steps only creates deeper problems and taking time with your progressions builds a stronger foundation and helps prevent easily avoidable training injuries. Thank you for reading, please enjoy, and let us know what you think if you give this a try!

About the Author

Alex Schenker is a MovNat Master Trainer, Martial Arts Instructor, Movement Therapist, and the creator of Natural Mobility. His approach emphasizes restoring and maintaining the natural state of our human bodies, reconnecting with the evolutionary movement aptitudes of our species, as well as stimulating our own natural healing capabilities through corrective exercise. Alex coaches people privately, and teaches regular weekly MovNat & Combatives classes in Toronto, Canada. Follow him on Instagram: @naturalmobility.

Alex Schenker


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