The daily grind of getting up and down from the ground will either do your body good or contribute to extra wear and tear. Get Ups, when performed efficiently, serve as a fitness-building, skill-improving tool that pays dividends for a lifetime – making the ground our ally, instead of a place to dread.
How do you get up from the ground?
Most people don’t think about how they perform this fundamental human movement. As a result, it gradually becomes more difficult until eventually, many people – especially older adults and seniors – avoid, dread, and even fear the ground – not to mention find it very uncomfortable (when it should be associated with rest, ease, and play!). Here at MovNat, we’re on a mission to change that because we believe it should be just as easy and “normal” to sit down on the ground as in a chair, if not more so.
It’s true that Get Ups are rudimentary natural movements. But with a little practice, Get Ups – and their progressions – will contribute to better mobility, fitness, functionality, and even conditioning, especially when you increase the challenge over the basic variations (see below for ideas). Plus, they’ll make everyday life that much easier. And the best part is that virtually anyone can begin practicing proper Get Up skills, and most people make progress quickly.
The first step is to simply become mindful of how you get up and down from the ground. So, go ahead and try it a few times right now.
How did it go? Did you brace or struggle? Did you need to rely on your hands for support? Were you paying attention to your posture, breathing, and movement or did you move mindlessly? How did you feel while performing the movement? And how well do you think you could get up when you’re in a hurry or holding something like a laptop or even a child?
No matter where you’re starting from, there’s always room for improvement in your Get Ups.
5 Natural Ways to Get Up From The Ground Without Using Your Hands
These basic movements do your body good and make your life easier. So, check out the videos below and start practicing these five efficient techniques today!
Get Up #1: Cross Squat Get up
The Cross Squat Get Up is one of the most accessible Get Up movements. It’s perfect for beginners, and is especially useful for standing up from the Cross Sit position (aka “Indian-style” sitting). It also helps improve the stability of the feet, ankles, knees, and hips, among other things.
Note: If this movement is too difficult, there are many ways to modify it to suit your current skill level. See the “Tips” section below for ideas.
Get Up #2: Squat Get up
The Squat Get Up should be a staple in your movement practice. We teach it in our Level 1 certification (along with some of the others on this list). This move is deceptively simple, and many people find it quite difficult. If you’re having trouble with it, work on your Narrow Stance Deep Squat, and make sure you’ve gotten plenty of practice with Rocking. You can click here for a more in-depth tutorial.
Get Up #3: Figure Four Get Up
The Figure Four Get Up is another practical technique that is especially helpful when you need to get up fast and move quickly afterward (e.g. walk, run, etc.). It’s also a natural choice when you’re sitting in a figure four position. Practice it slowly at first, using momentum only as necessary, until you’ve gotten control over each position.
Get Up #4: Side Bent Sit Get Up
The Side Bent Sit Get Up is one of the most stable ways to go from lying or sitting to standing – making it an excellent choice when you have to stand up while carrying a relatively heavy load. This movement is also fantastic for improving the mobility and stability of the hips and legs.
Get Up #5: Single Leg Squat Get up
The Single Leg Squat Get Up is one of the more difficult movements in the MovNat curriculum. It’s also one that provides some of the best bang for your buck in terms of fitness benefits. To prepare for it, make sure you can comfortably hold both the deep squat position and the bent long sit position. You’ll also want to get plenty of practice with the Squat Get Up. You can click here for some more help with this movement.
Note: There are many other ways to Get Up from the ground efficiently, and we teach additional techniques at our MovNat certification courses.
Some of the keys to successful Get Ups are to first learn how to do them efficiently, then practice them frequently, and always perform them mindfully. So, keep that in mind as you practice. Here are some more tips for success:
- Get plenty of practice with Rocking before starting these Get Ups.
- Make sure you’re comfortable in the ground positions (e.g. deep squat, side bent sit, etc.), before you start working on the corresponding Get Up sequences.
- If you’re having trouble, you can:
- Practice by working your way down to the ground from standing (i.e. in reverse).
- Use your hands for additional support.
- Bolster yourself (i.e. to raise your center of gravity).
- Hold a light weight out in front of your chest to help you counterbalance.
- Do these movements while facing a downward slope.
- Avoid bracing, straining, or holding your breath. Relax!
- Use momentum as necessary (e.g. swinging your arms to generate forward/upward drive). However, one of your goals should be to be able to pause in any position during the movement. So, if you have to use momentum, keep practicing until you have full control of every position.
- You can practice these movements as part of a formal workout or practice session. Or, you can simply practice them whenever you get up and down from the ground throughout the day.
- Make it a point to sit on the ground whenever it’s practical to do so. This will give you more opportunities to practice.
You may find that one or two of the techniques come more naturally to you and quickly become your “go to” Get Ups. But there’s a lot of value in practicing several different Get Ups, as each one provides unique benefits. The more ways you know how to get up and down from the ground, the better for not just your movement, but also your health, fitness, and longevity, among other things.
So, along with your movement practice and regular workouts, one of the best things you can do is begin to integrate Get Ups into your daily life. The “training effects” you’ll gain will accumulate benefits for a lifetime.
- Once you’ve learned these basic Get Up movements, you can try putting them together into a sequence (i.e. one after the other).
- As a challenge, try performing Get Ups mindfully and efficiently for 5-10 minutes straight without resting. Or, see how many Get Ups you can perform with good technique in one minute (i.e. as fast as you can).
- To increase the difficulty, you can:
- Add load by carrying something (e.g. in your hands, on your shoulder, chest carry position, etc.).
- Increase your training volume and/or perform the Get Ups faster.
- Add complexity by training outdoors or on an uncomfortable floor.
Get Ups make life easier and provide many fitness benefits – making them a great addition to anyone’s movement practice. These simple movements should be easy to perform – even effortless. But most people need to practice them in the beginning. Before you know it, these movements will become second nature, and you’ll reap the benefits every time you get and and down from the ground.
Go Deeper with Natural Movement
Get Ups are just one small part of the MovNat system.
So, if you’d like to deepen your Natural Movement® practice, join us for a MovNat Level 1 Certification or a MovNat Workshop. We hold events all around the world. Or, find a MovNat Certified Trainer or Gym in your area. We also offer MovNat Online Coaching as an alternative to live instruction.
Most people know that they should be more physically active. Some even recognize the incredible value in a system like MovNat. But they struggle with actually implementing natural movement into their daily lives. That’s why we work closely with people from all walks of life to help them move better, get healthier and stronger, and discover their true potential with natural movement fitness. It’s also why we work extensively with health and fitness professionals who understand the value of this new paradigm and are eager to start implementing it with their clients.
So, if you’re ready to take your movement practice to the next level, this is your chance. Please join our community and check out an event near you soon.
Note: If you know someone who struggles with getting up and down from the ground, please share this article with them!