What are Ground to Standing Exercises and why do we like them?
The most famous is the Turkish Get Up: Put simply, The Turkish get-up (TGU) is getting up off the ground with a weight in your hand. It is a challenging exercise made up of a number of complex movements involving almost the entire body. The TGU is extremely effective at developing the coordination and strength to stand up from a lying position, but it is not the only exercise that can do this – you can also practice rolling from sitting to standing or for the less able-bodied how about sitting on a chair and getting up without putting your hands on anything? The TGU is however, one of the near perfect, whole body exercises that requires both balance and flexibility and will can build strength.
Why are ground to standing exercises important?
You mastered sitting down, then standing up again – two of the most basic exercises – when you were still a baby, and no doubt you think you’ve never had a problem with them since. But can you pass the sit-down-stand-up test? It’s a longevity test devised by a team of Brazilian researchers and was written up in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology. It has proven to be predictive of how long you’ll live—or, to be more accurate, of how long you won’t. You can read the full study – Ability to sit and rise from the floor as a predictor of all-cause mortality.
For the study, adults (average age 62) were asked to stand barefoot and then try to sit down on the floor and stand up unassisted. The goal was for each person to use his or her knees, arms and hands as little as possible and to perform the sitting and standing motions as gracefully as possible. Researchers scored the participants from zero to 10 with 10 being the best possible score and with points being taken off for unsteadiness and for touching the floor with knees, hands or arms. Over the next six years, researchers tracked which participants died, and here’s what they discovered: Those who had scored the poorest on the test (between zero and three) were 5.4 times more likely to die than those with the top scores (between eight and 10)—and this was true after researchers adjusted for sex, age and body mass index. Not to alarm you but… maybe you should start practicing?
So back to the Turkish Get-Up?
The TGU is a highly functional movement that is great because it requires all the muscles of the body working together in order to accomplish the task. The get-up is a lift that teaches you how to move with and under a weight. It’s a fantastic way to teach body awareness and body control. It’s also a great exercise for one of the weakest parts of the human body… the shoulder. So have I talked you into it yet? Here is a step by step guide to Turkish Get-Ups. But I do recommend working with a trainer rather than tackling this one on your own, unless you’re already pretty confident.