Back in 2012, a Brazilian study looked at people’s ability to sit down on the floor and get up with as little support from their hands, knees and other body parts as possible. With this non-aerobic physical test, which challenges strength, balance, and flexibility, they found a correlation between the ease with which a person could move and longevity.
The test is performed by crossing your feet and sinking down into a seated position on the floor then coming back up again. This is 10 points (5 points for sitting down, 5 for standing back up) but you lose a point for each hand, arm or knee you need for support and half a point if you lose your balance either on the way down or on the way back up. Check out the test here
Don’t try this if you have dodgy knees or hips and if you are doing it, its best with your shoes off.
The ability to get up and down from the floor is important for lots of reasons especially as we get older, and incorporating ground-based movements into your exercise routine not only makes movement in everyday life easier, it also:
- provides a safe environment from which we can start to build strength, balance, stability and flexibility
- encourages movement variability – movement in all directions to build strength at every angle
- gives you lots of options for equipment free workouts
Crawling patterns where we get our opposite limbs to work together also encourage the left and right hemispheres of our brain to build connections, helping build coordination and developing stability and strength between the hips and shoulders.
Rolling patterns promote rotation and spinal mobility, integrates upper and lower body movement, coordination and control through the core and strengthens the ability to shift weight between the upper and lower body.
If you don’t already add ground based exercises into your routine, give it a go to improve how you move.