Tuesday, July 19, 2011

I've Fallen and I Can't Get Up

Jeff Martone has NO problem getting up off the ground.

It has been said that we do not stop playing because we get old, we get old because we stop playing. 


If you compared the movements of a toddler getting from supine to standing, to those of a senior citizen, you would probably note many similarities. Fundamental movement skills would be shaky. The toddler has a life time to learn them, the senior citizen is struggling to retain them. Somewhere in between we could use some awareness and practice.

There seems to be some stigma attached to getting on the ground. Some martial arts like jiujitsu give you an immediate introduction to understanding understanding it. Even the basic yoga class gets you grounded and familiar with the floor and gravity. However a simple exercise used by strong men years ago and now refined by fitness educators can retrain your elegance and return you to a state of play with the added advantage of healthy exercise.

The Turkish Get Up is a simple yet streamlined tool that not only provides a high level of conditioning for the torso muscles, it also improves shoulders, hips, legs and arms. It's attention to detail can be overwhelming but it is best learned under some supervision of a training partner or instructor. While the exercise is old, the current updates have been provided by Gray Cook and Brett Jones. They call their methodology, Kalos Sthenos or "Beautiful Exercise".

Here is a very nice breakdown of the get up on the "Begin 2 Dig" Blog.


After this refinement, like all things,..other instructors want to simplify the method or simply add their own twist. Once again here is a detailed analysis. I'd urge you to read this simply because it is well done.



Below are a series of shots of Robin White doing the fundamental movement. Remember, once you stand up, you have to reverse your action and get back down.


 Remember, about one third of the elderly population over the age of 65 falls each year and the risk of falls increases proportionately with age. At 80 years, over half of seniors fall annually. Just the strength and skill surrounding doing a Turkish Get Up will certainly be a step in the right direction.

Below is my friend Steve Cotter demonstrating the epitome of The Turkish Getup. The TWO HANDED GET UP WITH 70 POUND KETTLEBELLS. ENJOY.