Can you get up from the floor with no hands?

Studies correlate the “ability to sit and rise from the floor without support” with a longer life expectancy.
Carey Sadler, Owner, Rivercity Pilates North Liberty.

When was the last time you did something that you previously could not do in your movement practice?

I think as kids we often challenge ourselves to try new things or push ourselves to do something physically that we tried and couldn’t do, but it seems so many adults have forgotten about how much fun this process can be and how fabulous it feels when you accomplish your goals.

If you’ve been in the studio you may have seen the slant board that we use for a variety of exercises and movements.  One of my favorite things to practice and teach on it is a movement where you practice squatting and sitting on the board, you roll down to the board and then you roll yourself back up and bring yourself to standing.  This exercise helps us build and maintain the strength and mobility that our bodies need to get to the floor and back up with ease. 

For 2 months Becky practiced this movement with a little assistance from me and by modifying the movement to her working level as she practiced. She also practiced other movements in her sessions that would help her build to being able to do this movement fully.   Just last week I watched her as she practiced this movement without assistance for the first time…and it was so exciting!!

There is something so satisfying about knowing that your consistent practice and dedication to your movement practice is helping you improve your strength and mobility and is helping you do things better in life!! As adults I honestly think people forget that they can do these things! I think they forget how rewarding it is do work toward a goal and accomplish it!

This week I want you to think about a physical goal for your movement practice. What do you want to be able to do that you are not able to do right now. Here’s just a few ideas of things: 

  • I want to be able to get to the floor and back up with ease,
  • I want to be able to hike for an hour and not be exhausted,
  • I want to be able to do 3 pushups,
  • I want to be able to stand on one foot for 30 seconds.

Just for fun, pick a goal and let me know what it is.  If you email me I’ll send you some quick suggestions on ways you could work toward your goals and I’ll check in with you at the first of the year to see how you are doing on your goal!

In her words…..

Practicing getting up and down on the slant board at Rivercity Pilates.

I read a story somewhere that basically said your ability to get to the floor and back up without support was a sign of your life expectancy, and I shared it with Carey during a session. As you can imagine, she had me try it right away, and while I could get down to the floor mostly in control if I used my hands, getting back up was a little more complicated. I could do it, but it wasn’t smooth or easy and I definitely needed to use my hands. It’s still not easy, but I’m making progress, and this week I was able to do it without using my hands – YAY!

I’m not particularly comfortable sharing the video of me on the slant board with the world, but it shows things that I want others to know about Pilates..

  • Practicing Pilates consistently is magical. Ok..maybe not really magical but it seems that way when you notice the results in your body! It’s about practicing the Pilates method to build strength, correct imbalances (sometimes I think this is code for relieving pain) and learning what works to feel better & move better!  

  • Sharing things with your Pilates instructor is good! The first question Carey asks me in every session I take is “how’s your body feeling today?”. When you share how you are feeling and what you want to work on in your body your teacher will be able to adjust what you are doing that day(and future days)  so that you get the most benefit in your body and life.  

    I knew I wanted to be able to get on and off the floor without using my hands, but it was Carey who made sure that every Pilates session I took contained exercises to help me build the strength I would need.
  • Listen to your body when it whispers, (and share it with your Pilates instructor), and practice Pilates consistently.  You’ll get to celebrate moments like this!