Do You Use Your Hands to Stand Up?

Tuesday, December 27, 2022

When you’re down on the floor do you have to crawl over to the coffee table to hoist yourself up? Or push off the couch or chair to return to standing? What about sitting? Do you basically let yourself fall into the chair, or do you rely on your hands to lower yourself down?

You might be thinking, “Of course I don’t use my hands,” in which case test it out. You may be surprised to find out that our bodies sometimes, without our knowledge, decide to take the easiest path possible. It’s not good because the easiest path can lead to deconditioning. That’s not good because letting go of conditioning is only going to lead to additional easy path-taking and more de-conditioning. That business must be nipped in the bud if we want to get around on our own for as long as possible.

What it means
If you’re using your hands to assist in the up-and-down, that may mean you have a weak core or perhaps are in need of more full-body strength. It could also mean you’ve got mobility or flexibility limitations. Preserving our strength, mobility, balance and flexibility – all skills central to the task of getting up and down – is essential to our overall vitality and possibly even longevity.

If you find yourself needing a little sit-stand re-conditioning, Katie Couric is happy to offer you a few minutes with her personal Pilates instructor. Ashley Patten shows you the key moves in this 4.5-minute video. (Scroll down to the bottom of the article; the video is embedded.) I was really curious how you get up off the floor without at least using your hands to get your feet underneath you. We don’t just levitate up. There is an answer for that; it’s worth checking out.