A typical day in the life of the parent of a small child involves countless reps of getting onto the floor to play, to clean, to lift a child. And believe it or not it’s a skill.
Being able to get up and down off the floor, without using your hands and with ease, is a huge boon to a new parent.
Last week I wrote a post about one of my absolute favorite training flows: the Turkish get-up. And while I love it for a million reasons (go read the post!), I don't think it's necessarily the most practical if what you are really trying to do is simply learn to get up and down off the floor without using your hands.
Here are a few skills to practice to build your get-up skills.
1) Practice exhaling as you stand or engage in difficult movements. Many people have a tendency to breath hold and grunt as they stand, which can place excess pressure through the core and pelvic floor. This breath-holding strategy might not be the biggest deal in the world for people who have never had a baby, but if you are pregnant or recently postpartum, the core and pelvic floor can already be responding to the strain of growing a baby and may not appreciate the extra load. Check out the extra resources at the end of this post for more information on breathing strategies.
2) Next, get comfortable with lunging, all the ways. No matter how you get up and down off the floor, you’ll probably take advantage of a lunge stance at some point.
Once you are comfortable lunging, you're ready to try:
3) Kneeling hip hinge to standing. The key here is to use your glutes (your butt muscles) to drive your hips into extension. Take advantage of your breath to stabilize yourself as you come up. Inhale to prepare, exhale to move. You can (and probably should) reset your breath between the discrete portions of this exercise.
4) 90/90 or Z-sit to standing. Here’s a variation on the previous strategy. Although it looks a little different, still think about using your glutes to pop your hips up into extension. This can feel awkward if you've never done it, but it's good to get comfortable with awkward when you're a parent!
5) Pick up your baby. Add a little weight to your get-up, because really- are your hands ever free? I don’t think you need to be really precise in your loading here. Just practice being deliberate about standing up and down with stuff in your arms.
6) 5 minutes get up and down how ever you can. Try not to use your hands. Free form friends, get creative. Get comfortable.
Let me know how it goes! I wish you the strength and confidence to get off the ground with ease. Questions? Drop a comment or send me a message!
Laura is a personal trainer and kettlebell instructor, based in Redmond, WA, exclusively serving pregnant and postpartum people. In addition to providing personal training, she offers additional perinatal support- as a Seattle-area birth doula and by offering pelvic health support services, online or in-person. Contact her through her website by clicking here.