Getting Up Out of a Chair...
If you are reading this Blog, chances are good that you have read the previous two Blogs concerning "getting old" and pain AND you probably are beginning to understand that "getting old" does not have to hurt as long as you take proper steps to strengthen and keep strong your muscles.
This week we are going to talk the "potty squat".
Well, more importantly, getting up off the potty, or any chair for that matter. For some reason, our clients are OK with not being able to get out of a chair at the kitchen table but are horrified of not being able to get off the toilet. So here is what it takes, with a few disclaimers... and here's why...
You see, squatting or coming out of a squat requires your body to stabilize a number of different joints in a number of different planes all at the same time!
It is an actual orchestration of forces if you will. When everyone in the orchestra is playing their part and doing it well, the sound is flawless. The same holds true for the body. As we come back to a standing position from a seated position, it will be effortless when the muscles are all doing their part. And when one or more of your muscles stop generating the force to keep everything moving and keep everything in sync, well then... getting up becomes difficult or looks and feels.... let's say un-natural.
Now because this is an orchestration of many moving parts there are few hundred potential solutions for what may be limiting this movement.
So for this post, we will focus on one of the most overlooked and undertrained areas of the body......the foot and ankle. Why this is the case I am not sure but most personal trainers/therapist overlook this vital piece of the movement puzzle.
Here we go.......Have a seat on your favor commode or chair if you feeling less adventurous as you start out. We understand.
Now sit nice and tall and straighten your legs out in front of you so your heels are on the ground and your knees are only slightly bent. Now without bending the knees more and keeping your heels on the ground....pull your toes off the ground.....Wait, just the toes! The foot stays flat on the ground. Hold that position of toe extension for 1 min. You should feel this on the top of the foot and up onto your shins. Now bend the knees a little more and repeat in three positions of knee flexion(bent knee, knee towards your bum) You will do this until your ankles are slightly past your knees in the bent position.
Next go back out with your legs almost all the way straight again. Now pull up on the toes and the forefoot, keeping the heel on the ground. You should feel this up the front of your shins. Hold for 1 min and repeat in the same fashion you did for the toes.
In total it will take you 6 minutes to complete. Do it at least three times a day if not every time you find yourself in a seated position.
This will greatly increase your foot and ankle stability and will aid in your ability to get off the commode.
Now if your orchestra has a bunch of not so strong muscles, this is only going to be the beginning of getting your bum off the commode. And if you do not see a significant increase in the ease of raising up out of the seated position you may consider coming in for a session of Muscle Activation Techniques.