Sit-to-stand exercises are the simplest mobility boosters

Most common exercises have souped-up variations that make them more challenging and help you milk them for their worth. (Looking to level up your squats? Go for a calf raise at the top of each. Trying to supercharge your planks? Opt for the “bear” presentation with bent knees.) But when it comes to increasing mobility, you don’t really have to follow the same principles. have to work Instead, you can do a movement that you already do throughout your day, like getting up from a chair, and turn it into a mobility challenge by swapping it out: do it without the help of your hands or arms called a sit-to-stand exercise. .

Widely considered a fundamental element of mobility, the sit-to-stand transition is something that walkers do, on average, 45 times a day. For those who are able to exercise, this is a key factor in staying independent as you age. After all, the same speed is important for things like using the toilet or getting out of bed in the morning.

With this in mind, there is value in seniors (whose disabilities do not prevent them from doing so) regularly practicing sit-to-stand exercises—that is, rising from a chair without using their hands or arms for support—as part of a mobility workout regimen. But whatever your age, it’s a good practice whenever You should stand up from a sitting position, says internal-medicine physician Michael Roizen, MD, author The Great Age Reboot. This is true even if doing this motion doesn’t feel like exercise or a challenge to you, or you have no problem standing hands-free on command.

“Getting up from a chair without using your hands involves a complex set of nerve and muscle actions and requires coordination and balance.” —Michael Risen, MD, internal-medicine physician

“Getting up from a chair without using your hands involves a complex set of nerve and muscle actions that require the strength of your leg, pelvis, abdominal and back muscles and require coordination and balance,” says Dr. Roizen. Importantly, it’s that last bit that’s often overlooked when considering how helpful this simple practice can be for mobility and, in turn, longevity. Even if you don’t feel the burn in your core, legs, or back when you stand up from a seat without your hands, you’re still activating the proprioceptive system necessary for coordination.

In fact, a study of nearly 700 elderly, community-dwelling people found that performance of a sit-to-stand exercise depends not only on leg strength, but also on factors such as balance, reaction time, and mental state. That being said, standing up hands-free from a regular chair is probably doing more for your body and mobility than briefly firing your quads.

How to equalize the benefits of sit-to-stand testing

While any version of standing up without using your arms is a mobility aid—and you can do it from any chair or couch you’ve already been sitting on all day—there are definitely some versions of sit-to-stand. Exercises that are more challenging and active than others.

A literature review of sit-to-stand test studies found that, among other positional factors, the height of the chair a person is sitting on plays an important role in how much momentum they need to generate to successfully rise. Lower chair heights have seen the need for more dynamic generation (something you’ll be intimately familiar with if you’ve ever sunk into a low couch and then struggled to stand up).

So, practicing the sit-to-stand exercise from a low chair, even sitting on the floor (technically called the “sitting-rising test”) will give your mobility more of a push. Research has even found being able to stand up off the floor without using your arms due to a unique combination of muscle strength, coordination, flexibility and balance. (It’s not a coincidence that many of the world’s tallest living people regularly sit on the floor.)

That said, sitting on the floor and getting up from it probably isn’t realistic for you all the time-And according to Dr. Roizen, you don’t necessarily have to switch from sitting to reaping the mobility-enhancing benefits of standing exercises. Consciously switching from using your hands to going hands-free every time you even stand up from a chair or sofa is a worthwhile step for your mobility and longevity, he says.

Our editors independently select these products. Making a purchase through our links is good + good can earn a commission.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.