The Sit-to-Stand Challange

The sit-to-stand test received a lot of publicity in 2014. If you missed it, a Brazilian Study found that the ability to get off the floor without hands was a major predictor of longevity (as in, your life will probably be shorter if you struggle to get off the floor.)

Luckily, it's becoming common knowledge that if we sit (or remain in one position) for hours on end each day, our muscular system stops working for us the way it should. Here's the thing: difficulties in getting up from the floor or even a chair are not limited to older populations; it's a young people problem too, and that's scary. 

Do you ever catch yourself placing a hand on your thigh to get off the floor? Do you use the armrests of your chair to stand? Do you sit by falling, and rise with a heave-ho? If you answered yes (recent injuries aside), you are not using your musculoskeletal system optimally. 

Here is a video of a young woman performing the traditional test:

Now here is the fun part:

The Flow Movement® Sit-to-Stand Challenge!

First, find a song you love. Then lay down, flat on your back.  Slowly come to stand without using your hands or knees on the floor. After you stand, find your way back down with total control, still without your arms. You can move them in space, but you cannot use them to push off the floor or place them your own body to rise. Find as many ways as possible to do this challenge. Gradually, increase your speed to make things interesting…but NO HANDS. 

Post an an edited video on Instagram (you have 60 seconds now for videos, so no holding back!) or Facebook of your favorite ‘get up with no hands and no knees’  flow for a chance to win a free bundle of Flow Movement® videos.  Make sure to tag both #flowmovement and #fmsit2stand so we see your video.  We'll pick a winner for May on May 31, 2016.

Here are two of my favorite no hands ways to get up:

Continuous Shoulder Pivots

Overhead view of continuous shoulder pivots. This technique is seen in contemporary dance and martial arts under a few different names. I love this movement because the head, arms, pelvis, legs and breath all play a constantly dynamic role. When one body part lags, the fluidity is lost.


This is one of my favorite stretches:

At the bottom of an externally rotated toe-balance squat, with your heels just under your sit bones (1st position grande plié for the ballet speakers), grab onto your knees. Pull your knees outward as you press your knees into your hands. Lengthen your lower back then puff your chest and look upwards. This requires major ankle stability and a lot of upper back activation.

Photo by Pole Ninja Photography.

Marlo Fisken Flow Movement

Shushing the Shoulds...

All up in my Kindle at the Denver airport

All up in my Kindle at the Denver airport

I usually read full books, but out of curiosity I read the 15 min summary of the "Motivation Manifesto" by Brendon Burchard. I will never go for a summary over the experience of reading the book again. I felt like I was cheating on the author. Plus, similar to someone telling you about how good a class was, secondhand info can never replace what you may have learned from having the experience yourself. 

Anyway, that’s not what I am writing about, there was a quote in there that struck a cord....

"Waiting for the perfect day to initiate change is essentially the same as choosing never to start, because perfect opportunities are so few and far between.”

If you keep hearing yourself say “I should …..,” either take steps to make it happen ASAP, or have an honest talk with yourself about why that thing is not actually very important. It will probably never be done. 

Harsh? maybe.  But I’m here to fuel your fire. 

You are probably subscribed to Flow Movement because you are interested in moving better.  Perfect, I can help with that. But first, in what ways do you let opportunities for movement improvement pass you by?

Take a minute to think it over. 

Movement improvement can happen at any time -- not just during designated training times. 

Here are a few tiny things you can do NOW

(and over and over again/always) to improve your movement quality:

**Place one hand on your belly and one on the center of your chest. Check in with your breath. If you do not feel your abdomen move for the first 2/3 of your inhalation, and the chest for the last third, try to relax your airways and allow natural, three dimensional breath movement to happen.  Go for belly expansion with a soft chest and throat. 

**Check in with the alignment of your head.  You are reading this, but how are you holding yourself while reading this? Chronic forward head posture is a major stressor to your musical-skeletal system with repercussions ranging from chronic pain to lack of flexibility/strength and even negative emotions.  It’s worthwhile for you to become conscious of the relationship between your head and shoulders.

**Immediately after reading this go to the closest wall or floor and have two minutes of you time. Breathe, stretch, and explore.  Scan your body for muscles that could use some blood flow and pump them up.  Focus on what you feel.  Stay with what needs more attention. 

Short on ideas? I don’t believe that -- you have made it this far....Start with anything: move your head, your pelvis; squeeze your glutes; make yourself long. If you still need help, check out some videos HERE.