One day I had an elder gentleman who fell down say “It’s not big deal, but don’t worry one day you will fall down too. Everybody does.” Now I haven’t had the pleasure of just eating the ground underneath me due to a fall like this gentleman did. He did have a pretty good attitude about it I thought, I also thought that he is absolutely right. One day you are going to fall. I immediately started to think, how is it I’m going to get up? I always relate these questions to mine and others health and fitness. Being able to get up from a fall is something that life will eventually demand of you. Sometimes you will need some help as there are a lot of reasons that people fall down, but true accidents and not a medical problem can be handled differently. So, I like options. If I were to fall what are my options to be ready for that when it happens? To me these options to get yourself up off the ground when you fall and are capable to are The Bur pee and The Turkish Get Up. Let’s break those down a bit as see how these exercises can not only make you strong and very fit, they can also be considered tools to get you off the ground if and when you fall.
THE TURKISH GET UP
This is a full body loaded or unloaded exercise where you start on your back and go to a standing position. Just a week ago I saw an individual perform this movement after breaking her arm. Now you can tell she didn’t train this movement but was able to go from her back to standing with one arm in a single stable position and the other helping to facilitate the final movement. Here is a video of what it should look like.
The big transition comes from going from your butt to a kneeling position. There are two ways to accomplish this. There is a hip extension on the bent leg, then swing the straight leg back until the knee is on the ground and you are in a kneeling position. There is a second option for those that don’t have the coordination for an extension of the hip and being able to move to a stable kneeling position. Both examples are below. The second option puts what would be your straight leg bent behind your other then you just simply sit up to the kneeling position then stand. To get back down to the ground the movements are done in reverse. The Turkish Get Up builds balance, coordination, and bilateral strength. It’s not something that you can or should do very fast, in my opinion. It can be done with no load or loaded as heavy as you can go. Now, that you have a pattern for getting up off your back. Let’s talk about when you fall on your face.
Yep the Bur pee! No body likes it and it doesn’t matter what form of fitness you practice it’s always there. Don’t you think that’s interesting? If every aspect of sport has the bur pee or a variation of it. Wouldn’t it make sense that it is a staple exercise? Think about football players, when they get tackled they have to be able to get back up off the ground quickly. It’s fairly simple, you fall down to the ground, then push yourself up off the ground and stand up. I like to add a jump at the end just to celebrate that I was able to get up. Then the process repeats itself. Check out the video of the Bur pee here.
Some things worth talking about are the beginning of the movement, which when you add speed can look pretty intense specifically going down into the plank/push up position. This is find within some context I believe. For most instances you should reach your hands in between your feet, drop your hips down similar to a squat and then kick your legs back to land in that strong push up position. In the military we called these squat thrust, even upgraded them to an 8 count push up which was much worse than just a bur pee, trust me. This exercise can be used as a stand alone or in combination with whatever you want and it will immediately create a significant metabolic event.
These two movements will not only increase your strength but also help improve your conditioning. Keep it simple if adding these into your workout program. A good example would be a ladder of Bur pees 1 on minute 1, then 2 on minute 2, 3 on minute 3 and so on. The Get Up can be broken down into smaller movements to get you stronger example: kneeling to standing 3 sets of 4-6 reps each side or lying to sitting same rep range. You will accumulate a lot of work over 10 minutes and that may be all you need for now. Give either of these movements a shot and while they may never prevent you from falling, you’ll have the confidence knowing that if you ever do, you can get up.