Get Up Offa That Thing

by Tom Furman

Getting up determines how well and how long you live.

Get up, (get on up)
Get up, (get on up)
Stay on the scene, (get on up), like a sex machine, (get on up) ~ James Brown, Godfather of Soul.

In an interesting study, it was determined that your ability to get up off the ground was a good predictor of mortality. Most studies of this nature point toward staying muscular, mobile and robust into your senior years. Avoiding muscle loss or “age related sarcopenia”, is SO important. That requires resistance training and adequate dietary protein, period.

Two factors that will diminish the ability to “get up” are excess body fat and lack of mobility around the joints. When dietary intake is unchecked and unmeasured, body fat accumulates. When the range of motion around joints is not stressed or practiced consistently, it diminishes. It may not be fair, but it is certainly real. To some, it’s unacceptable.

It’s unacceptable that chocolate makes you fat, but I’ve eaten my share and guess what? ~ Theodore Brassel/Laurence Fishburne, Mission Impossible III

Rather than devote your life or training to only, getting up, let’s examine some methods and discuss how to integrate them into your daily life and your exercise program.

The Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Stand Up In Base. This is an early basic taught on Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. It’s designed to optimize your ability to move from the ground to standing, seamlessly and with defensive aspects observed. Take a look at this instructional.

Another method from Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and other arts is the Rocking Chair. This requires more agility and perhaps is added to training after you have perfected other methods.

In Southeast Asia, a common seated posture is called, “Siloh”. The method of spiraling out of this posture is called, “Gelek”. This method of rising from a grounded position was the test method used in the study mentioned at the beginning of this article. In this video, world renowned martial artist, Burt Richardson, demonstrates.

Loading your body with weight during the rise from the floor introduces a progressive option. The most common method is the Kettlebell Turkish Get Up. This weight does not have to be extreme, it simply has to exist as an option to build strength through resistance. It’s diagnostic since it exposes weak or unlinked muscle groups or movements. It’s just another method and hardly is sacred or magic. It has it’s place.

Getting up can mean life or death. Not only the idea of dying from falls, but in the tactical environment of close protection. Moving from the supine position to standing while operating a handgun is of grave importance. This demo is quite clear.

Adding complexity and challenging stability during the get up can be challenging and fun. It’s both a basic and advanced movement depending on the load. Here, Hollywood trainer, Mark Wildman demonstrates the “Gun Get Up with a Mace”

The last get up I’ll mention is the James Brown Get Up. It’s highly advanced and requires a high level of flexibility, strength and speed. The instructional video is below.

It’s one thing to be aware of Getting Up, it is another to implement them. Here is a short list of ideas how to make this a part of your training, but more importantly a part of your life.

  1. Don’t fear or avoid getting down on the ground. Use props to get up if it is hard. If you do this enough, it will eventually get easier.
  2. These methods should be inserted into two areas. Day to day movement and your workouts.
  3. Use padded surfaces and avoid cement and tile. Be smart.
  4. Apply one method in your workout as a warm up. Don’t make it a killer exercise. Just something to get the blood flowing and limber up.
  5. Scale any exercise. Use yoga blocks, steps, chairs or anything to do the movement pain free.
  6. Repetition is the mother of skill. The more you do it, the easier it is.
  7. Load some of your get ups. Use dumbbells, kettlebells, sandbags or weight vests. Progressive overload builds the muscle that we lose with age.
  8. Be honest about your immobile areas and weak ones. Address them in the main body of your workout.
  9. Occasionally these drills can be done for duration, not speed. The endurance challenge is a good thing.
  10. The leaner you are, the more efficient you will be.

Get up offa that thing
And shake ‘till you feel better
Get up offa that thing
And shake it, say it now!
Get up offa that thing
And shake ‘till you feel better
Get up offa that thing
And try to release that pressure! ~ Brother #1, James Brown

Until next time, #trainforlife

Tom Furman has been involved in martial arts and conditioning since 1972. With an early background in wrestling and a student of the methods of the York Barbell Club, Tom immediately separated fact from fiction growing up outside Pittsburgh. Eleven members of his family were combat veterans, the most famous one being “Uncle Charlie” (Charles Bronson) His down to earth training methods are derived from his decades long practice of martial arts and his study of exercise science. The application of force, improvement of movement and durability rank high on his list of priorities when training. He gives credit to hundreds of hours of seminars, training sessions, and ‘backyard’ workouts, including training time with many martial arts legends. He also credits his incredibly gifted training partners who came from varied backgrounds such as Exercise Physiologists, Airborne Rangers, Bounty Hunters, Boxing Trainers and Coast Guard Rescue Divers. His best selling ebook, “Seasons of Temper’’, is available at tomfurman.com. His guide to mobility, “Bamboo Gods, Iron Men and Rubber Bands’’, is available on Amazon.

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Tom Furman has been involved in martial arts and fitness most of his life. He’s currently a fitness coach and been blogging since 2005. www.tomfurman.com

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Tom Furman

Tom Furman

Tom Furman has been involved in martial arts and fitness most of his life. He’s currently a fitness coach and been blogging since 2005. www.tomfurman.com

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