How to Safely & Properly Get Up from the Floor

The Lunge Method: How to Safely & Properly Get Up from the Floor (No Matter What Your Age) | Feel Good Life with Coach Todd

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Keeping our independence as we age is important to many of us… and one of the keys to maintaining that independence is through confidently learning how to get up from the floor 

It’s been the butt of the joke for everyone under 50… the age-old phrase, “I’ve fallen and can’t get up!” always gets a chuckle out of the younger generation. 

However, for many older individuals — especially those struggling with joint pain — not being able to get up from the ground can be a real worry. 

One minute, we’re down on the ground playing with our grandkids… the next, we suddenly notice we can’t get up as easily as before.

Or maybe we’ve knelt down on the floor to do some stretches, but now we’re not too sure we’ll be able to get up without hurting anything.

It’s a scary thought that too many of us have throughout the day.

The Important Muscles That Will Help You Get Up From the Floor

Now, before we talk about how to correctly get up from the floor, we must first know what muscles are used during the process. 

These muscles help to drive us upward, resisting gravity and straightening our legs, hips, and spine. Some may even surprise you:

  • Glutes: also known as you “butt muscles,” glutes help to extend your hips forward
  • Back Muscles: reaching from your spine connecting your back to your glutes and shoulders, these muscles keep the joints in your spine stable and healthy while standing
  • Hamstrings: the muscles connecting your glutes to your knee help to bend your legs and stretch out to help you stand tall.
  • Core Muscles: what many traditionally think of as “abs” actually extends from the front side of your midsection all the way around to your back and down to your legs to keep your entire body stable through motion.

All of these muscles work together systematically to not only help you move around every day but to get up from difficult positions, such as lying on the ground.

So, what steps are next in going from lying… to standing?

The Lunge Method: How to Get Up From The Floor Safely

This simple movement method will take you step-by-step through getting up off the ground without pain. Whether on your back or stomach, there is always a way to get where you want to be: STANDING TALL AGAIN!

Step 1: Get to Your Bottom

Roll whichever direction you feel comfortable in order to shift to your side. Take your top arm, and place your hand on the ground, and push up to a sitting position. 

Step 2: Pull Your Feet to the Side and Underneath You

A lot of times when people are on the ground they are on their bottom and try to get up directly from that position. However, very few have the strength to do so.

Instead, pull your feet up towards your butt, just outside your hips. This ensures your “base” is underneath you. 

Step 3: Get Onto Your Hands and Knees

Crawl your hands forward out in front of yourself until you are on your hands and knees. If using your legs to assist you with this, make sure to lead with the strongest leg.

Step 4: Pull Your Stronger Leg Forward 

Bring the foot of your strongest leg up next (or close to) the same sided hand. This will help put you into a lunge position for the final steps.

Step 5: Put Your Hands on Your Forward Leg

Raise your hands off the ground, find your balance, then place your hands on the mid-thigh of that forward leg.

Step 6: Push Up on Your Leg to Stand 

Push some of your weight onto your thigh (make sure to avoid applying excess pressure on the knee joint itself) to help bring the behind leg up to meet your forward leg… extending both legs until you are finally in a standing position.

Bonus: Fall Prevention Exercises

While knowing how to get up off the floor with bad knees is critical for any possible future situation, we should also take some preventative measures to mitigate the risk of ever falling

Try the following exercises to strengthen our balance and “stand-up muscles.”

1. Glute Bridges

Instruction for Glute bridge exercise

Lie on the floor or bed with your legs bent and feet flat on the floor/bed. Gently squeeze your butt muscles to lift your hips off the ground, feeling a nice stretch in your front thigh, and a contraction in the back of your thigh.

Lower your hips back down to the starting position.

Repeat 5 times.

2. Mini Lunges

Mini lunge exercise is one of the best exercise for the lunge method.

From a standing position, step back with your right leg and slowly lower your back knee a few inches.

Raise your back knee up by straightening your front leg, then return to the starting position.

Repeat 5 times with each leg.

3. Wall Sit 

Wall sit exercise shown by coach todd

Stand with your back against a wall and step your feet forward about 6 inches.

Slowly lower yourself into a squat position, keeping your back pressed against the wall.

Hold this position for 10-seconds, and then stand.

Repeat 3 times.

4. Single-Leg Balance 

Single leg balance exercise.

Standing to the side of a chair, lift one leg — bending at the knee — to balance.

Hold the chair if needed. Pull our knee and toe up to help activate and strengthen the hamstring (back thigh) muscles.

Start by holding for 10 seconds and work up to 30 seconds.

Repeat twice on each leg.

5. Seated Pelvic Tilts with Ab Squeeze

Seated pelvic tilts with Ab squeeze

Sitting on the edge of a chair, stand tall, and draw your belly button into your spine.

Seated pelvic tilts with Ab squeeze

Take a deep breath, with your abs braced, and gently push your hips back (decreasing the arch in the low back).

Hold this position for 5 seconds. 

Repeat 5 times. 

Try each of these exercises to help prevent future falls and gain the ability to confidently stand up from the ground.

But, if you want to know more about how to prevent falls, CLICK HERE to join our 30-Day Fall Prevention Challenge! 

Wondering What's Next?

Discover 11 Easy, At-Home “Stretch Exercises” for Stronger, Pain-Free Joints (click below)

12 Responses

  1. I appreciate all your helpful exercise reminders and tips!. The lunge is very helpful, especially on those days I feel less able.

  2. Thanks for all the exercises Todd, they cover everything, I shall be doing them regularly from now on, it’s been hard to get started, but you have motivated me.

    1. You're so welcome Judith! That is my exact goal with this blog. Be sure to follow us on YouTube because I also post videos of exercises there:

  3. Your advice and exercises have a lot of old fashioned common sense which is a rare commodity these days. Keep up the good work!

    1. So glad you're enjoying it! I also just started up a YouTube channel with lots of exercises. Be sure to check it out:

  4. Thank you so much for all the extra hints you send to help with aging bones and muscles. My knees are 90% better than they were mid Covid. And now I’m doing the strength exercises you sent in email and working on the yoga positions for stress and anxiety several days a week! It’s all been such a help and encouragement. God bless you for focusing on us oldie but goodies in these strange times!

    1. Carol, I love hearing this! I am so happy to help! I also just started up a YouTube channel with lots of exercises. Be sure to check it out:

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