Sit, Don't Collapse


We sit down. Then stand up. Over and over, all day long. We sit/stand at least 40 times or more a day.

Riding a commuter train today got me thinking about HOW we sit/stand. Every time someone sat down near me on the train- thump, plop. Young and old, they proved people do not know how to sit properly. They simply collapsed into the chair. As these people stood up they pushed with their arms and used mostly leverage, instead of muscles.

If we try to improve the quality of sitting/standing it would be like doing 40+ good squats throughout the day!

Let's make sitting/standing part of our daily functional fitness training. Let's tone and work the large muscles of the thighs and butt with every sit/stand. The best part is that by building a functional pattern for sitting/standing will greatly reduce the daily wear and tear on the knees and hips. And we can start our clients practicing good form now, aging many not have as great of effect on their mobility.

How to Properly Sit:

  • Your knees should be in-line with the center of your foot and center of your hips.
  • Feel your quads and gluts working to control the movement.
  • Try to land in the chair softly using your thigh muscles to decelerate your landing.
  • No thump. No plop.

Tip: Practice by slowly lowering yourself half way down to the chair. Then stand back up. Over time you can intensify this challenge by squatting until you almost touch the chair, then hold for a few seconds maintaining your form.

How to Properly Stand:

  • Your knees should be in-line with the center of your foot and center of your hips.
  • Do not use your hands on your thighs to push yourself up.
  • Keep your spine in neutral. Allow it to incline forward, but not so much that you no longer feel the gluts working.

Tip: Practice by standing up slowly monitoring the alignment of your knees.

To properly sit/stand it requires the same strength and alignment as Pilates footwork on the Reformer, so this would be great homework for our clients in between coming to Pilates! Once mastered, this movement will feel fluid and graceful.


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