Optimizing The Getup - Part 8: Get Down to Half-Kneeling and Three-Point Stance
... And while it sounded simple, we found there are many skills you can tap into to fully optimize your transition from half-kneeling to standing:
Dial in your foot position
Lock down your rib cage
Shift towards your standing leg
Crush the handle
Sip for pressure
Hold while moving
And of course – Slow. Down.
Today kicks off the tail end of the series focused on the “Get Down” portion of your Getup.
In our opinion, the Get Down is where mental toughness is stressed the most. It takes slow, controlled, and precise movements to execute a great Get Down in the Getup.
In today’s post we’ll cover your transition back to Half-Kneeling and from Half-Kneeling back to your Three-Point Stance.
Sticking with our theme from last week, your key to success with these initial Get Down movements will be again to SLOW DOWN.
Optimizing The Getup: How NOT to Get Down
As a general rule of thumb, the Getup should be slightly slower than your comfortable with. Pavel tells us this in his book Simple and Sinister.
After having just performed 5 different steps to get up off the ground, it’s understandable why most people rush their Get Down.
It’s like one of those finger toys you press down on and everything crumbles to the floor.
Don’t be like one of those toys.
Getup amnesia is a real thing (not really, but...), all of a sudden it’s like you’ve forgotten everything you learned in order to get up.
Instead retrace your steps, slow down, and embrace the fatigue – you’ll get stronger.
Optimizing The Getup: Ski’s and Railroad Tracks
The first part of retracing your steps starts with a step back into a lunge position.
This takes you from a standing position and places you back into your half-kneeling position.
The most common mistake I see here is students stepping back inline with their front leg.
When you do this you’re minimizing your base of support – not exactly a good idea with a heavy load over your head.
So, we like to coach using a cue I stole from StrongFirst Team Leader Jeff Sokol:
Step back as if you’re on railroad tracks – not skis.
Whether you’re a skier or not, it’s not hard to imagine yourself on a pair of skis. Your legs are close – almost directly next to one another. Instead, you want to give yourself some space to work with.
Similar to the first half of your Getup, in the second half your current step will dictate the quality of the ensuing step.
So, take a slightly wider step back.
This will leave you with more room in your next transition to Three-Point Stance.
Optimizing The Getup: Wiper and Pivot
Once you’re back into your Half-Kneeling stance, it’s up to you which method you use to return to your Three-Point Stance.
If you’ve used the Wiper method to get up, simply “windshield wipe” your knee back into your three point stance.
If you’ve used the Pivot method, you’ll need to “pivot” back to the direction you started in (when laying on the floor).
Regardless of which method you choose the following tip should be implemented:
“Hit the hip.”
Optimizing The Getup: Hit The Hip
This portion of the Get Down can often times be the difference between eventually injuring your back, or continuing to build sustainable strength with the Getup.
When returning to your Three-Point Stance the intent should be to HINGE the hip.
Often times we see people reach behind themselves, lean back into their lumbar spine, and contort their body in what looks like an incredibly uncomfortable position.
...No wonder why the Getup “hurts your back”!
To help drive home the notion of hinging the hip back, hit or tap your hip with your open hand.
The tap will signal you to hinge back while simultaneously extending your arm.
The further you hinge, the closer your hand gets to the floor, until eventually you make contact with the floor and you're back in your Three-Point Stance.
It’s easy to tell yourself, “Oh yeah hinge at the hip, I’ve got it”, then skip the “hit” portion and continue your old habits of “leaning back.”
As with anything, in order to create a habit you need consistency, and in a sustainable manner.
Make it habit to “hit the hip” and your Get Down will be as smooth as creamy peanut butter... YUM!
Optimizing The Getup: Get Down to Getup
Your Get Down should look just like your Get Up.
When making your transition from standing back to half-kneeling make it a point to think “rail road tracks” instead of “skis.”
This will help create a bit more space in your Half-Kneeling position and make your transition to Three-Point Stance even easier.
Regardless of what method you use, the Pivot or the Wiper, hitting your hip will help cue you to HINGE your hip back while simultaneously reaching to the floor.
This will prevent the common problem of reaching or leaning back, contorting your body and using your lumbar spine for support.
It’s harder to do on the way down, but make sure you continue to SLOW DOWN as you make your way back to the floor.
Embrace the fatigue!
Next week we’ll close things off with your transition from Three-Point Stance to Tall Sit and Tall Sit to your Elbow and Finally the floor.
After that we’ll dedicate an entire post solely to programming for the Getup.