Optimizing The Getup – Part 6: Half-Kneeling
A little more than half way through this 10-part series, this week we’re closing out the ground-based movements with the transition from three-point stance to half-kneeling.
Last week I broke down 3 different areas the leg sweep stresses:
- Shoulder Stability
- Hip Mobility
- Core Strength
… As well as 3 different ways you can perform and train the leg sweep
- High Bridge
- Low Sweep
If you missed Part 5 on The Leg Sweep, you can check that out here.
This week I’m going to cover two different ways you can perform the transition from three-point stance to half-kneeling.
In my opinion this step can make or break your Getup and will set the stage for your Get-Down – later on down the line in the series.
Much like the previous steps, consistently training your transition from three-point stance to half-kneeling will help you optimize your full Getup.
Optimizing The Getup: How to Transition to Half-Kneeling
Before becoming a part of the StrongFirst family, I loosely played with Getups.
My technique was as good as I thought it could be and I rarely used anything heavier than a 24kg bell – not because I chose too, but because I couldn’t go any heavier.
Had I mastered the ground-based movements I’ve covered up to this point in the series, I feel confident that my Getup would have improved immensely – and in fact it did once I learned how to do them the proper way.
That being said, I feel like it wasn’t until I played around with my transition to half-kneeling that my Getup took another leap forward.
Here are the two ways you can transition from three-point stance to half kneeling:
Each gets you to the same place. One saves your knee’s a bit while the other is a bit quicker.
Optimizing The Getup: “Wiper” to Half-Kneeling
I’m a visual learner. In my experience a lot of other people are as well. So, here’s what the “wiper” method looks like:
If you noticed, the direction I started while on the floor and faced when standing was the same throughout the entire getup.
The “wiper” term comes from the move you perform as you transition from three-point stance to half-kneeling – you “windshield wipe” your knee to align your body in a half-kneeling stance.
You’ll notice you pick your hand up off the floor and sit up, then wipe your knee into a split squat position.
Often times I’ll see people speed this up and simultaneously pick up the hand, sit up, and wipe all at the same time.
While that’s OK, I prefer to have my clients slow it down, own each movement, and transition from their three-point stance to half-kneeling a bit slower.
The windshield wipe move is TOTALLY OK. In fact, MOST people I know do Getup’s this way – I used too as well.
What got me to change was the idea that I could do something else that didn’t grind my knee into the floor.
Optimizing The Getup: Pivot to Half-Kneeling
Take a look at how this move differs from the wiper:
With this method you pivot around a stable knee that remains in the same position.
You wind up in the same half-kneeling stance, simply facing a different direction.
I prefer the pivot for two reasons:
- No matter what surface I’m doing a Getup on, my knee no longer feels like it’s grinding into the floor
- I feel the impact of this move is felt on the way down more so than the way up.
During your get-down, your transition from half-kneeling back to a three-point stance should come from the hinging of your hip, rather than “leaning backwards” or “reaching for the floor.”
I personally feel the pivot move sets the stage for a great hip hinge, which is why I prefer to teach and train the Getup with this method.
Your Getup should also look the same on the way down as it did on the way up. If you reversed the move entirely, you shouldn’t be able to tell which direction you’re going…
Play around and see if you can tell which direction you’re heading…
Optimizing The Getup: Troubleshooting Half-Kneeling
There are a few areas I tend to see people struggle with their transition from three-point stance to half-kneeling
Misaligned Hand and Knee
Go back to the Three-Point position. In this position your hand should be close to, if not, inline with your knee. This helps put you in a better position to transition from three-point stance to half-kneeling.
If your hand is inside your knee or behind your knee, your stance will wind up being too wide or too narrow when you lift your hand up off the floor.
This will only mark it harder for you to transition and likely force you into using your spine more rather than your core/alignment for support.
Grease The Groove
I turn the pivot into a move entirely by itself.
When training the Getup I’ll have client’s perform rounds of training like this:
- Getup to Elbow 5/5
- Getup to Tall Sit 4/4
- Getup to Three-Point stance 3/3
- Getup to Half-Kneeling 2/2
- Full Getup 1/1
This allows them to practice each phase of the Getup and practice their pivot as well with the additional “Three-Point Stance” and “Half-kneeling” stance.
It’s also a fun way to add more time under tension…
Time Under Tension
Once again, TUT finds its way into the training realm of the Getup.
What more can I say?
Simply spending time with the lift and time with the pieces of the lift, allows you to tinker with things, which in turn helps you master a movement.
Optimizing The Getup: Getup and GO!
To recap, today we covered two ways you can transition from three-point stance to half-kneeling:
- The Windshield Wiper
- The Pivot
Both get you to the same place. Both work extremely well in helping you transition to half-kneeling.
I personally feel the Pivot will put you in a better position to “hinge” during your get-down.
While the wiper version is a bit quicker and more direct – making it my preferred method for seriously heavy Getup’s.
If you struggle with your transition, consider trying one or all of the following troubleshooting tips:
- Make sure your three-point stance is properly aligned
- Practice training the prior ground-based movements, including your transition to half-kneeling
- Increase your time under tension by performing sets at each phase of the getup
Next week we rise up! With the transition from half-kneeling to standing.
If you’re catching this in the middle of the series, I’d recommend taking a look at the previous 5 parts and spend time there.
Next week I’ll breakdown Part 7 of Optimizing The Getup: Half-Kneeling to Standing
In between now and then hit me up on Facebook or Instagram if you have any comments/questions. I’d love to hear if these tips are helping!
If you haven’t done so already, subscribe to my newsletter and stay up to date with each post. Plus get training tips and links to other helpful posts with each week’s edition.