Movement Minute - Get Up Challenge

Get up from the ground. Get back down. Repeat. It’s just that simple…not always that easy though.


Get ups are simple but foundational movement patterns to take us from lying on the ground to on our feet. One moment we’re chilling, pondering deep thoughts (or not). The next moment, we respond to a stimulus and we’re on our feet. If we’re not regularly practicing these patterns, it might be a little longer than a just a moment.  


Get ups have a ton of real world application for every body. Studies have even shown the link between get ups and longevity. Practice of these basic patterns paves the way for life long health.  This concept of “health before fitness” insures that we have a good foundation of health upon which higher fitness can be built.


There are many different variations of get ups that can be made part of our fitness training.  The most popular (and hated) example would be the burpee (AKA the sprawl, squat thrust, or whatever the kids will call it next.)  I like to practice a variety of get up patterns as part of my ground movement practice. They strengthen the body, develop better mobility, and are great for elevating your heart rate.  


For today’s Movement Minute, I put together a sequence of my favorite get ups, to challenge you to explore the possibilities in this basic task. We’ll look at 6 variations. By adding volume and intensity to the mix you’ll better ingrain the practice in your body (muscle memory) and learn to find a higher level of movement efficiency as you start to fatigue.  


The challenge is 1-3 rounds of the following sequence:

  • 10x Tripod Get Ups
  • 10x Cross Back OR Cross Sit Get Ups
  • 5x Knee Jump Get Ups
  • 10x Kneeling Get Ups
  • 5x Knee Jump Get Ups
  • 10x Squat Get Ups
  • 10x Rolling Single-leg Get Ups


If you’re new to these movements, start with 1-2 rounds focusing on quality of movement.  If you’re familiar with these movements already, challenge yourself to 2-3 rounds. This little sequence can also be a great pre-training warm up or quick workout.


To increase the challenge, try loaded get ups.  Wear a weighted vest or a hold an object like a medicine ball - I recommend 5-25 lbs.  If using load, you may want to modify some of the patterns, especially the knee jump get up.  


You can also dial up the complexity for an extra challenge.  When you get up, change your orientation or move to a different stance.  This will break the monotony and develop your ability to be more adaptive and really “own” your movement patterns.


Now, for the bigger picture "why". To me, this practice is symbolic of life.  

Get knocked down, get back up…as many times as it takes. Create a solid base underneath you and stand up with strength and grace. Stay aware of your environment and be prepared for what's to come next.


Life will knock you down again and again, but it's only to help you grow stronger.  Train with tenacity to live with resolve and resilience.  Anti-fragile becomes your new normal and you'll meet life's setbacks with a smile and bounce back.