The Sit-to-Stand Exercise
by Tom LeBlanc, PT
Sometimes I ask my patients, “Do you know what the world’s best exercise is?”
The ensuing dialog, typically, goes something like this:
“Maybe,” I say.
At this point, because my responses to the obvious choices have been noncommittal and less than enthusiastic, the dialog usually peters out.
That’s when I give them the real answer: “The world’s best exercise is the one that you will do, faithfully and consistently.”
The simple fact is that even the “best” exercise amounts to no exercise if you don’t perform it. By the same reasoning, the most expensive exercise equipment is of no value if you don’t use it.
The following exercise could very well be the world’s best exercise for lower extremity strengthening if you will do it. In 30 years of practicing physical therapy, I’ve never seen a more valuable exercise. I call it the sit-to-stand exercise.
Many residents of long-term care facilities regain the ability to get up out of a chair by doing this simple exercise. Improvements in balance, gait stability and endurance are common in residents who routinely perform the sit-to-stand exercise.
Here is how it’s done:
1. Sit in the chair of your choice.
2. Scoot forward as far as possible.
3. Slide your feet back until they are lined up with the front edge of the chair.
4. Come to a standing position, using your hands on the chair if necessary.
5. Do 5-10 repetitions, twice per day.
The exercise strengthens the hip extensors (Gluteus Maximus) and the knee extensors (Quadriceps) at the same time. These two powerful muscle groups work, as a team, to get you to the standing position.
Exercising these muscle groups will strengthen your legs; stronger legs mean better balance and lowered risk of a fall.
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Tom LeBlanc PT has been a physical therapist for over 30 years. His experience includes working in all of the above caregiving environments. He is currently developing a FREE teleseminar on Caregiver Secrets. He also hosts Home Entrepreneurs News, a site dedicated to helping entrepreneurs and business seekers find the business that is right for them. One of his “featured Businesses” is detailed in his article, Become a Personal Caregiver.