Got 20 seconds to see if you'll live forever?
Okay, maybe not forever, but this 20 second test has been used as a signal for increased longevity. And it's so simple... though NOT easy.
It's called the Sit Down Stand Up test.
Or something like that. I don't think it has a "real" name... but I love doing this little mobility test with clients and members of Fit Women's Weekly .
What Is The Sit Down Stand Up Test?
Stand up straight.
Without using your hands get to the ground so you're sitting on your butt with your legs in front of you.
NO crossing your feet or legs. More on this in a second.
Without using your hands or crossing your feet or legs... get back up to your standing position.
You can see in this picture my knees are not far enough past my ankles to maintain correct balance.
I love this picture. I actually have poor ankle mobility. And you can see here I struggled to get up... losing my balance.
Think Before You Try This
There is a VERY EASY way to accomplish this goal that requires very little mobility.
Maybe if this video gets over 160 views new YouTube channel ... Dan and I will make a YouTube Short showing the VERY EASY way to accomplish this that uses barely any "real" mobility.
Is this cheating? Maybe... but at the same time... not really.
So go watch and like the video!
Scientific History Of The Stand Up Sit Down Test
Here's one study that looked at 51 to 80 year olds.
Essentially, this study found the ability to sit down and stand up increased longevity. The key was the subjects (is that the right term?) would get "points" deducted for using hands and other extremities.
Pretty obvious if you ask me.
If you can get up and down without using your hands... you will likely live longer.
First, these were older to elderly individuals who are prone to falls.
If you're able to sit down and stand up without your hands... you're far more likely to have better mobility and you'll fall less frequently. And if you do fall... you can probably get yourself back up.
Plus your overall mobility is better. One reason people (even in their 30s) get injured from tripping or standing up too quickly is poor mobility and flexibility.
Go check out my posts on:
Let's Think About This Test Logically
Most of us have horrible ankle mobility. It's not something magazines talk about... and it's not something popular programs cover. But it's so important because most of us sit all day long and sitting wrecks our ankles and calves.
Dan created a 5 Minute Fit Finisher workout going over ankle mobility exercises and calf stretches... you have to go check that out.
But the point is... if you practice this Sit Down Stand Up test you'll improve your mobility. And don't worry, I'm about to help you with some modifications to progress the right way so you can do this.
If you do this test the "right" way... you need some hip mobility to complete a low squat... nearly to the ground where you'll transfer to the sit portion of the test.
Hips are another part of the body that get's wrecked by sitting for long periods of time. Plus our gluteus maximus muscle get smooshed all day long causing fascia knots which further restrict muscle mobility.
Read this post I wrote about the best massage balls . This is how you'll work out these knots and restore natural muscle tissue length.
Sit Down Stand Up Test Modifications
Bring The Floor Up
This is a tactic you can use for a lot of exercises. For example, if you want to get better at pushups... use a box and bring the floor up. Read more about this with my 7 step pushup progression .
Here's how to bring the floor up for the Sit Down Stand Up Test.
Use a Low Box
A low 12 inch box or step is a good starting point if you're just getting into or back into fitness.
You won't have to squat as low.
You won't need as much mobility through your body.
You won't need the level of strength to get back up.
If 12 inches is too low... find something sturdy and higher.
Use a Yoga Block
If 12 inches is too high... get a 3 inch yoga block.
A 3 inch yoga block is very close to the ground... but it's high enough where you'll feel a big difference compared to going directly to the ground.
Use a Door Jam, Rig or Desk
This is one of my favorite ways to improve low squat ability. For this description, I'm going to use my rig because this is what the images are showing... but the same ideas apply to a door jam or desk.
By having a rig you can hold onto, you don't have to rely on good ankle mobility. You can sit back a little and use the rig to hold you up.
As you loosen up and get close to the ground... you can kick a leg out and sit on the ground (aka the right way).
Keep practicing using this assistance and over time you will improve a lot... but you have to stay consistent.
Use a Suspension System
Whether you have rings or a TRX system... this is great way to add stability while requiring more balance from body.
It's the same as using the rig or the desk. The suspension system will help so you can lean back a little and not put so much pressure on your ankle mobility.
This is technically a warm-up exercise, but if you're new to low squats... this is a great training exercise.
Take a squat stance with your feet about shoulder width apart or maybe a little wider. For this exercise... probably a little wider to help with hip mobility.
Grab your toes with your fingers. You can round your spine a little, but don't go crazy in will work against you in the next steps.
Keep your fingers wrapped around your toes as you lower your hips as low as they can go.
Ideally you want to get your hips all the way down so you're in a low squat.
IMPORTANT: Keep your arms straight and inside of your knees.
As you can see from the pictures, this is a tough move that requires some serious mobility. But this is also way it's a great training exercise to get good at the Sit Down Stand Up test.
Are You Ready To Improve Your Mobility And Strength?
Go learn about Fit Women's Weekly LIVE. This is my, limited membership, private online personal training program .
Members get access to weekly 60 minute Stretch Saturdays . During these stretch sessions we:
Work on mobility drills
Foam roll and trigger ball
Even work on breathing exercises
It's one of my favorite workouts during the week.
If you want to try Fit Women's Weekly LIVE for FREE... sign up for a FREE 14 day trial .