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Monday, December 17 , 2018, 7:05 am | Overcast 53º

 
 
 
 
Fitness

Fun & Fit: How Strong is Your Lower Body?

Sit!

Wonder whether your lower body is functionally strong? Find out with this easy and quick Sit to Stand Test.

In under 10 minutes you will have read this post, taken the 30-second assessment, and discovered where you stand for your age and function for lower body strength.

“Where you stand.” Get it? Stop me before I hurt myself.

Oh, and this test was designed for the over-60 crowd, so if you are younger, you will have to estimate your results based on the score sheets below. Get ready to do a little math. Very little.

Balance and Strength Get Top Numbers

Stand!

Anyway, turns out that our post, “How Good is Your Balance,” leaped into position as one of our most popular.

So we figured why not offer another assessment. Nothing like finding out where you are in order to get to where you want to go!

All you need is a helper person (preferably an encouraging one who brings you a refreshing beverage and heeds your beck and call. Barring that, get whomever is handy and can count and run a stopwatch simultaneously.

You also need a chair, stopwatch, courage, brain and heart. (Who said the latter three in what classic movie?)

Get a standard height chair (seat at 17 inches) and place it against a wall so it does not slip.

Test Instructions

Now listen up peeeeples so you get the instructions right: Sit in the middle of the chair with your back nice and long, your feet flat on the floor, and your arms held to your chest and crossed to opposite shoulders.

Your goal is to stand up as many times as possible in the 30 seconds. You need to fully stand for a rep to count. Only complete stand ups count, not some partway, hunched over gig.

One exception — if you get more than halfway up when the clock runs out, you get to count that rep. Yup, we know — too generous.

Have your assistant cue you with “Ready, Set, Go!” Then jam on it! Don’t you want to score in the top percentile for your age group?

So are you Ready, set, ... wait. First, heed these tips so you can get the best, most accurate score possible:

Tips to Ace the Test

Click to view larger
(Fun & Fit graphic)

» Keep your elbows close to your body throughout the test. No swinging your arms. No pinching, no fighting, no hitting, no biting.

» Sit your behiney down each time. You should transfer your body weight to the seat with every repetition.

» Either brace your chair against the wall or have your minion support person hold it steady for the test’s duration.

» If you need to use your arms to stand, then you do not count those reps.

» Try one or two practice stand ups before timing yourself so you can execute good form.

Click to view larger
(Fun & Fit graphic)

Ready? Hit it!

How did you do? 

Getting Tested in Order to Conduct Tests

I practiced administering and analyzing this assessment when I attended the Functional Aging Summit as part of achieving my Functional Aging Specialist certification. Full credit and kudos to Cody Sipe Ph.D. and Dan Ritchie Ph.D., who conducted that event and offer programs such as Never Grow Old.

Click on this Noozhawk article to read more about what my functional aging certification means and what is going on in the fitness world for people over 50.

— Kymberly Williams-Evans, with identical twin Alexandra Williams, has been in the fitness industry since the first aerobics studio opened on the European continent. They teach, write, edit, emcee and present their programs worldwide on land, sea and airwaves. They co-write Fun and Fit: Active Aging Answers for Boom Chicka Boomers. You can currently find them in action leading classes in Santa Barbara and Goleta. Kymberly is the former faculty minor adviser at UC Santa Barbara for its fitness instruction degree offered through the Department of Exercise & Sport Studies; Alexandra serves as an instructor and master teacher for the program. Fun and Fit answers real questions from real people, so please send your comments and questions to [email protected].

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