Is getting off the floor a struggle?

Many people avoid getting on and off the floor.  It just seems too difficult to accomplish.  Some feel that they don’t have enough body strength and others find joint stiffness or joint pain are a hindrance. These challenges often contribute to a loss of self-reliance and confidence.

As a practicing physiotherapist I often hear, “Well, I am happy to do exercises that help my sore hip, but don’t expect me to get on and off the floor!”

Getting off the floor with confidence is much easier than you think!

The skill to get off the floor will come in handy if you inadvertently find yourself on the ground due to a stumble or fall.  Moreover, this is important if no one is around to help!  You just need to know the technique: you will be amazed how a few practice sessions will help you feel more confident to get on and get off the floor even with no one else nearby to help.

1.  Get prepared to practice

  • Enlist an assistant!  Trial your practice runs to get off the floor with someone else nearby who you trust could help you if needed.
  • Practice on comfortable surfaces.  Trial on carpet or a softer surface such as a mat. It will be easier on the knees!
  • Secure a solid prop.  Have a sturdy chair or lounge nearby.

There are two ways you can practice getting OFF the floor. However, before you try – let’s get you down safely ON the floor.

2.  How to get down on the floor safely

See the video demonstration or follow the instructions below.

  1. Start from a standing position facing a sturdy chair.
  2. Lean forward and hold on to the arms or seat of the chair.
  3. Place one leg behind you and lower your back knee onto the floor as you keep hold of the chair.
  4. Using your arms and legs, gently lower your body and knee to the ground.
  5. Bring your front knee back to the floor so your knees are about hip width apart.
  6. Shuffle your knees back a little, and place one hand to the floor, then the other, so both hands and knees are on the floor (4-point kneeling position).
  7. Slowly lower your buttocks sideways so you are sitting with one hip on the floor.
  8. Place the other hand and roll the other hip back to the floor.

VIDEO 1  |  Getting onto the floor safely

3. How to move around on the floor safely once you are down

See the video demonstration or follow the instructions below.

When you are on the floor you may need to move around to access a chair or sturdy piece of furniture before you attempt to get off the floor.  Try practicing this skill.

VIDEO 2  |  Moving around the floor safely

4.  How to get off the floor safely and successfully: Technique 1

See the video demonstration or follow the instructions below.

To get off the floor, you can just reverse the action of getting down on to the floor using the support of a chair or study piece of furniture.

  1. From a lying position, roll onto your side and place both hands on the floor in front of you.
  2. Push with both hands lifting your hips off the ground so you are kneeling on both your hands and knees (4-point kneeling position).
  3. Place your hands on to a sturdy chair or piece of furniture such as a sofa or bed frame in front of you.
  4. Place your strongest leg forward so your foot is under your knee.
  5. Push through both arms and the strongest leg into a standing position.
  6. Slowly turn and sit down on the chair or sofa.

VIDEO 3  |  Getting off the floor safely (Technique 1)

5.  How to get off the floor: Technique 2

This is another way you can get off the floor predominantly using your arms.

See the video demonstration or follow the instructions below.

  1. From lying, roll onto your side and push through your hands into a sitting position.
  2. Prop yourself up with both arms behind you.
  3. Shuffle on the floor to sit with your back against a cushion from the sofa or the first step of a staircase.
  4. Place your hands on the step or cushion and lift yourself up on to it.  You will need to use your arm muscles with a big push.
  5. Repeat to lift yourself to the next step or onto the sofa. This will be easier because you will be able to push through your legs a little.
  6. On the second or third step or once on the sofa you should find you are able to stand up.

VIDEO 4  |  Getting off the floor safely (Technique 2) has programs that help strengthen specific muscles and increase flexibility to help you get on and off the floor.  Recommended exercise programs that enable you to get on and off the floor include:

  • UPfit
  • ARMfit
  • LEGfit
  • KNEEfit
  • BALANCEfit
  • STRETCHfit
  • STANDING ONLY programs that help build confidence and strength, prior to exercising on a floor

You can learn more about Programs here or register for your FREE 14 DAY TRIAL at to explore these programs!

We also invite you to look over these articles on our blog, Move Better. Live Better  that have relevance to getting on and off a floor:

Strong shoulders and arms:  we all need them!

Get your glutes in gear!

Five minutes to better balance