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Don't Take This News Sitting Down!

This exercise encourages all round lower extremity muscle activation. Sitting lower on the bench means more initial hip flexion, more knee flexion, and more dorsiflexion in the starting position. This in turn means more hip extension, knee extension and plantarflexion in the movement to stand up. Sit to stand is such a functional daily life skill. To give the most support, I would probably retreat to use of the Kaye Products upright poles….or to having my client hold onto 2 wall grips. I have those suction cup wall grips meant for showers in my room on my mirror. I love them! I can put them where ever I need, up/down, wider/narrower, or vertical/angled/horizontal. If I am using the poles or the wall grips, it usually means I am behind the client sitting on the bench behind him straddling the bench and helping at his hips or his knees. He is sitting on the end of the bench. So, in the activity pictured, the client is strong enough to stand up with only 2 hands held. From here I progress to 1 hand held, or 2 hands on a wall. Then I progress to touch or no support in the transition from sitting to stand. I pay attention to whether the client needs back of leg support by the chair or not. I have some clients that can only get up to standing independently if the back of their legs hit the chair/bench. I also like to work on sit to stand when the client is close to being independent by helping only at the knees in the front. I sit on a lower bench/floor in front of the client facing the client. I have my hands on his knees, helping the weight shift forward for the sit to stand transfer and then his balance once standing upright. Also in the activity pictured, I am doing one of my favorite variations. I am actually telling the child to almost sit down but not really. Sometimes I put a squeak toy down on the low seat, and I tell the child to touch the squeak toy but don't squeak it! This usually adds to some hilarity with the inevitable losses of control. It gives a great hip extensor, knee extensor, and plantarflexor work out, both eccentrically and concentrically!

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