As people grow older they often lose their agility and so lose their ability to take up certain postures and movements to test agility. This article offers a list of postures and movements to test agility which I have concocted and tried. I would expect these postures and movements to test agility to be easily formed by healthy young people under the age of thirty, but not by older people over sixty, for example, unless they do regular exercises to maintain their flexibility.
Obviously I don’t want anyone to hurt themselves by trying to form these postures and movements to test agility. So anyone trying to form them must be careful if they haven’t moved their body in these ways for a long time. In particular postures and movements which involve bending or twisting the back.
Anyone should take medical advice if they think any of these postures and movements to test agility might endanger them, or if they are concerned that they can’t get into a particular posture. Being over weight could be a hindrance. I welcome comments from anyone advised not to attempt particular postures and movements by a medical professional, physiotherapist, etc . My postures and movements list is based on what I think a healthy person below the age of thirty years could easily do.
Everyone should be careful that they don’t fall over while moving in these ways. They should practise the postures and movements, which should be possible to form without holding on to anything, by actually holding on to something – so that they don’t lose their balance.
Many older people cannot get up from the floor from a prone or supine position under any circumstances due to infirmities, particularly when they can’t bend their knees to an acute angle (less than a right angle – 90°). So for anyone in this category they shouldn’t even try to get down on the floor.
A List Of Postures and Movements To Test Agility
Below are the postures and movements I think a person should be able to form below the age of thirty years and beyond if they maintain good health and the correct weight. They are:
- From a sitting or supine position touch the nose with each knee in turn. Pulling the knee towards the face is allowed. See featured image.
- Look directly at and make close inspection of the soles of the feet by pulling each foot up until it rests on the other thigh.
- Put right hand over right shoulder and touch or pull on the fingers of the other hand when it’s put up behind the back. Then repeat with the left hand.
- Jump up in the air so that both feet leave the ground by at least 30cm (1 foot). Check available headroom.
- Kneel down and stand up without using the hands to hold on to anything other than ones own body or the floor.
- Touch the floor with the nose while kneeling. Hands can be placed on the floor for support.
- Crouch/squat with feet flat on the floor, if possible, and hands free. Arms can be stretched forward to maintain balance while touching heels on the floor.
- Lie on the floor in a prone (prostrate) (face down) position and get up unaided without rolling over or holding onto a support (hands, fingers or knuckles can be placed on the floor).
- Lie on the floor in a supine (face up) position and get up unaided without rolling over or holding onto a support (hands, fingers or knuckles can be placed on the floor).
- Stand facing away from a window, or mirror, and without moving the feet turn SLOWLY to look straight out of the window, or into the mirror, by twisting the body to the left and then to the right. NOTE of CAUTION: Twisting rapidly will give the torso harmful momentum which may twist the back too far.
- Stand on each foot in turn and hop a few times.
- Take up the Lotus Position, bringing feet up onto thighs if possible. I lost this ability at an early age (or never had it). I never found it easy to sit cross legged on the floor at school.
- Finally I have decided to add running. I am not suggesting anyone go running a marathon or trying to sprint like Usain Bolt, though they might be healthy things to do. I just suggest an attempt to run for as little as ten or twenty metres. This is because some people have not run for years and therefore have not practised the action. I think they need to be able to make those movements which involve moving their arms in sync with their legs and get both feet to leave the ground at the same time.
NOTE: I have not included bending over and touching toes with straight legs since bending the back is not a good thing to do at any age. When the back is straightened from a bent over position the back muscles have to lift the weight of the head and the upper torso. (Remember packages and other heavy weights should be lifted by bending the knees and keeping the back straight. Lifting advice from the British NHS.)
Who Should Practise Postures and Movements To Test Agility?
Although I think it will be good for older people who have lost agility to try some of these postures and movements to improve themselves, this article is just as important for younger people who have no problem forming these postures and movements. Younger people need to remember this article and keep their agility throughout their lives. If they continue to form these, and similar, postures and movements as they age they will probably be able to maintain healthy bodies.
Why Practise Postures and Movements To Test Agility?
Older people can often find themselves on the floor after a fall. Although they could be hurt badly and require serious medical attention they could be uninjured but unable to get back on their feet or get to sit in a chair. Other people may find them but be unable to lift them up until more help arrives with lifting equipment, but if they could only bend their knees to an acute angle and take their weight with their own muscles they may get up with help from someone else.
A person who cannot make postures and movements to test agility may not be able to give CPR to another person because they cannot get down on the floor. Well it seems there are issues giving CPR with hand compressions anyway. Read this article by paramedic Bob Trenkamp who suggests using the heel to apply compressions instead.
Older folk often have pet cats or dogs. They need to be able to get down to the ground to be able to clean up after them. So they need to maintain a crouching ability. Again I’m not suggesting they bend their backs to get down to the ground.
Good luck to all those who take heed.
Perhaps readers have postures and movements to test agility of their own to add to this list. Comments are welcome.