Fall in Line

Even if that curb catches you off guard, your stumble doesn’t have to. Stuntmen, athletes, martial artists, and performers learn the art of plunging with poise. You can too. Program your body to properly flip your flop so you can save face… and so much more.

Squat and roll: University of Michigan researchers found that hip fractures could be reduced by 70% if people learned to plummet like a parachutist. Using a skydiver’s landing technique you can reduce the impact force. If you trip, bend at the waist and knees and crouch down to one side. As you hit the ground, roll over your outer leg and hip to your backside — like a side somersault.

Bend and relax: If you sense you’re going down, fold like an accordion, starting with your ankles, then knees, then hips. Stay free and loose, which allows your muscles to absorb kinetic energy and lessen trauma to the joints. Never lock your elbows to brace yourself, especially if you’re tumbling backward.

Defend your head and face: If you’re falling backward, cover your head with your hands and tuck your chin to protect your skull and neck. On a forward fall allow your palms and forearms to accept the brunt of your dive before skidding onto your chest. Cock your head slightly to the side to avoid a face plant.

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