How to fall safely

Simple rules for hitting the ground as softly as possible

by Michael Zimmerman, AARP The Magazine, November 28, 2017

It was nearly 30 years ago that Mrs. Fletcher from the LifeCall commercials first uttered her plaintive cry: “I’ve fallen, and I can’t get up!”

Back then, it was campy and funny. But in the intervening years, chances are that you, and perhaps some of your loved ones, have taken some nasty spills. It’s not just the elderly, though, who end up on the ground.

A study in the Journal of Allied Health showed that 50- to 60-year-olds fall more than older folks. We’re more active, and that puts us more at risk of falling. Also, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that people are more likely to suffer a traumatic brain injury from falling than from any other cause.

And we’re all going to fall down: The world is full of banana peels. So while avoiding a fall is job one, knowing how to take a fall when it’s inevitable is a crucial skill.

“Be smooth, don’t panic, stay loose,” says Alexa Marcigliano, who is really good at falling down. A professional stuntwoman, she’s taken serious spills in shows such as Orange Is the New Black and Blindspot. Here’s her four-point plan for a safe crash landing.

How to fall safely

Step 1: Stay bent

The moment you sense you’ve lost your balance, get ready to fall with bent elbows and knees. “When people panic, they become rigid,” Marcigliano says. “In the stunt world, we never reach out with locked arms. Bend your elbows and have some give in your arms to soften the impact.” When you’re rigid, you’re more likely to suffer a set of injuries called FOOSH — doctor speak for “Fall on outstretched hand.” The result is often a broken wrist or elbow.

How to fall safely

Step 2: Protect your head

If you’re falling forward, be sure to turn your face to the side. Falling backward? “Tuck your chin to your chest so your head doesn’t hit the ground,” Marcigliano advises.

How to fall safely

Step 3: Land on the meat

“One of the things we try for in stunt falls is landing on meaty parts of your body — the muscles in your back, butt or thighs. Not bone.” If you keep your knees and elbows bent and look to land on muscle, you’ll be less likely to crack your elbows, knees, tailbone or hips.

How to fall safely

Step 4: Keep falling

Your instinct will be to stop your body as quickly as you can. But your safest route is to keep rolling — indeed, the more you give in to the fall, the safer it will be. “Spread the impact across a larger part of your body; don’t concentrate impact on one area,” Marcigliano says. The more you roll with the fall, the safer you will be.

Advanced trick

“In stunts, we do something called slapping out,” Marcigliano notes. “As you fall, let your body roll, and extend your arm palm-down, to slap the ground and stop yourself.

Before the fall

While you can’t prevent all slips, there’s plenty you can do to improve your footing.

  • Be here now.Practice “mindfulness” — focus on the present and be aware of your surroundings, instead of being lost in your thoughts.
  • Fix your blind spots. If you can’t see it, you can’t avoid tripping over it. Have your eyesight and eyeglasses checked regularly.
  • Boost your balance. Stand with your feet together. Raise one foot an inch; hold for 30 seconds. Do this for 10 reps. Repeat with your other foot.
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  • How to fall safely

    • Jan. 24, 2017

    Rare is the individual who hasn’t tripped over a pet or uneven pavement, tumbled off a bike, slipped on ice or maybe wiped out skiing or skating.

    Some get injured, while others go unhurt — often claiming it’s because they knew how to fall.

    According to paratroopers, stunt professionals, physical therapists and martial arts instructors, there is indeed a “right way” to fall — and it can save you a lot of grief if you know how to do it.

    Although often associated with older people, falls occur at any age and are the most common cause of injury seen in emergency rooms in the United States. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality estimates that falls cause more than a third of injury-related emergency room visits, around 7.9 million a year.

    “As physical therapists we talk a lot about preventing falls, but what we don’t talk about is what to do when you actually do fall,” said Jessica Schwartz, a physical therapist in New York City who trains athletes and people with prosthetic limbs to fall without hurting themselves. “It’s almost inevitable you are going to fall, so you really should know what to do.”

    The number one thing to remember, she said, is to protect your head. So if you find yourself falling, pivot to your side and tuck in your head.

    “Have you seen those slip and fall cartoons where the characters fall flat on their back or face? Don’t do that,” said Dr. Schwartz. “You’ll hit your head like a coconut and get a concussion,” and the reverse motion, or bounce, of your head after impact “will give you something like whiplash.” Moreover, falling straight forward or backward raises the risk of damaging your spine and vital organs.

    The other thing to avoid, she said, is “foosh,” an acronym for “falling onto outstretched hands.” If you do that, all the force of impact will be concentrated there, raising the risk of breaking your wrist. You similarly don’t want to come crashing down on your knee so you break your kneecap or do that maneuver where you kind of pedal with your feet to catch yourself, which can lead to broken bones in your foot and ankle.

    Instead, if you feel yourself falling, experts said you should bend your elbows and knees and try to take the hit on the fleshiest parts of your body, like the side of your thigh, buttocks and shoulder. “Aim for the meat, not bone,” said Kevin Inouye, a stuntman and assistant professor of acting, movement and stage combat at the University of Wyoming. “Your instinct will be to reach out with hands or try to catch yourself with your knee or foot, but they are hard and not forgiving when you go down.”

    The key is to not fight the fall, but just to roll with it, as paratroopers do. “The idea is to orient your body to the ground so when you hit, there’s a multistep process of hitting and shifting your body weight to break up that impact,” said Sgt. First Class Chuck Davidson, master trainer at the Army’s Advanced Airborne School at Ft. Bragg, N.C.

    Paratroopers’ goal is to fall sideways in the direction the wind is carrying them — in no way resisting the momentum of the fall. When the balls of their feet barely reach the ground, they immediately distribute the impact in rapid sequence up through the calf to the thigh and buttocks. Then they roll over on the latissimus dorsi muscle, the large, flat muscle running laterally down the side of your back, and kick their feet over, shifting their weight so they end up supine with legs bent in front of them.

    The procedure is strikingly similar to how martial arts practitioners learn to take a fall when they are, say, thrown over someone’s shoulder or have their legs knocked out from under them. “I would say the principles we follow are: Accept that you’re falling and go with it, round your body, and don’t stiffen and distribute the energy so you take the fall in the widest area possible,” said Paul Schreiner, a black belt jiu jitsu instructor at Marcelo Garcia Academy in New York City.

    While martial arts falls often have a gymnastic aspect, with rather elegant and snappy kinds of somersaults, it’s still all about spreading out the force of impact. “There may be an aesthetic component, but what it does is save the body,” said Mr. Schreiner. “If you don’t take the fall in any single place, you’ll still walk out sore, but you’ll walk out of there.”

    Difficult as it may sound as you’re hurtling toward the ground — medical bills and disability flashing through your mind — experts said it’s important to relax as you fall. You’re less likely to hurt yourself if you soften up all your muscles and exhale. Rigidity is your enemy, while pliability is your friend. “As unfair as it is, that’s why people who are drunk” tend to be the ones who “don’t get hurt in car crashes,” said Mr. Inouye. “They are loose and just flop around.”

    Of course, you will be better able to loosen up, pivot to your side, tuck and roll if you are in good physical condition. “If you have a room full of soccer players and computer desk workers and go around knocking people over, you can bet the soccer players are going to be less likely to get hurt because of their superior strength, agility and coordination,” said Erik Moen, a physical therapist in Kenmore, Wash.

    But that doesn’t mean you have to be an elite athlete or paratrooper to fall the “right way.” Young children are arguably the best fallers because they have yet to develop fear or embarrassment, so they just tumble and roll without tensing up and trying to catch themselves.

    Physical therapists can be helpful in assessing your weaknesses and prescribing do-at-home exercises to improve your strength and agility (for example, jumping from side to side and on and off platforms or steps) so that you will be better able to execute a fall as well as lessen the risk that you will fall in the first place.

    Falls are responsible for a large percentage of workplace injuries. Whether it is tripping over an object, slipping and falling on a wet floor, or falling from a ladder, they can all be very dangerous. While it is obviously best to avoid falls entirely, there are some things you can do to help minimize your risk of injury should a fall occur. Learning how to fall as safely as possible will help you to be prepared should something happen.

    How To Fall Safely

    Protect Your Head: Your head is the most important part of your body, and is susceptible to serious injuries during a fall. The first thing to learn when working on falling safely is to protect your head. This is done by putting your chin down toward your chest, and then pulling your hands up on top of the head. If you are falling face first, turn your head to the side to avoid a direct facial injury. Ideally, your arms will absorb the bulk of the force, keeping your head safe.

    Turn or Roll into the Fall: Whenever possible, it is best to roll or turn into the fall. This will take some of the momentum from the fall and transfer it into the roll rather than directly into your body. When learning how to roll out of a fall it can be quite awkward at first. If possible, it is a good idea to have people practice this action on a mat or other safe surface until they are comfortable.

    Keep Your Limbs Loose: The natural instinct for people falling is to stiffen up the arms and legs to try to protect the core and head. Having your arms and legs held straight, however, will actually cause more damage than if they were relaxed. Keeping both your arms and legs bent will allow them to absorb the fall better, and prevent serious injuries. In addition, this will make it easier to roll through the fall, thus further dispersing the energy safely.

    Spread the Impact: If you have enough time to position yourself during the fall, it is best to spread the impact out over as much of the body as possible. This is especially helpful for falls from low to moderate height. By spreading the impact across the length of the body, you are much less likely to break a bone or suffer other serious injuries.

    Of course, falling is never going to be entirely safe. Whenever in the workplace, it is important to do everything possible to reduce the risk of falls in the first place. This can be done by using signs alerting people to obstacles or hazards, following proper ladder practices, and more.

    The skills I learned in this class should save me from injury—if only I can learn to “slap the cheese.”

    I’ll admit it. The older I get, the more I worry about falling and breaking an arm or a finger or a shoulder or a hip on a simple walk through the neighborhood. So, after I took a face-plant while chasing a grandchild down a playground hill last fall, I convinced my husband to join me in signing up for a seven-week course called Fearless Falling.

    I’d seen my kids drop and roll plenty of times when they played soccer, so I expected lessons of that sort when the class of six assembled in the gymnastics room at the Whetstone Community Center in Clintonville. Plenty of well-padded mats surrounded us, but I was a bit queasy at the thought of purposely crashing to the ground.

    Turns out, that’s not exactly what you do when you learn to fall fearlessly.

    Our first lesson from instructor Mike Grigsby, a lanky, white-haired man who created the class and has taught it for nine years, was all about tucking and slapping. After warming us up with deep breathing, neck rolls and other stretches, he got right to it.

    Did we know, he asked, that accidental falls send 60,000 adults to emergency rooms each week, and more than 400 of them die from their falls? That hitting your head during a fall can be fatal?

    With those sobering statistics in mind, we eagerly began practicing the chin tuck—clamping your chin to your chest so your head doesn’t whack the ground if you fall backwards. That simple move, Grigsby says, doubles your chance of survival in a back fall.

    Next, we learned “slapping the cheese,” a maneuver that should save us from broken noses and expensive dental work during a forward fall. Grigsby encouraged us to bend our arms and slap both forearms and hands against vertical padding as we fell against it. Looks easy. Sounds easy. But not for me. If I remembered to keep my elbows tight to my body, I forgot to look up. If I remembered to look up, I didn’t achieve a proper slap.

    Every subsequent class, we tucked and slapped and added to our falling repertoire. We learned that instead of flailing our arms and herky-jerking our limbs when we stumble, we should bend our knees, sit down on one side of our large gluteus maximus muscle, tuck our chin and rock backwards.

    Like clowns in training, we pretended to trip on a sidewalk and land sideways on a raised mat without breaking an arm or cracking an ankle. Then we got up and tried again.

    Grigsby, a martial arts instructor for 35 years and a retired biomedical instrument electronic design engineer, threw in some lessons in tai chi to increase our strength and balance.

    I haven’t had a fall since I took the class, but I’m hoping that muscle memory will kick in if I do. I sometimes find myself tucking my chin as I’m walking, trying to keep those reflexes alive. I try to envision myself sitting onto my bottom if I stumble.

    My mind is ready; I just hope my reflexes are.

    This story is from the March 2022 issue of Columbus Monthly.


    How to fall safely

    Falling is a serious concern for the elderly, people living with chronic pain, and people who have an uneasy balance or a hard time walking. Falling can cause serious injuries and can be a scary reality for any person that lives alone with no immediate help to rely on. In order to lower the risk of injury in case of a fall, a person should always be prepared. Learning how to safely fall will help to ensure the person is uninjured and will be able to stand up safely as well.

    Although it may be hard to think of protecting yourself while you are falling, the most important thing to remember is to protect your head. This injury can be serious but is prevented by tucking your chin down and lowering your head as you fall. If you are falling down face first, turn your head to the side and bring your arms up to your head level to create more protection, depending on the way in which you are falling. If you end up falling straight forward or backward, it is important to try to turn your body so that you land on your side. Falling straight forward or backward can cause damage to both areas respectively so landing on your side will help in reducing injury.

    As with working out, it is important to keep your arms and legs bent and at ease. Trying to catch yourself will be hard to resist at first, but doing so will cause injury to your arms and wrists. Try not to tense up while falling and try to breathe out as you fall in order to keep your body relaxed as this will help in reducing injury. A good tip is to roll into the fall and use the energy of the impact into the roll. It will take practice to learn how to roll out of a fall but will be beneficial in the long run.

    Be sure to remember these tips in order to fall safely and reduce the risk of injury!

    We feel like we have the best physical therapists around. Did you know you don’t need a referral to get help from a Physical Therapist? Direct access is available for you, please call us and set up an evaluation so we can help get you back on your feet. In Orange County we offer Physical Therapy in Chester, Goshen, Monroe, Port Jervis, and Montgomery. Westchester County has Physical Therapy in Armonk, Bedford, and Hawthorne. In Ulster County we offer Physical Therapy in Wallkill, while in Sullivan County you can get Physical Therapy in Liberty. To round out our 12 locations in New York, those living in Rockland County can go to Physical Therapy in New City as well as Pomona. If you happen to live in PA, we also have Physical Therapy in Milford and Dingmans Ferry of Pike County. Give us a call today!

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    At ACCESS PT we want to make it simple for you to start your therapy as soon as possible. Follow the link to complete the form, and we’ll contact you to schedule an appointment.

    How to fall safely

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    Falls are the leading cause of death from injury in seniors. And once a senior falls, it’s more likely that they will fall again. However, no matter what your age or fitness level, there are some strategies to reduce the risk from falling, and to lessen the severity of any injuries resulting from a fall. Here is a guide to learn how to fall safely and reduce injury.

    Falling Safely

    Falling hurts your body, and it certainly your pride. Falling can also result in broken bones or severe head injuries. And while falling is almost always unplanned, it pays to plan ahead and know the best way to fall to avoid serious injury.

    Tips from the pros like stuntmen, physical therapists, and paratroopers can significantly reduce your chance of serious injury. Review their suggestions below for safer falls.

    1. Loosen up

    Tensing up as you sense a fall coming is natural, but it also means you’re likely to have a harder impact. Try to exhale quickly and release tension as you start to fall.

    2. Bend your elbows and knees

    Getting into a near-squat position will make it more likely that you will roll onto your behind or back, rather than a less-cushioned part of the body. Try to avoid falling with your hands and arms outstretched—another natural reaction that will likely increase your chances of breaking a wrist or arm. Also, bending your elbows or knees means that there is some “give” in your body.

    3. Tuck your chin to your chest or turn your head away from your fall

    If you are falling backward, tucking your chin in to your chest should prevent your head from smacking the ground with enough force to cause a concussion or serious head injury. Likewise, when you are falling to one side, turning your head away from the direction of your fall will help lesson the impact on your face or temple area.

    4. Aim to land on muscle, not on bone

    The best thing to land on is generally the place where you have the most excess flesh. When it’s not possible to land on your buttocks, try to maneuver to the next thickest part of your body. Thighs are better than knees. Biceps are better than elbows. And back fat may be an unflattering, but it can be a saving grace for your spine.

    Bonus tip: Keep falling, you’re on a roll!

    When a fall occurs, the most immediate reaction is to stop falling. But in fact, that can exacerbate any injury. Rather, when you fall, “roll” with the fall to spread the impact over a larger area of your body, thereby lessening the severity on any one part of your body. Martial Arts experts and paratroopers learn to “go with” a fall to reduce the chance of injury.

    For more information on fall prevention and how you can be better equipped to help yourself or a loved one, check out our fall prevention fact sheet and learn the steps you can take to help reduce the chances of a fall.

    Slips, trips, and falls can cause serious injury, especially if you are older. Sprains, dislocations, and breaks are common injuries sustained from falling — even from a standing position. There are ways to fall more safely to prevent serious injury from happening. Read on for 6 tips for safe falling.

    Protect Your Head

    As you fall, do all that you can to protect your head. Tuck your chin away from the direction of the fall, bring your arms up for protection, and if you are falling face first, turn your head to the side. Head injuries can cause brain damage and even death, so make sure that your head is safe!

    Turn on Your Side

    Falling to the front or to the back is more dangerous and has a higher potential for injury. As you fall, try to turn to your side to reduce the chance of injury.

    Keep Your Body Relaxed

    Although it seems counter intuitive, make sure that your arms and legs are bent and don’t tense up! Staying loose will help your body absorb the shock from the fall. If your muscles are tense, you are more likely to suffer injuries like broken bones than you are if you are relaxed. Remind yourself to keep breathing as you fall to stay relaxed.

    Roll Out of It

    In first person video games, the player has the option to roll out of jumps from high places to avoid damage. The same concept occurs in parkour (the art of jumping and rolling around and martial arts. It is best to practice rolling out of a fall on a soft floor so that you can know what to do when the time comes.

    Spread Out the Impact

    Catching yourself with one hand or with just your hip will cause more damage than if you spread out the fall over your entire body. Let a larger portion of your body take the brunt of the fall rather than trying to catch yourself with your hands, possibly breaking your wrists.

    Prevent Falls

    The best way to fall safely is to prevent falling in the first place. Wear slip-resistant footwear if you have to walk in an environment where falling is likely (like in the snow or on a wet floor). Be more attentive to your surroundings, and watch where you are going. If you see an obstacle, you are less likely to trip over it. Most importantly, create a safe environment where falls are less likely. Close drawers and cabinets after you are done using them. Clean up your home. Keep your home well lit, use non-slip mats in your kitchen and bath tub, remove rugs that flip up, and don’t leave cords or wires where you might trip on them.

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    Dr. Skedros is prepared to treat a wide range of injuries to the musculoskeletal system, which includes the bones, joints, muscles, ligaments and tendons, in either a non-surgical or surgical manner, resorting to surgery when all other treatment methods have been exhausted or ruled out.

    SmartCells fall protection products can be used under vinyl and carpet to reduce tripping hazards.

    According to Center for Disease Control expert Judy Stevens, 30-35% of people over age 65 fall each year, one in five of those falls involve a serious injury, and 65% of those falls result in an emergency room visit.

    A bone fracture or any other fall-related injury can be extremely dangerous, and is often considered the beginning of an elderly person’s demise. In fact, the CDC also found that “approximately 20% of older adults hospitalized for a hip fracture die within a year and about 50% will suffer a major decline in independence.”

    When considering the statistics listed above, it is easy to see that falls are an increasing concern for our vulnerable elderly population and while efforts to reduce falls are noble it is also equally important to discuss ways in which to reduce fall-related injuries.

    In the past we have blogged about several different ways to reduce the likelihood of a fall or fall-related injury such as: balance exercises, home safety tips, how to avoid dangerous areas in the home and how to choose the right fall protection mat.

    In this article, we would like to take a different approach on falling: how to fall safely.

    There are three basic types of falls (front falling, includes tripping, side falling and backwards falling) and each fall requires its own techniques to reduce injuries and land in a safer manner. According to experts at Five Star Senior Living and Texas Women’s University here are some tips to remember in case of a fall in order to reduce the likelihood of an injury:

    For Forward Falls

    • Hit ground with entire palm and forearm- This reduces the likelihood of a wrist fracture.
    • Turn your head to the side- Reduces risk of hitting your nose or mouth on the ground.
    • Try to land on your palms and forearms in a pushup position without letting the rest of your body touch the ground.
    • Breathe out
    • Avoid Locking your joints

    For Side Falls

    • Hit ground with entire palm and forearm on the side you fall on- If left side use left arm etc.
    • Grab your hip with opposite arm- If falling to left use right arm to grab hip
    • Tuck your chin to your chest to avoid your head hitting the ground.
    • Squat
    • Try to roll to your back
    • Avoid landing directly on your hip

    For Backwards Falls

    • Bend at knees and squat
    • Tuck chin to avoid hitting head
    • Hit the ground with forearms first.
    • Round Back

    As we mentioned earlier, there are many precautions one can take in order to reduce the likelihood of a fall and fall-related injury such as: using a combination of exercises, falling techniques, basic home changes and the use of SmartCells fall protection mats.

    SmartCells fall protection mats and flooring employ a unique triple action technology that provides a stable, safe surface for standing, walking, wheeling and transferring, while at the same time protects with significant cushioning in case of a slip or fall.

    SmartCells fall-protection mats are safe and elegant. They combine style and quality with molded-in beveled edges, which reduce tripping hazards and allow wheeled objects to easily roll, and are constructed of material that will not absorb liquid, and offer a practical solution to infection control issues. SmartCells fall-protection flooring acts as an underlayment for most choices of standard flooring, so you won’t even know it’s there, until a fall occurs.

    SmartCells Fall Protection: We’ll be there when you can’t be.

    No one wants to fall, but unfortunately, “One out of every four adults over age 65 falls every year.” (CDC) Avoiding falls is critical, but knowing how to fall can help prevent serious injuries.

    Falling is scary for the elderly. But, preparing for a fall can help an individual gain more control and confidence. In my last blog I reviewed tips on how to decrease the risk of falling. This

    How to fall safely

    week we are going to discuss the proper way to fall in the event a fall occurs.

    Injuries from falls are a worldwide concern.

    In the Netherlands courses on falling are popular in the generic community. Obstacle courses with thick mats are designed to simulate falling. The Simulation Fall Obstacle course helps seniors develop better balance and falling techniques. Hopefully, courses like the ones in the Netherlands will become more popular in the United States. (Schuetze)

    In the United States Fall simulation courses are not as popular.

    Fall expert and professional stunt woman Alexa Marcigliano, teaches a four-point technique for falling. (Zimmerman)

    Stay bent. When you feel you are about to fall bend your arms and legs. Crunch up like a ball. Falling when your arms or legs are straightening can lead to hand/wrist and hip fractures (Zimmerman)

    Protect your head. If you are falling backward tuck your chin to your chest, if you are falling forward turn your face. (Zimmerman)

    Land on the “meat”. If the point of impact is on the “meat” or the fleshy parts of the body, bruises will result but you will be less likely to break bones. (Zimmerman)

    Roll with the fall. Spread the fall out over distance. (Zimmerman). If you are falling roll to dissipate the impact. In addition, slapping the ground with an open palm can also decrease the impact.

    Preparing for the worst things is difficult.

    No one wakes up in the morning wanting to fall but embracing our fears might help us overcome them.

    Schuetze, Christoper F. “Afraid of Falling? For Older Adults, the Dutch Have a Cure” New York Times. Jan. 2, 2018.

    Zimmer, Michael “The Art of Falling Safely” AARP The Magazine. Jan. 2018

    Topic Overview

    If you have injuries, health problems, or other reasons that may make it easy for you to fall at home, it is a good idea to learn how to get up safely after a fall. Learning how to get up correctly can help you avoid making an injury worse.

    Also, knowing what to do if you cannot get up can help you stay safe until help arrives.

    How can you care for yourself after a fall?

    If you think you can get up

    First lie still for a few minutes and think about how you feel. If your body feels okay and you think you can get up safely, follow the rest of the steps below:

    1. Look for a chair or other piece of furniture that is close to you.
    2. Roll onto your side and rest. Roll by turning your head in the direction you want to roll, move your shoulder and arm, then hip and leg in the same direction.
    3. Lie still for a moment to let your blood pressure adjust.
    4. Slowly push your upper body up, lift your head, and take a moment to rest.
    5. Slowly get up on your hands and knees, and crawl to the chair or other stable piece of furniture.
    6. Put your hands on the chair.
    7. Move one foot forward, and place it flat on the floor. Your other leg should be bent with the knee on the floor.
    8. Rise slowly, turn your body, and sit in the chair. Stay seated for a bit and think about how you feel. Call for help. Even if you feel okay, let someone know what happened to you. You might not know that you have a serious injury.

    If you cannot get up

    1. If you think you are injured after a fall or you cannot get up, try not to panic.
    2. Call out for help.
    3. If you have a phone within reach or you have an emergency call device, use it to call for help.
    4. If you do not have a phone within reach, try to slide yourself toward it. If you cannot get to the phone, try to slide toward a door or window or a place where you think you can be heard.
    5. Yell or use an object to make noise so someone might hear you.
    6. If you can reach something that you can use for a pillow, place it under your head. Try to stay warm by covering yourself with a rug, blanket, or clothing while you wait for help.
    7. If you can, try to move around a little bit to keep from getting stiff. If you urinate, try to roll away from the damp area.

    What can you do to be prepared in case you fall?

    Practice getting up from a fall. If you are a bit unsteady, have someone with you when you try this. Ask the person to read the steps out loud so you can do them one at a time.

    If you are able to get up without help, practice this once a week or often enough to feel comfortable.

    If you can’t get up by yourself, see a physical therapist for help. A physical therapist can work with you to prevent falls and make a plan for what you can do if you do fall.

    Written By Aravind Athiviraham, MD

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    How to fall (safely) on ice

    Video Transcript

    [MUSIC PLAYING] So the key is to protect things from [? pouring. ?] So avoid falling backwards, because then you can hit your head.

    I mean, again, if you’re using your arms, you really don’t want to go on an outstretched hand because it can then injure your wrist or something. Anything you can do to kind of shorten the distance. So if you kind of squat down, bend your body, have kind of a lower distance to the ground, that will reduce the impact.

    The ever-present snow and ice on the ground during the winter can be dangerous. Sports medicine expert Aravind Athiviraham, MD, explains how to fall without seriously hurting yourself.

    How to fall safely

    Aravind Athiviraham, MD

    A specialist in orthopaedic sports medicine, Aravind Athiviraham, MD, cares for patients with athletic and overuse injuries, including anterior or posterior cruciate ligament tears, meniscus or cartilage injury, patellar or shoulder instability and elbow ulnar collateral ligament tears. He is skilled in minimally invasive and arthroscopic procedures of the knee, shoulder and elbow.

    When using a walker after surgery it’s important to be as safe as possible to avoid falling. In this blog I will discuss learning how to fall, how to get up safely and tips to avoid falling in the future.

    James Anderson

    I’m a 2nd year Masters of Physical Therapy student at the University of Toronto. My passion is to help get and keep people healthy and active!

    More posts by James Anderson.

    James Anderson

    How to fall safely

    When using a walker after surgery it’s important to be as safe as possible to avoid falling. However, it is important to realize falls can happen and it is crucial to know what to do if you fall. In this blog I will discuss learning how to fall, how to get up safely and tips to avoid falling in the future.

    Learning how to fall safely

    You are using your walker and you start to lose your balance. When this happens the first thing you need to try and do is avoid a fall. If there is a stable surface beside you such as a banister or stable counter or large piece of furniture that you can reach, move your hands off your walker and support yourself using this surface. If you reach for a chair or a small piece of furniture this may not support you and can result in further injury when you do fall. If this is not possible try and step toward the direction you are falling to try and move your body or your center of mass back in the middle of your stance.

    If you can’t catch yourself and continue to lose your balance it’s important to realize you are going to fall. This is okay. Falls happen however, let’s make sure you know how to fall safely.

    1. The most important step is to take your hands off of your walker. If you continue to hold onto your walker it will not stop the fall and you are putting yourself at a higher risk of injury from contact with the walker and the ground. [1]
    2. Try and relax your body. Stiffening up only makes you more likely to cause injury. [1]
    3. avoid the reflex of falling forward on your hands. Try and roll or twist to the side to land on more heavily padded areas of your body. [1]
    4. While falling try and crunch yourself down and keep your elbows and knee bent. The reason is to control the force of the fall and distribute forces with your core. [1]
    5. Avoid hitting your face. Try and tuck your chin down into your neck and move your head to the side away from the fall. [1]

    How to fall safely

    How to get up safely

    You have fallen. The most important thing to remember after a fall is that when you get back up you have to be careful to ensure you don’t fall again.

    1. Take a breath and stay calm. Assess how you are feeling and if you are seriously injured. If you are seriously injured and can’t get up, call for help or call 911. You should never try and get up if you feel like you will hurt yourself more by doing so. [2]
    2. If you are comfortable and ready to get back up, roll onto your side. Once on your side bring your legs to the middle of your body and use your arms to prop yourself up into a side sitting position. [2]
    3. Identify any furniture or stable objects that you could use to help get yourself up. Once identified, move to step four. [2]
    4. Use your arms and swing your legs into a 4 point hands and knees crawling position. Crawl to the stable object. [2]
    5. Place your arms on the stable object. Move your stronger leg and place your foot flat on the floor. This is almost in a lunge position. [2]
    6. Use your arms and strong leg to push yourself upwards into standing. Immediately turn and sit in the chair or on the object. Take a moment to take a breath and call whoever you feel is appropriate to let them know about the fall. If you are hurt it’s always important to tell your primary care doctor and make sure everything is okay. If you are severely hurt, call 911 or other local emergency health response service. [2]

    How to fall safely

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    In this video, you’ll learn how to practise falling when skating

    Here is an exercise that you can adapt to have fun sliding along the ground

    Place two markers on the ground, around two metres apart

    Position yourself ten metres away, push off and gain speed

    When you’re level with the markers, lower yourself down to adopt the ‘kneeling Knight’ position

    To learn more about this position, watch the video ‘learning how to fall’

    Let yourself slide as far as you can along the ground.

    Alternate the sliding phases by switching the leg you kneel on or adopting the ‘Little Wagon’ position

    If you have a partner, have a contest by pushing off together- the one who slides the furthest wins!

    To vary the exercise, push off face to face a few dozen metres away from each other

    Calculate the distance necessary for dropping down and sliding in the same position on your kneepads

    You can choose to reach each other and stop or do a high five

    You can also practise dropping down together, side by side and holding hands

    How to fall safely

    03 Feb How to Fall Safely

    Winter is definitely upon us and we are finding ourselves on the ground as we cannot catch our footing on this uneven and slippery roads and sidewalks. This wintry weather is when the most accidents occur, both on foot and in vehicles. We must be cautious and keep ourselves safe but sometimes you just can’t seem to catch your balance with these icy walkways.

    Have you ever seen those cartoons where the guy slips on the banana peel? That could be you but only with ice instead. Sometimes you may be able to regain footing but most of the time we are not always so lucky. The question is, though, when you know you are going to fall, what can we do to protect ourselves from getting hurt? You can reduce the impact of a fall and protect yourself from serious injury with just a few steps:

    • The most important thing to protect from a fall is your head. An injury to this area can lead to major trauma and can even be fatal. Make protection of your head a priority before making contact with the ground. Tuck your chin into your chest and place your arms behind your head for extra protection (or in front of your head if falling forward).
    • It is also important to tuck your arm and legs in close to your core when falling to avoid absorbing full force or impact of the fall. If your body parts are too straight, it is more likely to break bones or tear a muscle because they are too stiff, so be sure to stay as loose as possible.
    • Lastly, try to roll when going into your fall. Instead of making impact heavily in one area, rolling can help you distribute the force of the fall to avoid major injury or damage to areas of the body.

    If you use these helpful tips, you will hopefully only walk away from a fall with minor cuts and bruises at worst. While we are always here for you at Lake Country Physical Therapy & Sportscare, PC, we much rather have you avoiding a trip to the doctor or us if there is a way to avoid injury.

    Lake Country Physical Therapy & Sportscare PC offers the very best physical therapy in Ontario County. We treat all your wants and needs with our trusted and experienced Physical Therapists and staff. To begin to feel pain and stress free, start your Physical Therapy journey today and schedule your evaluation by calling (585) 396-1400.

    How to fall safely

    For those situations where you find yourself falling off your skateboard; is there a proper way to land without hurting yourself and ending up in an EMS vehicle to the nearest hospital?

    Sometimes safety gear is just not enough! Learning how to fall safely will not only keep you safer and relatively pain-free, it will also help build your confidence so you can try new tricks and push yourself further without fear of wiping out.

    Types of Skateboard Falls

    There are three types of falls off your board:

    • Falling Off: This happens when you lose your board and stumble without hitting the ground.
    • Bailing: If you suspect that you’re going to fall hard, you can bail on the trick before it’s too late.
    • Slamming: This is the worst case scenario because this term describes the moment when you hit the ground. You lose control of the trick and slam-bang, you’re eating dirt.

    Safer Methods of Falling

    While it would be great to learn not to fall at all, falling is part of skateboarding. Falling is unavoidable. It’s going to happen. But, don’t let that deter you. You can avoid serious injury learning to call correctly with these two methods:

    • Learn to Run out of Tricks: This is where you try something, and the board goes wrong, and you catch yourself running. It takes some getting used to, but if you do this right you’ll get out of a lot of falls!
    • Learn to Not Catch Yourself With Your Hands: Your instincts when you fall are to throw your hands out. But, you shouldn’t do that when there’s concrete below you. You could break your wrists. You can buy wrist guards for skateboarding. These can help if you’re afraid of catching yourself with your hands. But it’s better to learn to overlook and control your instincts so you can fall more carefully.
    • Roll to Land on Your Shoulder or Back Instead: When you fall, roll to land on your shoulder or back instead, tucking in your elbows. You might want actually to practice this a little! Go out to your yard or someplace soft and stand on your skateboard. Then fall forward and roll to land on your shoulder. The roll takes the energy out of the fall. If you can, roll with the fall — land on your shoulder and let the force of the fall play itself out with the roll. It’ll hurt a little, but not that bad. Keep your limbs loose to absorb the fall; stiffening up increasing the risk of breaking bones.
    • Wear Kneepads on Ramps: If you are skateboarding on ramps, then wearing kneepads can keep you safer from injuries resulting from a fall. You want to teach yourself to always fall to your knees and slide down the ramp. You can actually practice this and it’s fun, too. Just run up the side of a ramp, drop to your knees and then slide down. If you are skateboarding on vert ramps, then get a good running start and get as high as you can before dropping. Practice like this for a while to get it in your head.

    Falling is a big part of skateboarding, but if you learn to minimize the damage from your falls and wear a helmet and pads, you should be ok for the most part.

    In the U.S., up to 10,000 people are seen in the emergency room daily as a result of sports related injuries. Many injuries are because of falling, or more specifically, from using an improper falling technique. Learning to fall safely may prevent painful, sometimes serious injuries. There are general principles as well as more specific to sport activities that you will find interesting and effective. Here are some important tips:

    • Crouch down if you feel yourself losing your balance, so you won’t have as far to fall.
    • Avoid the reflex to catch yourself with your hands when you fall. Instead, try to land on the fleshy parts of the body and roll.
    • Relax your body rather than stiffening up.
    • Avoid a face plant. Tuck your chin and turn your head.
    • Sidestep trouble: In mid fall, twist or roll your body to the side (it’s safer to land on your butt and side – more “padding” than on your back).
    • Go for an even landing. Keep wrists straight and elbows and knees bent and draw them in close to your body. Try to spread out the forces of impact by landing with as much of your core body as you can.

    My son is taking Parkour, which is a very active sport, and he has learned how to safely fall. One such technique is called The Parkour Ukemi. Ukemi is a Japanese name that means literally “receiving (with/through) the body.” In martial arts, it refers to “the art of falling” on different types of hard surfaces. While Parkour can be a dangerous sport, the teaching of falling safely is a useful tool for any sport, age group or lifestyle. Parkour Ukemi teaches a basic beginner roll, called the ‘Triangle to Back Method’ that helps to prevent injuries to the neck, spine, shoulder and wrist. This is a low-impact modified version of the gymnast roll.

    The basic points of the Triangle to Back Roll are:

    1. Relax – It sounds impossible to relax, but if you stiffen up, the chances of getting hurt rise.
    2. Tuck – Tuck your chin in and look at your stomach.
    3. Reach Out to the Side – Instead of reaching straight out in front, reach out slightly to the side and in front, arms to the side that you intend to roll towards.
    4. Put Palms Down Flat – Put your hands flat down creating a triangle shape by touching together the pointer fingers and thumbs from both hands. This creates a position that makes your elbows bend and your arms absorb the impact.
    5. Tuck Your Shoulder In – Whatever shoulder you chose to start your roll with, turn it inwards to avoid putting the hard impact directly on top of the shoulder and incurring a broken shoulder or collarbone.
    6. Roll Diagonally Across Your Spine – Instead of rolling from your neck straight down your spine and hitting all the vertebrae, tuck your shoulder in and roll from your shoulder diagonally across your spine to your hip.
    7. Practice Rolling Onto Both Sides – Practice using both sides in preparation for a realistic fall. (1)

    As we all know, you usually don’t have time to “think” before you fall. But a patient recently told me in a split second he was able to remember to crouch down and feels it helped avoid further injury. If you can learn even one of these tips, it may make all the difference.

    How to fall safely

    Sometimes falling over is inevitable…

    No matter how careful you are, you’re destined to hit the floor.

    But, not all falls need to cause long-term injury and pain. By learning how to fall properly, you may be able to limit the impact of future falls – helping you remain active.

    Research has shown that people aged 50-60 tend to fall more often than the elderly. It’s likely this is a result of us having a more active lifestyle.

    But, whatever your age, whilst we can’t always stop a fall, it would be handy to know how to minimise the risk of serious injury if and when we do take a tumble. The 3 tips below highlight some useful things to remember to limit serious damage. The video further down the article discuses useful exercises and movements you can practice at home to become better prepared for falls too.

    3 Tips for Falling Safely

    Here are our top tips to falling safely;

    1. Protect your Head

    Our head is arguably the most important part of our body. You can reduce the impact of a fall on your head with some super quick adjustments. If you are falling forwards, try to turn your head to the side so that you land on your cheek. When falling backwards, tuck your chin to your neck so that your head does not immediately hit the ground. You could also bring your hands to your head for added protection.

    2. Aim for a Soft Landing

    Instinct often sees us putting our hands out in front of us in an attempt to stop our bodies hitting the ground. Unfortunately, our wrists aren’t all that strong, nor are other bonier parts of our bodies such as knees and elbows and you are likely to break bones if they take the full impact of the fall. Instead, try to take the hit on the fleshier areas of your body. Ideally, turn sideways as you fall as this can spread the impact over shoulders and thighs. When falling backwards, aim to land on your buttocks rather than back.

    3. Loosen Up

    You don’t want to allow one part of your body to take the full impact, especially not if it’s your head or back. Try to loosen up rather than tensing up. Easier said than done, we know, but if you can loosen those limbs, bending legs and elbows, you allow more of your body to absorb the force rather than rigid areas taking the full hit. You can lesson the impact further by rolling with the fall rather than trying to stop as soon as possible once you have landed.

    Exercises and Movements to Practice

    The video below highlights some great actionable tips you can do at home to better prepare yourself for any falls.

    Practising these kinds of moves will ensure you are prepared for any unfortunate tumbles that come your way – and, they may just limit the injury and impact the fall has.

    Learning how to fall may not be something you’ve done before, but it could well be one of the best things you do to remain active into older age.

    Avoiding Nasty Falls

    Ideally, we should take every preventative measure we can to avoid a fall happening in the first place; good grip shoes, ensuring paths are clear of ice and snow, floors clear of trip hazards are good examples.

    Inevitably though, a fall will catch you off guard but hopefully these tips will help you land in the safest way possible and reduce the risk of serious injury.

    Related articles:

    How to get up after a fall: prevent added injury with safe techniques

    According to the CDC , more than 1 in 4 people age 65 and older fall each year. And, falling once doubles the chances of falling again.

    Even worse, after an older adult falls, lying on the floor for a long time or getting up incorrectly could cause additional injury – even if they weren’t seriously injured from the fall itself.

    For example, someone who isn’t able to get up or call for help may develop serious complications like dehydration , hypothermia, pneumonia , or pressure sores .

    Another issue is that many people who fall, even if they’re not injured, become afraid of falling.

    This fear could cause them to avoid everyday activities. And if they’re less active, they’ll become weaker, which then increases their chances of falling .

    To combat this, seniors can proactively learn safe techniques for how to get up from a fall.

    Knowing what to do if a fall does occur and practicing ahead of time will give them confidence that they’ll be able to help themselves and minimize injuries.

    We share a helpful 5 minute video demonstration of safe techniques for getting up after a fall and outline the key steps to take to get up or to call for help.

    Safety warning: always assess injuries before moving

    Seniors should only consider getting up if they’re not injured or dizzy from the fall.

    They should also feel that they have enough strength to get up on their own.

    If you find that your older adult has been injured in a fall, don’t move them – that could make their injuries worse.

    Instead, call 911, keep them as warm and comfortable as possible, and wait for emergency responders to arrive.

    Step-by-step guide for how to get up from a fall safely

    This video is useful because it’s a step-by-step guide to get from lying on the floor to safely sitting in a chair.

    The demonstration of how to get up from a fall starts at 1 min 35 seconds in the video. The video opens with a long introduction and a liability disclaimer.

    In the demonstration, they first show how older adults can safely get up on their own. Then, they show how seniors can call for help if they’re injured and can’t get up on their own.

    Important: Seniors with serious health conditions or limited mobility should always consult their doctor or physical therapist for advice on what to do in case of a fall in order to prevent further injury.

    How to get up from a fall when there are no injuries

    1. Stay calm and still. Don’t move for a few minutes because moving too quickly can cause more harm.
    2. Figure out if you’re injured. Slowly move hands and feet, arms and legs to check for pain.
    3. If there are no injuries, slowly roll onto your side, starting the movement with your head and moving down your body toward your feet. Take a moment to rest.
    4. Slowly push up into a crawling position and crawl slowly on hands and knees toward a sturdy chair or piece of furniture. Don’t rush and rest as needed. Place your hands on the seat of the chair, one at a time.
    5. Supporting yourself with the chair, bring your strongest leg up to a 90 degree angle by putting that foot flat on the ground. The other leg stays in kneeling position. Slowly push up to standing using both arms and legs.
    6. Slowly turn around and lower yourself onto the chair. Sit and catch your breath for a few minutes before doing anything else.

    How to call for help when there are injuries

    1. Stay calm and rest for a few moments. Figure out what parts of your body are injured.
    2. If you have one, use an emergency medical alert device or mobile phone to call 911 or a family member for help. Tell them about your injuries.
    3. If there’s a pillow nearby, put it under your head. If there’s a blanket or some clothing nearby, use it to keep yourself warm while you wait for help.
    4. If you don’t have a medical alert device or a phone nearby, start yelling for help. If you can’t yell, grab something nearby and use it to bang on the floor or on nearby furniture to make noise and attract attention.

    Recommended for you:

    By DailyCaring Editorial Team
    Image: Vintage Fitness

    This article wasn’t sponsored and doesn’t contain affiliate links. For more information, see How We Make Money.

    How to fall safely

    Fall safely in 3 steps

    Post written by: Shie Boon

    Watch this 5 minutes “Fall safely in 3 steps” video done by our senior students learning Art du Déplacement / Parkour in our Phoenix classes:

    When we fall:

    1. Understand that it’s okay to feel scared – Our upper body gets thrown off in a certain direction, leaving the lower body behind. This is not a position our bodies are used to and therefore the scary feeling of falling kicks in.

    2. Synchronisation of upper and lower body – Next is the crucial moment that will determine what damage we will take or if we are able to mitigate it totally. Our lower body (legs) will scramble to match the speed of the upper body. In this scramble, if our legs manage to catch up, we will then re-stabilize ourselves. If our legs are unable to catch up, this is when the weight of our upper body will pull us to the ground.

    3. Curl into a ball quickly to reduce impact – In the latter scenario, two things can happen. Either we bend our knees (squat) to lower our hips down to the floor, or we don’t. The smaller and faster we can curl ourselves towards the floor, the lower the impact of the fall and the easier it is to roll out of it. The more we expose our body’s surface area, the bigger the impact and the harder it becomes to disperse the fall’s momentum.

    4. Properly absorb impact with your arms – We usually shoot our hands towards the ground to try to stop the fall, but we may not realise that our legs are much stronger than our arms. Hence we must first squat our hips down before using our hands to help with the impact absorption and dispersion. Speaking of absorption, wherever you place your hands during a fall, how freely your elbows can bend in that position determines how much impact your arm strength can absorb before it reaches its structural and physical limit. Sometimes even when our hands are placed in a good structural position for absorption, we restrict ourselves by locking out (not bending) the elbows. This results in jamming the wrist into the ground, which causes wrist strains, sprains and/or shoulder dislocations.

    5. Flow with the momentum until you naturally stop – Lastly, it’s about the smooth and connected dispersion of the fall’s momentum. Don’t try to jam-stop the momentum of the fall with your hands, unless there is no safer choice (lava-spewing crocodiles below you) or you are confident that the strength of your straight and extended arms can manage the fall. Prepare and position your body and limbs in a sequence of actions to facilitate a smooth dispersion until the momentum of the fall naturally stops by itself. The most important safety pointer to take note is to protect your vital joints and organs namely head, shoulders, elbows, wrists, spine, hips, knees, ankles and heels. Curling into a foetus position will protect your organs and allow your ball-shaped body to roll smoothly.

    How to fall safely

    Bonus tip: Strengthen your body to improve its readiness to manage a fall – Work on building strength and speed in your squats, push-ups and tuck jumps. If you have good foundational fitness, a strict burpee with a powerful tuck jump is a great exercise to improve full body coordination, connection and dynamism that are crucial aspects in effective movement. Even if the full burpee isn’t currently accessible, do a progressive version and more importantly focus on lightness and sensitivity of touch which are foundations of safety.

    New to rolling?

    Watch this video tutorial where our senior students demonstrate the common mistakes, safety pointers and exercises to practice in learning how to fall safely by rolling.

    Practice rolling often to apply that newly gained strength into a functional skill ingrained into the reflexes of your body, so that when an unexpected fall happens, your body will be instinctively prepared to protect you.

    That’s the end of it! Learning to fall safely will bring about precious physical and emotional confidence for not just ourselves but our loved ones.

    Do help to share it if you think it will be helpful for others. Drop a comment if you have any feedback, falling tips or questions. Complementing our unique perspectives is what makes individuals and a community thrive as a whole. ?

    Try a class with us to learn to fall safely from our coaches

    Our safe and professional approach to teaching Art du Déplacement / Parkour is one of the top reasons our students have been able to come back again and again for training. Keen to try out the methods above with personalised guidance from our coaches? Book a trial with us today.

    Falling Safely

    If you have ever taken a fall, you know that preventing injury can be tricky. Falling safely can be simple, however, if you are able to respond in without panicking. Given that you only have a matter of seconds to react, it is important to understand how falling safely works before you are in the situation.

    Tips for Falling Safely

    • Don’t panic! Staying calm is one of the simplest and most effective things you can do to promote a safe fall. Panic tends to result in tightening up of the body. Of your body is rigid, the likelihood of orthopaedic trauma is higher. If you can calmly react, falling safely is much more likely.
    • Stay loose. This tip goes hand in hand with avoiding panic. If you mindfully fall with bent knees and arms, you are less likely to lock out with rigidity. Our instinct is to reach out to protect ourselves while falling. This however, makes for a more rigid frame that will buckle under the stress of a fall.
    • Protect your head. If you are falling backward, the best way to protect your head is tucking your chin to your chest. In a forward facing fall, turn your head to either side.
    • Keep falling and roll. One of the biggest issues with falling comes from trying to actually stop the fall after it has started. You can actually decrease the impact of the fall by rolling out of it. The more you allow yourself to fall, the more you can spread the impact out rather than focusing it on one specific body part.

    Common Falling Injuries

    There are several types of orthopaedic injuries that can result from falling. From life-threatening to minor trauma, a simple fall can easily land you in the office of your orthopaedic surgeon. Here are the most common injuries:

    • hip fracture
    • wrist fracture
    • head injury
    • rotator cuff injury
    • back injury
    • torn meniscus
    • wrist sprain

    If you have suffered an orthopaedic injury following a fall, be sure to consult an orthopaedic surgeon for an appropriate evaluation.

    The fact is that falling is part of skateboarding. I’m guessing this statement is really obvious to some and surprising to just as many. Skateboarding is NOT about getting good enough so you don’t fall anymore. There are always new tricks, new obstacles, new tweaks and ideas for the young skater to try, falls are inevitable.

    The good news is that kids can be taught pretty quickly how to fall correctly, minimizing their chances of getting hurt. The more comfortable your child is falling, the more comfortable they will be trying new obstacles and tricks. The best young skaters out there are excellent at falling, I promise!

    The key to a safe fall is to elongate the period of time between initial impact and coming to a complete stop. Hmm, said another way, avoid the Slam, the abrupt and immediate hard contact with the ground, whenever possible. The best ways to accomplish this are to either slide, roll or run it out.

    Warning: trying to “catch” oneself with arms outstretched is never a good idea. Wrist injuries are the #1 injury in skateboarding because many skaters didn’t learn to fall correctly. You’ll find some debate as to the value of wrist guards due to this concern. One perspective is that these types of “catch” falls are inevitable so the wrist guards should be there to protect. The other perspective is that wearing the guards will inadvertently encourage the skaters to catch themselves with their hands. One option is to ensure the skater wears the wrist guards while also encouraging them to practice proper techniques in parallel.

    Rolling and running it out tend to be the methods that you see older street or park skaters using, for instance on TV during competitions such as the X-Games or Dew Tour. These guys simply don’t wear pads and given that they are falling on concrete, their best bet it to start running midair and try their best to land on their feet and keep moving. If there is no way to run it out they will tuck and roll just like a gymnast. If they are stuck landing on their back they will tuck their chin and hope for a bit of a slide.

    If you watch the vert ramp skaters (like Tony Hawk or Shaun White), you’ll be relieved to see that most of these skaters are thankfully still wearing pads and helmets. As running on the halfpipe doesn’t work so well, these guys have mastered the slide. The skaters fall preferably on their knees, sometimes on knees and elbows, occasionally just a slide on the backside.

    We recommend that younger skaters always wear their helmets and pads and first and foremost master the ability to slide on their knees. This technique can be used in all sorts of situations on many types of ramps and obstacles and even flat ground.

    A skater can get used to the slide by literally kneeling at the edge of a ramp and then sliding down the ramp on their knees. They can also run up a ramp and slide back down backwards on elbows and knees. Eventually they can even jump from the top into the ramp and slide on their knees. These same concepts can be adapted to flat ground. A skater should be able to go from a normal run to sliding safely on their knees without hesitation.

    All the above can and should be practiced, even without the skateboard. These techniques really should become second nature to the skater.

    How to fall safely

    Above is a sequence of a safe fall from Zyler, honestly this wasn’t staged for this article, but I was really happy when I stepped through the video and found how naturally Zy transitioned from his attempted backside 180 to a safe falling position, and especially how he pulled his hand back and out of a “catch” position.

    Skaters will adapt all sorts of different slide techniques. Some look like baseball slides that can often leverage at least one knee pad and an elbow pad. Other times it is pure backside slide. Most importantly the slide is helping to dissipate the impact of the fall. Again, rolling or running are perfectly viable, we’ve just seen younger skaters learn the slide much more quickly.

    In our perspective it just doesn’t make sense for a younger skater not to wear a helmet and pads. As such, learning to slide is our recommended technique. We do not recommend knee slides if your skater isn’t wearing knee pads.

    This article is just a start. Skaters will learn a lot from watching what works well for others skaters. Please share any tips or techniques that have worked well for you and your skaters!

    How to fall safely

    It’s only natural to fall when snowboarding, especially if you’re fairly new to this wintertime activity. Even more experienced snowboarders can take a tumble now and then, which usually happens when they’re testing out new terrain or trying more advanced moves. Regardless of your skill level, it’s important to know how to safely fall when snowboarding to avoid wrist fractures and other common injuries associated with this activity. Here are some tips to keep in mind to achieve this goal, brought to you by the mountain sports experts from ASO Mammoth, your one-stop shop for Mammoth snowboard rentals , high-quality snowboarding gear, safety equipment, and tips for hitting the slopes safely.

    Keep Your Legs Flexed & Body Low

    There are two main ways to fall on a snowboard: forward and backward. With either approach to falling, keep your legs flexed to reduce your risk of ankle or lower leg injuries. Also, try your best to keep your body as low to the ground as possible to minimize the impact. Do both of these things as soon as you feel you’re losing control and getting ready to fall.

    Don’t Reach Out with Your Palms

    Instinctively, many people put their palms out when falling in any situation. To protect your wrists, this is something you want to avoid when falling forward on a snowboard. Instead, bend your knees when you know a fall is about to happen. Bend your arms forward as you fall so the main force of the impact is on your knees and forearms.

    Don’t Stick Your Arms Out if You’re Falling Backward

    When you fall backward on a snowboard, there’s a natural inclination to spread your arms out in an effort to regain your balance. What this motion often does instead is increase the risk of dislocating your shoulder. Again, you’ll want to bend at the knees once you realize a fall is inevitable. This puts the force of the impact with the snow on your backside. Also with backward falls, remember to:

    • Keep your arms tucked in
    • Bend your chin down toward your knees to protect your head
    • Scrunch your shoulders inward and move your back upward to increase the odds of landing on your backside more directly

    Have the Right Protective Gear

    Ultimately, your gear plays a big role in the toll a fall will take on your body. In fact, no matter how you end up falling when snowboarding, the impact on your body will be reduced to some extent if you have the right protective gear. With snowboarding, the safety essentials include:

    • Knee pads
    • Elbow pads
    • Ankle guards
    • Properly fitting boots with good ankle and heel support
    • A properly fitting helmet to prevent head injuries

    There are several options with pads for snowboarding, so take some time to explore different options if you have concerns about comfort and ease of movement. For instance, some elbow and knee pads are made of memory foam, which is designed to absorb more of the impact in a way that doesn’t require added bulk.

    Snowboarding is a fantastic way to enjoy your time on the slopes, so don’t ruin it by getting injured because you don’t know how to fall safely. The first step is to make sure you start with high-quality equipment that’s fitted properly. Mammoth Bound is your go-to shop for snowboard rental in Mammoth as well as safety tips from snow sports experts. We have everything you need to have a blast, including advice on how to enjoy the slopes safely. Drop by when you’re on the mountain or contact us at [email protected]

    Whether you’re coming to Mammoth to ski, snowboard, or enjoy the mountain in other ways, don’t forget to stop by Mammoth Bound to pick up one of our great Mammoth t-shirts. We also carry a wide array of hats, beanies, and other Mammoth apparel—the perfect souvenirs!


    If you have injuries, health problems, or other reasons that may make it easy for you to fall at home, it is a good idea to learn how to get up safely after a fall. Learning how to get up correctly can help you avoid making an injury worse.

    Also, knowing what to do if you cannot get up can help you stay safe until help arrives.

    How can you care for yourself after a fall?

    If you think you can get up

    First lie still for a few minutes and think about how you feel. If your body feels okay and you think you can get up safely, follow the rest of the steps below:

    1. Look for a chair or other piece of furniture that is close to you.
    2. Roll onto your side and rest. Roll by turning your head in the direction you want to roll, move your shoulder and arm, then hip and leg in the same direction.
    3. Lie still for a moment to let your blood pressure adjust.
    4. Slowly push your upper body up, lift your head, and take a moment to rest.
    5. Slowly get up on your hands and knees, and crawl to the chair or other stable piece of furniture.
    6. Put your hands on the chair.
    7. Move one foot forward, and place it flat on the floor. Your other leg should be bent with the knee on the floor.
    8. Rise slowly, turn your body, and sit in the chair. Stay seated for a bit and think about how you feel. Call for help. Even if you feel okay, let someone know what happened to you. You might not know that you have a serious injury.

    If you cannot get up

    1. If you think you are injured after a fall or you cannot get up, try not to panic.
    2. Call out for help.
    3. If you have a phone within reach or you have an emergency call device, use it to call for help.
    4. If you do not have a phone within reach, try to slide yourself toward it. If you cannot get to the phone, try to slide toward a door or window or a place where you think you can be heard.
    5. Yell or use an object to make noise so someone might hear you.
    6. If you can reach something that you can use for a pillow, place it under your head. Try to stay warm by covering yourself with a blanket or clothing while you wait for help.

    Related Information

    • Healthy Muscles
    • Using a Cane
    • Using a Walker


    Current as of: July 14, 2021

    Author: Healthwise Staff
    Medical Review:
    Anne C. Poinier MD – Internal Medicine
    Martin J. Gabica MD – Family Medicine
    Kathleen Romito MD – Family Medicine
    Elizabeth A. Phelan MD, MS – Geriatric Medicine

    Чему вы научитесь



    Though a series of short lectures and exercises, Master Jeremy Roadruck teaches you to how to fall safely, in the privacy and comfort of your own home.

    You don’t have to be in great shape, you don’t have to know anything about the martial arts. You just need a desire to learn to fall safely, and some room to fall down. Not only will you be learning to fall safely, you’ll also learn how to get up safely – plus simple, practical ways to improve your balance so you don’t fall in the first place.

    Master Jeremy has been teaching this course live since 2008, to ladies and gentlemen of all ages – from 3 to 93, after his own mother fell and ended up conscious in the hospital for 3 weeks. She suffered some brain trauma as a direct result of the fall and it took 2 years of physical therapy and over $500,000 in hospital, doctor, and physical therapist bills to get her upright and healthy again.

    Taking this course could literally save your life, and is the most important self-defense class you should take. You might life your whole life without getting into a physical fight with someone, but if you walk on two legs, the statistics are against you: you WILL fall at some point in your life, especially as you age.

    In fact, after information about the live format of this course was broadcast on the evening news, the TV station received the following letter:

    “…I was able to get up and walk away.” I’m writing today to thank TV2 for a story you ran last week that helped me out of a potentially bad situation. Libby Kirsch ran a story on Barbara Roadruck, who slipped, fell and has spent the better part of the last two months in the hospital ICU with a head injury. Her son, Jeremy Roadruck is now on a mission to teach people the correct way to fall to protect themselves.

    On Friday evening I was taking our dogs out the front door of our home. When I stepped down off of the landing onto the sidewalk, I hit a hidden patch of ice. My feet went forward out from under me and I immediately knew I was in trouble. That split second went into slow motion. It felt like minutes instead. Many things flashed through my mind. I knew that behind me and somewhere near where the base of my head would land was the concrete step I had just left. While my mind was racing through more things than you can imagine, and some thing you can’t, including not wanting to die that way, I was able to focus on Libby’s story and I got my arms down and back, head up and forward and fought off a limp landing. I was able to get up and walk away.

    Please pass my thanks on to Libby, Master Jeremy and TV2 News.

    Director Montgomery County Office of Family and Children First

    451 West Third Street, 9th floor

    Dayton, Ohio 45422-3100

    The Montgomery County Office of Family and Children First provides administrative support to the Family and Children First Council and Human Services Levy Council. The Family and Children First Council has articulated and built consensus around the following six “Desired Community Outcomes”: Healthy People, Young People Succeeding, Stable Families, Positive Living for Special Populations, Safe and Supportive Neighborhoods, & Economic Self-Sufficiency. Efforts are underway through Outcome Teams to advance the Vision that “Montgomery County is a place where families, children and adults live in safe supportive neighborhoods, care for and respect one another, value each other, and succeed in school, the workplace and life.