Fall Risk

Kung Fu Wang

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There are 2 different approaches to prevent from falling during old age.

You train how to

1. maintain your balance so you won't fall.
2. destroy your balance, you then regain it back.

Here is an example for the 1st approach:

- Always maintain your gravity center to be inside of your base.

Here is an example for the 2nd approach:

- Find a dirt ground.
- Use your left foot to sweep behind your own right leg ankle.
- Make sure your left foot sweep can make your right foot to "slide" on the dirt ground.
- Repeat on your other leg.

Which approach will give better result in your opinion? Your thought?
 

Monkey Turned Wolf

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I think it depends. If you're in an area where no matter how you fall it would be bad (at the top of stairs for instance), then maintaining your balance is the better option. Otherwise, typically try to maintain balance until you realize that you either won't maintain balance, or are risking falling in a bad position. At that point, just slap out.

This is assuming we're talking about general, non-martial applications and it's a regular fall. If you're falling because someone's attacking you there are way more variables than this.
 

Phoenix44

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Speaking from the perspective of an old person, I'd say both. I'd prefer not to fall, so I train for balance: maintaining balance and recovering balance. But, sometimes there's ice on the ground, or you misstep, or your son rides his bicycle a little to close to yours, and then you'd better know how to fall safely. A good fall saved my butt more than once.
 

auntlisa1103

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In 2004-2005, I spent four months essentially blind due to diabetic retinopathy. At that point, life became one, giant, 24/7 attempt to avoid falling at all costs. Ten months, four surgeries and 11 weeks flat on my face later, one eye was restored to 20/30. The other eye was too far gonethey tried but the repairs didnt take. With only one eye, depth perception goes out the window. Stairs, curbs, hills, etc become far less readable, if at all. Still, trying to avoid falling 24/7.

13 years later I started TKD and right after my first promotion, my new one step involved a reapwhich meant a fall. I was terrified.

The answers? 1) The coping skills you always pick up over time when facing challenges. 2) Learning how to fall properly. It is drilled into us at my school that falling properly is its own form of self defense.
 

Alan0354

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I practice balance when I take shower everyday. I lift one leg up, standing on one foot, wash the foot with soap at a time. Then later on, rinse the foot one at a time standing on the other foot twice. I make sure I look at the foot when I do that as it's a lot easier if I look away. Then when I dry my foot, I do the same thing.

I tried those balance board, it's too easy, washing and rinsing foot is a lot harder because I have to use both hands on the foot. I don't particular do exercise, just everyday doing the foot washing.

I learn Judo before, I know how to fall. Once a week, I go on the concrete floor, lie down, I bounce my body up like people bounce up lying down. I use one foot so I lift my body like 5 to 6 inches off the floor and drop down. I use my hands to break the fall, but still shake up the whole body. I want to subject my body to the shock of the fall. I do it like 6 times on Sunday. At the beginning the first time, my bones and joints were sore after I did that the first time, but the body adapted since.
 

MetalBoar

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I'll add 4 to 1,2,&3 above: build lower body strength. You've got a lot better shot at maintaining and regaining your balance if your legs, glutes and feet are strong.
 

_Simon_

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Wow, it's a different world!!!
It is isn't it!! Really really challenges the stabiliser muscles and with your eyes closed your body reeeeally struggles without the visual field, so it works your balance well. I do it on one leg, and you can also fully straighten the knee to make it more about the ankle stabilisers
 

Alan0354

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It is isn't it!! Really really challenges the stabiliser muscles and with your eyes closed your body reeeeally struggles without the visual field, so it works your balance well. I do it on one leg, and you can also fully straighten the knee to make it more about the ankle stabilisers
Wow, that's challenging. I have to practice on this!!! Well, at least money is not wasted now, I almost going to throw it away. With eyes open, I can easily do it with one foot.

Funny, I practice whipping my foot one toe at a time standing on the other foot, it's much easier to NOT look at the foot I am wiping. I have to train to look at the foot I am wiping. Now this is another level harder.

Thanks
 

_Simon_

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Wow, that's challenging. I have to practice on this!!! Well, at least money is not wasted now, I almost going to throw it away. With eyes open, I can easily do it with one foot.

Funny, I practice whipping my foot one toe at a time standing on the other foot, it's much easier to NOT look at the foot I am wiping. I have to train to look at the foot I am wiping. Now this is another level harder.

Thanks
Yeah I bought mine for my knee rehab program, and I was wondering why it wasn't as challenging as I thought it would be haha.

And you you can do one-legged exercises like 1/4-1/2 range pistol squats, with your hovering leg reaching out and tapping down at each of the compass directions (N, NE, E, SE, S, SW, W, NW). Some of these directions are tricky haha.

Oh that's great to hear you've got more use for it still :)
 

Alan0354

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Yeah I bought mine for my knee rehab program, and I was wondering why it wasn't as challenging as I thought it would be haha.

And you you can do one-legged exercises like 1/4-1/2 range pistol squats, with your hovering leg reaching out and tapping down at each of the compass directions (N, NE, E, SE, S, SW, W, NW). Some of these directions are tricky haha.

Oh that's great to hear you've got more use for it still :)
Let me just stay on it for 30sec without falling over first. I actually almost fell when I close my eyes, not kidding. You must have very good balance, I don't think I am bad already.

Ha ha, try wiping your toe while standing on the other foot, might be easier, but it's different. Make sure you look at your toes while you wipe between toes one by one!!! I do that everyday when I shower.....Also apply soap on your foot standing one footed also. That's part of my routine. I also squat all the way down when I squeegee the shower door dry and cleaning the walls of the shower stall. This is part of the stretching for old age. I'd be surprised this can be hard for old people. Took me a little while to get use to it too.
 
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isshinryuronin

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It sounds like martial artists have really clean feet!

It's a great idea to stand one legged whenever possible in everyday life activities. This can be drilled and notched up by having a weight in one hand and moving it in different directions while standing on one foot.

Regarding actually falling, it's tough to regain balance when you're halfway to the ground. Senior's upper legs/hips loose strength which makes recovery tough. Trying to fight a losing battle with gravity can put you in a bad tactical position, as well as inviting injury from the fall itself. (Plus, it looks really goofy.) If the first attempt to regain balance fails, I've learned to immediately go into a controlled fall and roll. This last may be a more natural first response from grapplers. Strikers will have to work a little to go directly into it, instead of fighting it.
 
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Kung Fu Wang

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If the first attempt to regain balance fails, I've learned to immediately go into a controlled fall and roll. This last may be a more natural first response from grapplers. Strikers will have to work a little to go directly into it, instead of fighting it.
Agree that the best approach is:

2 legs static balance -> 1 leg static training -> dynamic balance -> break fall

The 2 legs static balance training is not enough.

hug_tree.jpg
 

_Simon_

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It sounds like martial artists have really clean feet!

It's a great idea to stand one legged whenever possible in everyday life activities. This can be drilled and notched up by having a weight in one hand and moving it in different directions while standing on one foot.

Regarding actually falling, it's tough to regain balance when you're halfway to the ground. Senior's upper legs/hips loose strength which makes recovery tough. Trying to fight a losing battle with gravity can put you in a bad tactical position, as well as inviting injury from the fall itself. (Plus, it looks really goofy.) If the first attempt to regain balance fails, I've learned to immediately go into a controlled fall and roll. This last may be a more natural first response from grapplers. Strikers will have to work a little to go directly into it, instead of fighting it.
Yeah I'm still puzzled how people control their falls. Especially when there is literally less than a second to react, and your body position as you fall may make it darn near impossible to fall safely haha.

I fell a couple of weeks ago, slipped on a certain spot and there was no way to react and fall properly. Maybe I need to fall from higher up, Wile E. Coyote style 不
 

Alan0354

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Yeah I'm still puzzled how people control their falls. Especially when there is literally less than a second to react, and your body position as you fall may make it darn near impossible to fall safely haha.

I fell a couple of weeks ago, slipped on a certain spot and there was no way to react and fall properly. Maybe I need to fall from higher up, Wile E. Coyote style 不
Learn Judo, you learn how to fall, it's very automatic after a while. I learn Judo in the early 60s, in late 90s, one time I was unloading on the truck, I bumped onto something and lost my balance and started falling off the truck. I grabbed a rope, but as I fell, I slammed on the side of the truck and I let go and fell onto the ground. That was quite a few feet high onto the concrete parking lot. Somehow, my Judo "breakfall" kicked in, I landed on my back, I slapped the ground with my hands, I tucked my chin in so my head tipped forward. I landed on the ground on my back, I fell my head snapped back and my hair touched the ground. But I managed to prevent my head from hitting the solid concrete. Actually the only injury I sustained was my bruced ribs when I swing and hit the side of the truck. The company sent me to the hospital and I was released. I couldn't laugh or do anything heavy for like a week because of the bruced rib, but I was fine.

That's why I mentioned in post #7 I started practicing falling about 10 to 12 years ago and do it once a week to remind me how to fall backward and shake my organs to make them get used to it. I still do neck exercise 3 times a week to keep my neck strong.

This really help to fall on flat ground, but nothing can help if you head hit the curb. Falling forward is a lot easier to brace. I am sure in Football and other sports have the same practice how to fall also. Look into it, you don't have to take Judo like me.
 
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