Imagine a worst-case scenario where your only way out from a tall structure is to jump and take a fall. The risk of injury is great, even death a possibility. But it’s your only option. Knowing the proper way to take that fall from a great height is paramount to your survival and reducing your chance of serious injury. Do you have a plan?
Parachute Landing Fall (PLF) Technique
We do, and it’s called the Parachute Landing Fall (PLF), designed to soften the impact from a fall to the greatest extent possible. In this video, Tim Kennedy demonstrates the PLF technique for you so you can “AlwaysBeReady.”
The Parachute Landing Fall was created, as you might expect, to safely land from a parachute jump. Back in the day, round parachutes made landing extremely difficult. Sprained and broken ankles and legs were a common occurrence. The PLF technique was invented to lessen the chance of injury and provide a safer way to land.
However, now we know that the PLF technique is the most useful option when it’s the last option. So how do you do it? Sequence and timing – just follow these steps and think of five contact points between you and the ground.
- Land on the balls of your feet and buckle your knees.
- Next, the side of the calf muscle touches the ground.
- Then the thigh muscle touches.
- Next, the ol’ derriere – your buttocks.
- And finally, your lats, or pullup muscle, touches the ground.
These five contact points should touch the ground consecutively, helping to evenly distribute your weight, pressure and pain. And hopefully the only thing you have to show for it is maybe a headache, a couple scratches and bruises, and a hell of a good story.
Falling Safety Tips
Here are a couple more falling safety tips to keep in mind to help prevent injury. Try to stay loose and not tense up. Tensing up only increases your injury risk. Right before you go, take in a deep breath and then exhale as you jump.
Your limbs are vulnerable when falling, so keep them bent and protected, not straight and rigid. And finally, practice. Yep, we’re talking about practice. Spend some time memorizing the five contact points and making imaginary falls so you can “AlwaysBeReady.”
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