How Should You Fall In Figure Skating?
Falling is a normal part of figure skating, especially for beginners who are still getting used to the ice. Even the most advanced figure skaters fall from time to time. Instead of being afraid of falling, the key is to learn how to do it safely to minimize the risk of injury. Listed below are the most basic tips for falling safely on the ice.
Wear Protective Gear
Protective gear is the first key component to ice skating safety. It’s always a good idea to wear equipment such as a helmet, padded gloves, padded shorts, knee pads, and elbow pads, especially when starting out. These can protect your head and joints from the impact of an unexpected fall.
Bend Your Knees
When you feel yourself starting to lose balance, bend your knees to keep yourself as stable as possible. The more stability you have, the more control you will have over how you fall. Keeping your knees locked can make you fall into an awkward position, which can result in injuries. Bending your knees also makes you lower to the ground, meaning you will fall from a shorter distance.
Relax Your Body
As hard as it may sound, try your best to relax when you fall. Your instinct may be to tense up and brace yourself, but that actually can cause further damage. If your muscles are stiff, the impact of your fall can be harder on your body.
Protect Your Wrists
It might feel natural to reach your hands out to break your fall, but you can easily injure your wrists or arms that way. When falling, cross your arms over your chest, hold them in your lap, or use them to protect your head from the ice. If you need to break your fall with your hands, don’t fall directly on them. Bend your elbows and push your chest forward so that most of your weight lands on your torso instead.
Tuck Your Head
Head injuries are one of the greatest risks of falling in figure skating. To protect your head, tuck your chin close to your chest when you fall. This is a similar method to when you close your hand thoughtfully when closing your fingers for a punch. If you can, hold your head in your hands when you fall to keep it from hitting the ice.
Land on Your Side
Landing on your side spreads the impact of your fall over a larger area of your body, which reduces the force of the impact and the risk of injury. While bending your knees, twist your body so you will land on your side instead of falling backward or forward. Falling on your back can result in tailbone or head injuries, and falling forward can result in knee, hand, and arm injuries.
Get Up Quickly
If you do fall, it’s best to get up as quickly as possible. To get up after a fall, turn over on your hands and knees, kneel, then stand up. It is especially important to get up quickly when there are other skaters on the ice so you can avoid being run into and also avoid causing others to fall as you did. A rink full of amateur skaters can lead to a cascade of collisions.
Every figure skater falls from time to time. Now that you know how to do it correctly, practicing it while using these tips can help you minimize fear and build comfort and confidence on the ice. To be safe, practice falling from a standstill first, and be sure to wear protective padding. Once you know how to do so safely, there should be little to no fear of falling while you continue learning to skate.