Falling: What to do when you fall.

How to fall: the MovNat roll

Falling: Why you should practice.

We should train to prevent falls, but we should work toward learning how to fall as well as can, because falling is often inevitable.

You can use so many of the MovNat progressions to improve balance and controlled mobility in a variety of contexts and with a variety of challenges.  But adding the Movnat roll progression to your training consistently will help make you more confident and prepared when and if you fall--whether that is in your MovNat practice or our out on your own moving through life.

I am constantly asked by my clients over 60 (and even more often by my clients over 70 or 80) if I can teach them HOW TO FALL.  This may sound scary--and guess what? It is! But do you know what’s more scary? Knowing that you have no idea whether you’ll be able to control your body if you trip. Or worse, knowing that you can’t control your body when you trip and that when you fall, you fall hard.

Before you start: some precautions.

Before I start, I would like to make sure you know some things, especially if you haven’t trained in MovNat yet.

BECOME EFFICIENT AT THE LOWER PROGRESSIONS FIRST.  MovNat is based on guided progressions. The better you are at the gentler/easier progressions, the more efficient and SAFER the higher levels or more dynamic movements will be. (Link to Erwan’s progression blog)

CONSULT YOUR DOCTOR.  The MovNat roll places your spine in flexion (bending forward) in order to spread the force out along joint or bone.  This, in and of itself, is fine--it is actually very GOOD to be able to bend your back this way. However, if you have advanced osteoporosis, scoliosis, or kyphosis, you should consult with your doctor or physical therapist prior to attempting these movements.

Roll progression: How to work up to the MovNat roll.

  1. Bent sit rounding back: sit in a bent sit position and roll your lower back so that you are sitting on your sacrum.  Try to hollow out your belly and hide your ribs so they aren't sticking out.  This helps engage the core as you round your back.

  2. Rocking side to side: lie on your back and curl your head and pelvis up off the ground, flattening your belly into a C nested inside your back. Grab your knees and keep that curve as you roll side to side.  Notice that if you let your back straighten, your roll becomes less smooth.

  3. Rocking front to back: if you are comfortable with the side to side roll, try rocking forward and backward.  Make sure you can keep your back rounded so you don't thump down onto your upper back or sacrum as you rock.  You can also rock and let yourself start diagonal movement, moving from one hip to the opposite shoulder.

  4. Rocking with toe touches: this is preparation for the backward roll and should be taught by a certified instructor.

  5. Rolling backward and forward.  I think it's less intimidating to roll backward first because you don't have to commit to falling toward your face first!  Again, these should be taught by a qualified instructor to make sure you are doing them correctly.

  6.   Rolling from standing: this is the goal!  You should be able to take a step and crouch into the roll, leading with either leg.  You should be able to let someone push you in an unexpected direction and be able to roll out of it.  Some other things to work toward include stepping down off of a small box into a roll, jumping over and obstacle into a roll, and being able to roll IF YOU FALL (I mean, that's the ultimate goal, right?!).

Enjoy, and join us for class to work toward your own safe rolling techniqes!

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