Rolling Upon Landing: Reducing Impact and Preventing Injury

Skylar Hawthorne

Updated Wednesday, January 3, 2024 at 12:46 PM CDT

Rolling Upon Landing: Reducing Impact and Preventing Injury

When it comes to stopping the momentum of a moving object, such as a car or a person in motion, the way in which the deceleration occurs can greatly impact the outcome. Slamming on the brakes and crashing into a brick wall may bring a car from 60 mph to 0, but the sudden stop can result in severe injuries or even fatalities. On the other hand, using brakes to slow down over more time and distance can reduce the impact and increase the chances of survival.

The same principle applies to landing after a fall or jump. Landing on a soft surface, like a pillow, is preferable to landing on concrete because it allows for a slower loss of speed over more time and distance, thereby reducing the impact on the body. However, in situations where a soft landing is not possible, techniques such as rolling, falling, and landing can be employed to mimic the effect of using brakes to slow down over more distance, thus reducing the impact of the landing.

One of the key techniques used in reducing the impact of a landing is bending the knees. By bending the knees when landing, the body acts as a shock absorber, turning the legs into a cushion that absorbs the impact. This not only helps to prevent injuries to the lower extremities but also reduces the overall force exerted on the body.

In activities like parkour, where landing and maneuvering on various surfaces is a common occurrence, rolling upon landing is an essential skill. Rolling helps distribute the force through the body and converts it into a horizontal component, reducing the impact and preventing injury. By rolling, the force is spread out over a larger surface area and a longer period of time, allowing for a more gradual slowdown and reducing the risk of harm.

Jumping off stairs incrementally without bending the knees can cause discomfort and pain in the heels, shins, and knees. However, by bending the knees when landing, the impact is absorbed and distributed more evenly throughout the legs, reducing the strain on specific areas and minimizing the risk of injury.

Rolling is an extension of the principle of bending the knees when landing. It helps to control the body's descent to the ground and allows for a quicker recovery. By tucking and rolling, the force of the landing is rebounded into forward momentum, reducing the reactive force on the body and preventing injuries that may occur from sudden stops.

Newton's 3rd law of motion states that any action has an equal and opposite reaction. When landing on the ground, the force of the landing is rebounded into the body. However, by tucking and rolling, some of the force is retained in forward momentum, reducing the reactive force on the body and minimizing the risk of injury.

The primary purpose of rolling upon landing is to reduce the magnitude of deceleration and the force applied to the body. By spreading out the force of landing over time, the shock of a great force acting on the body all at once is reduced. This gradual slowdown helps to protect the body from harmful injuries that can occur from abrupt stops.

Rolling upon landing is not just a technique used in movies or staged performances. It can be applied in real-life situations to reduce the impact and avoid stopping all at once. However, it is important to note that the exaggerated rolls often seen in movies are not always necessary or practical. Rolling in real life is more subtle and focused on maintaining momentum and avoiding painful impacts.

While rolling upon landing is commonly associated with parkour and martial arts, its benefits extend beyond these activities. In martial arts, rolling is used as a way to control going to the ground, allowing for a quicker recovery and avoiding vulnerability. In a fight, the general mantra is to avoid going to the ground, as it can leave a person vulnerable. By mastering the technique of rolling, individuals can mitigate the impact and minimize the risk of injury when landing or falling.

rolling upon landing is a technique that aims to reduce the magnitude of deceleration and the force applied to the body. By increasing the time required for the change in momentum to occur, the forces exerted upon impact are reduced, preventing harmful injuries. While rolling is realistic to some extent, it is not as exaggerated as depicted in movies. It can be used in real life to reduce the impact and avoid stopping all at once, but it has its limitations. Whether in parkour, martial arts, or everyday life, mastering the art of rolling can help protect the body and prevent unnecessary injuries.

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