Fall to Build Strength

by Jessica B. | May 29th, 2012 | Strength Training

Falling – to build lower body strength?

I’ve spent a lot of time these last few months with people who are very passionate about martial arts. One thing I have noticed is they have an amazing amount of lower body strength. When we started comparing workout routines and basic training, between those of us who are runners vs. those who train aikido and judo, one of the biggest differences I have seen is the amount of falling down on the ground and getting back up again they do.

It may sound silly, but the action of falling down properly and standing up again is amazing training for hamstrings, core, and pretty much most of your lower body.

So is falling down something you should practice doing?

I say, yes!  Practicing falling down can help you in a real accident, because if you fall correctly, you can prevent a great deal of injuries. It can also help tone your lower body so you will look great in a bathing suit this season.

Here are some tips for learning how to fall correctly:

1) Start off someplace soft –  A sandy beach, a nice patch of lawn, or even a large mattress make great places to fall if you are just getting started. If you don’t feel comfortable falling in front of others, try an early beach or park morning. Or the privacy of your own bedroom.

2) Bring a friend – If you have a hard time falling, try being thrown! Recruit a friend who practices martial arts to help knock you down a bit. Good training for you both, and you might pick up some self-defense skills in the process.

3) Learn different techniques – There are several techniques to consider when falling: Dropping or rolling. Dropping is where you don’t aim to catch yourself but rather relax and fall like you are drunk. A rolling fall aims to use your fall momentum to get you back on your feet. You roll your body towards body part aimed first at the ground, and turn it into a somersault or forward roll propelling you back to your feet. Both techniques take practice, and you might consider taking a basic martial arts class to get tips to prefect your technique.

4) Get up and do it again – The biggest gain you get from falling, is, of course, getting back up again. Standing up from a fall is great for your glutes and calves. So when you fall down, be sure to jump right back up and do it all over again.

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All health and fitness information is provided for educational purposes. Please consult with your physician before beginning any exercise regimen.