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can't arch properly

 

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ailithir

May 15, 2008, 4:12 PM
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can't arch properly Can't Post

I did a Level 1 AFF yesterday and both instructors (very kindly) told me that I was VERY stiff and really should not think about continuing if I couldn't arch better. I'm 66 and really don't bend too well but I want to do this.

Anyone else had this problem? Solutions?

thanks


J_Cook  (A License)

May 15, 2008, 4:40 PM
Post #2 of 36 (3583 views)
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Re: [ailithir] can't arch properly [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm not an instructor, so take what I say with a grain of salt and consult with people at your DZ.

There was a similar situation at my home DZ a year or two ago. I took the student, who was 62 or 63 at the time I think, around 60 jumps to get his license. With dedicated instructors who are willing to actually instruct you and spend time with you, you should be OK.

If it's a problem where you're wildy out of control each jump, then your instructors might be right. It's nothing personal, but some people just can't get the hang of things and no amount of instruction will help you to develop the skills.

I, personally, would recommend doing at least a few more jumps and see how things go. If they don't go too well, maybe this isn't the sport for you. I wish you well and hope to hear of you back in the air soon.


SuperGirl  (D 30091)

May 15, 2008, 4:47 PM
Post #3 of 36 (3572 views)
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Re: [ailithir] can't arch properly [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm not an instructor so check this with people who know better first... but...

What if you learned how to fly in a tunnel first? Then you'll get used to flying in a stable position and won't have so much trouble in the air. Are there any wind tunnels close to you?


(This post was edited by SuperGirl on May 15, 2008, 4:48 PM)


bclark  (D 22626)

May 15, 2008, 4:56 PM
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Re: [ailithir] can't arch properly [In reply to] Can't Post

Although it may be possible for you to learn, you need to consider that the learning process may be much more difficult and risky for you. You need to really understand the hazards, not only in freefall, but in landing your canopy. You also need to weigh those risks in relation to the fact that you may not recover as well from an injury (which is a very real possibility) as you once could. I understand desire and motivation to learn. I also admire your determination. But an injury which would be relatively minor to a younger person could seriously affect your quality of life at this stage in the game. I am saying this from the perspective of someone who has seen some things, and definately would not recommend someone I care about at 66 years of age to start skydiving.


Snowflake

May 15, 2008, 5:49 PM
Post #5 of 36 (3524 views)
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Re: [ailithir] can't arch properly [In reply to] Can't Post

You could try learning to fly in a wind tunnel first. That way you can see if your physically able to fly in a much safer enviornment. Try some light yoga on a daily basis, or at least stretch everyday.



My .02


Broke  (A License)

May 15, 2008, 6:01 PM
Post #6 of 36 (3508 views)
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Re: [ailithir] can't arch properly [In reply to] Can't Post

Stretch, and then for the idea of he arch drive your hips forward like you are having sex with someone


Premier billvon  (D 16479)
Moderator
May 15, 2008, 6:10 PM
Post #7 of 36 (3502 views)
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Re: [ailithir] can't arch properly [In reply to] Can't Post

Stretch a LOT. Like every day. A trainer might not be a bad idea, and might help you in other areas of your life. Yoga, as someone mentioned, is a good idea.

You are going to face additional challenges if you're that inflexible, because you cannot get stable easily if you can't arch. Skydiving uses an unusual set of muscles and requires flexibility that many people don't come equipped with normally, so it might take some work to get your back in shape for the attempt.


jumpin_Jan  (D 12256)

May 15, 2008, 6:24 PM
Post #8 of 36 (3495 views)
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Re: [ailithir] can't arch properly [In reply to] Can't Post

I am not an instructor!!!
(but I am full of ideas)

When I was a student I used to practice my arch at home watching TV.

I'll try to explain.

I would lay on the floor in front of the TV, with my head closest to the TV and my feet farthest away.
I would bend my lower legs so that the BOTTOM of my feet were pointing at the ceiling. (about 90 degrees)
I would put my arms out to my sides and bend my elbows so that my thumbs were even with my ears.(about 90 degrees)

When a commercial came on I would raise my arms and legs(elbows and knees) off of the floor and balance on my belly button. I would look at the TV.
I would try to hold that for a whole commercial.

You might try this in bed first and/or with couch cushions under knees and elbows.
Think belly button DOWN everything else UP.

Be careful and do not try to do this for 30 seconds right away, work up to it.
let me repeat
Be careful and do not try to do this for 30 seconds right away, work up to it.

When you can do this on the ground for 15 seconds, doing it in the air for 60 seconds will be much easier because the wind helps a lot.

Good luck and welcome to freefall!

PULL!
jumpin_Jan


ailithir

May 15, 2008, 7:43 PM
Post #9 of 36 (3461 views)
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Re: [ailithir] can't arch properly [In reply to] Can't Post

thanks for all the replies! I was a senior paratrooper in the 101st Airborne MANY years ago and did some skydiving (with round parachutes!)...I have been thinking about this for years and figured out that I needed to do it right (e.g. longer delays).

I have an 20-year-old son who is crazy to start an AFF program this weekend and I would enjoy (eventually) jumping with him.


firstime  (B 28972)

May 15, 2008, 8:33 PM
Post #10 of 36 (3433 views)
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Re: [ailithir] can't arch properly [In reply to] Can't Post

Good for you, it's your turn in life and your old enough and much smarter so go for it, I am no spring chicken either but I started late in life also, I paid my dues and I am enjoying every minute. Life is not a dirt dive, it's a real skydive


wrightskyguy  (D 19665)

May 16, 2008, 3:24 AM
Post #11 of 36 (3373 views)
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Re: [jumpin_Jan] can't arch properly [In reply to] Can't Post

I would lay on the floor in front of the TV, with my head closest to the TV and my feet farthest away.
I would bend my lower legs so that the BOTTOM of my feet were pointing at the ceiling. (about 90 degrees)
I would put my arms out to my sides and bend my elbows so that my thumbs were even with my ears.(about 90 degrees)


Quote:
I think I used to date you, or maybe I dreamed it. Seriously though, just stretch a little first. You don't need much of an arch to make yourself stable. Good luck!


mamajumps  (A License)

May 16, 2008, 6:59 AM
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Re: [ailithir] can't arch properly [In reply to] Can't Post

****CAUTION - LOW JUMP NUMBER PERSON POSTING****


Really they said that after AFF1? That seems odd. Not many people have a natural arch from the word go. It took several hours in the tunnel for me to develop a good arch. Arching properly was a huge demon for until maybe the last 5 jumps.... seriously. Of course your gonna be stiff on your first jump, your brain is screaming at you wondering WTF your doing? One thing that helped me work on my arch beside the tunnel was arching on the wall at home, stand about 1.5 of your feet length away from the way and arch in until your pelvis/abdomen are on the wall, and hold it. I used to do this all the time. God advice can be found here, but the best advice always comes from the instructors at your DZ. Good luck!


tdog  (D 28800)

May 16, 2008, 7:03 AM
Post #13 of 36 (3327 views)
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Re: [ailithir] can't arch properly [In reply to] Can't Post

As others have said, the tunnel might be key for you.

You have to believe you can arch before you will be able to arch. It appears you don't believe you can. That will get in your way.

On the ground, stand on your feet and look at the ceiling. How far can you move your head back, chin up? I believe after working with a lot of students that is the root of the arch. CHIN UP in freefall. So what is the flexibility of your neck?

Ultimately however, your instructors will have to help you make the final decision, but I wouldn't trust just one batch of instructors as there are a lot instructors with a lot of techniques and you might find one that can help you.


SPAWNmaster  (C License)

May 16, 2008, 7:08 AM
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Re: [mamajumps] can't arch properly [In reply to] Can't Post

You know I was actually pretty worried about body position before I even started AFF. I spent about a month just practicing body position (and accidently drilling bad leg position in). What helped was that when I finally did start AFF I had a very strong natural arch at the pelvis from constantly practicing at home and stretching.

My honest advice:

1 week doing Bikram (hot) Yoga and you'll be a rubber band.


jumpin_Jan  (D 12256)

May 16, 2008, 9:22 AM
Post #15 of 36 (3294 views)
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Re: [wrightskyguy] can't arch properly [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
I think I used to date you, or maybe I dreamed it.

You must have dreamed it, (eeeewwwww)
I'm a heterophile guy and I'd remember if I had ever dated a girl named John.

PULL!
jumpin_Jan

edited for speeling


(This post was edited by jumpin_Jan on May 16, 2008, 9:25 AM)


wrightskyguy  (D 19665)

May 16, 2008, 9:27 AM
Post #16 of 36 (3290 views)
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Re: [jumpin_Jan] can't arch properly [In reply to] Can't Post

You must have dreamed it, (eeeewwwww)
I'm a heterophile guy and I'd remember if I had ever dated a girl named John.


In reply to:
Sorry, I saw the named and just assumed... ewwwww! I hereby make a full retraction.


DougH  (D License)

May 16, 2008, 9:48 AM
Post #17 of 36 (3281 views)
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Re: [wrightskyguy] can't arch properly [In reply to] Can't Post

Hehe... this thread is great. Sly


brucet7  (C 38954)

May 16, 2008, 11:18 AM
Post #18 of 36 (3257 views)
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Re: [wrightskyguy] can't arch properly [In reply to] Can't Post

I am 55 and not very flexible. The arch is still a challenge for me, especially on exit. I practice on my bed. I works a little better than the floor for me.


VanillaSkyGirl

May 16, 2008, 11:41 AM
Post #19 of 36 (3247 views)
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Re: [wrightskyguy] can't arch properly [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
You must have dreamed it, (eeeewwwww)
I'm a heterophile guy and I'd remember if I had ever dated a girl named John.


In reply to:
Sorry, I saw the named and just assumed... ewwwww! I hereby make a full retraction.

How funny! Sly

To the original poster~
Where do you live? Could you make it to a wind tunnel to try to correct your body position, before trying to jump, again?


ailithir

May 16, 2008, 12:04 PM
Post #20 of 36 (3236 views)
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Re: [mamajumps] can't arch properly [In reply to] Can't Post

hi...thanks for your comment...my brain is screaming at me that I should have been doing this for years! unstead of waiting until now.

I think launching into space is wonderful and I'm not it's not fear that's making me stiff. You should see me ski...stiff as a board (though I really enjoy it).

Regards, Barry


UDSkyJunkie  (D 25746)

May 17, 2008, 11:24 AM
Post #21 of 36 (3150 views)
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Re: [ailithir] can't arch properly [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote:
I did a Level 1 AFF yesterday and both instructors (very kindly) told me that I was VERY stiff and really should not think about continuing if I couldn't arch better.

I am an AFF instructor, albeit not a particularly experienced one. While you certainly will face additional challenges vs. your typical 20-something student, it's hard for me to believe that this direction was given to you after only a single jump... I know a woman who failed her level 5 (first level off tandem jumps) five times in a row before being able to continue. Through sheer stubborness she did make it through the program and became a good, safe jumper. I know another fairly skilled jumper who took more than 100 jumps to get through the static line programShocked. Unless you literally physically cannot arch, you should be able to do this.

If you can get to a tunnel, by all means do it, it will help. Stretching/yoga is a good idea also. If you continue to get refused at your DZ, you might consider going to a different one... I mean no disrespect to your DZ or instructors, but some places (particularly larger operations) have highly experienced instructors who can work with more challenging students. I know people who have saved up some cash and taken a week or two to go to a top-notch facility like Perris/Eloy/Deland and complete the program through the "A" license. Obviously this means some advance communication with the DZ.


ailithir

May 17, 2008, 12:54 PM
Post #22 of 36 (3144 views)
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Re: [UDSkyJunkie] can't arch properly [In reply to] Can't Post

thanks for your note....I think the advice I received was accurate...my body is VERY stiff. Both instructors made the point that they would be happy to jump with me again; my awareness was fine and I was in tune with what was going on, just that my body position was not good enough to be able to be stable in free fall.

I intend to start some yoga and will work on the flexibility issue. I have no complaint with the point that was made. I don't have a tunnel near me but will in the autumn I believe (construction going on now) (northern NJ).

Thanks again


Broke  (A License)

May 17, 2008, 3:47 PM
Post #23 of 36 (3131 views)
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Re: [ailithir] can't arch properly [In reply to] Can't Post

Clasest Tunnel would Be NH. And UDSkyJunkie forgot to mention Z-Hills


humanflite  (D 99999)

May 17, 2008, 5:51 PM
Post #24 of 36 (3115 views)
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Re: [ailithir] can't arch properly [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
thanks for your note....I think the advice I received was accurate...my body is VERY stiff. Both instructors made the point that they would be happy to jump with me again; my awareness was fine and I was in tune with what was going on, just that my body position was not good enough to be able to be stable in free fall.

I intend to start some yoga and will work on the flexibility issue. I have no complaint with the point that was made. I don't have a tunnel near me but will in the autumn I believe (construction going on now) (northern NJ).

Thanks again

Disclaimer - Right here Tongue

Provided you dont have an old injury that is causing the stifness...
for me at least I found that I learnt to pull out a strong arch after a few weeks practising at home prior to my AFF course.

I found a piano stool was a good practice table and once I had got a good arch on there and could hold it a while it was waaay easier doing it in the air.

If your struggling you could start out just doing your front half of the arch at home if you do use a stool and then do your legs seperate. Do them half and half for a week or so and then try putting them together and you will have a marked improvement Im sure. All the best


(This post was edited by humanflite on May 17, 2008, 5:54 PM)


calledisrael

May 17, 2008, 7:18 PM
Post #25 of 36 (3101 views)
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Re: [humanflite] can't arch properly [In reply to] Can't Post

one of the instructors at the dz where i did aff always recommended one of those balance balls, the big ones that they use in pilates - talk to an instructor if you want to know how to do it. i used to read arched backwards over it, head almost on the floor... and i was always a good arch-er. Smile


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