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mixedup

should it require conscious effort to get a stable arch?

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would be interested in hearing whether it does take a conscious effort to stay in a stable arch? Or whether once your in the stable arch, can you just relax into it after which you'll continue to be stay in it? In other words will the stable arch always require some dedicated use of muscles to stay in it so to speak?

[I'm just done AFF stage 3 - got a little unstable at one point in the last jump - not too bad, but told I need to remember to arch more in this case - plus legs were tending to be too bent]
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It's probably similar to learning to stand on one foot or ride a bike when you're little. The first couple of times you do it it requires a focused effort. Once you're accustomed to doing it, it's still taking the same amount of effort but you're not required to focus on it any more.
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would be interested in hearing whether it does take a conscious effort to stay in a stable arch?

I agree with labrys.
Anything you do at first requires conscious effort until that muscle memory sinks in.

I tell my FJC students that it will take a conscious effort to arch and hold.

You mentioned legs....
I apply that to legs out, too...a conscious effort to extend the legs and feel the air pressure on the shins and insteps...a conscious effort to put some muscle into it to keep the wind from flopping the feet around. While they are working on neutral body position on the horizontal trainer, I simulate the feel of the wind pressure and the feet-flop by lifting the legs and bumping their feet around while they put some muscle into it to hold the legs out and still.

My reality and yours are quite different.
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People seem to be talking about mental effort, but the question you asked was

Quote

will the stable arch always require some dedicated use of muscles to stay in it so to speak?

...and the answer is, yes - it take muscular input to stay arched. In particular, if you look at people who do a lot of flat-flying in the tunnel, you'll notice they have quite well-developed lower back muscles ;)

(Note that this isn't the same thing as being tense! Tension is the enemy of stability. The key is relaxing the right bits and using just the important bits, which just comes from practice. You'll get there!)

--
"I'll tell you how all skydivers are judged, . They are judged by the laws of physics." - kkeenan

"You jump out, pull the string and either live or die. What's there to be good at?

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it requires conscious effort until you 'learn' it. Learning, by definition, is a 'relatively permanent change of behavior'.

Once you have learned it, then it will no longer require the conscious effort, you will simply 'do it'

Wind Tunnels are good tools for this, more time in freefall as well, relaxation exercises. If you cannot relax a bit, then you cannot think, if you cannot think, then you cannot act, etc.

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It's a lot like being in the water. At first, you concentrate on breathing and maintaining buoyancy, etc. Later, you can hop in the water and never think about these things, as your body and "muscle memory" naturally do the right things. So, Practice, Practice, Practice.

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On the ground, it can take a significant amount of energy and effort to demonstrate an arch. Instructors usually have the student lie on their bellies, and lift their arms and legs into an arch.

In free fall, it's quite different. You don't have to lift your arms and legs into an arch, instead - you allow your belly and hips to sink into the arch. It's difficult to simulate this on the ground though.

Still, it takes practices, and the more you can practice the more natural it gets.

_Am
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