If there was just one skydiving tip we could give to help beginners out it is this: master the skydiving arch. This well-loved skydiving pose is a freefall staple because it drastically improves the likelihood of a fun, safe, and enjoyable skydive. Not only is this skydiving pose a must-master for student skydivers, but it is also utilized by Relative Work skydivers around the world. If you want to set yourself up for a great first skydive, this fundamental skydiving skill will get you there.
The skydiving arch refers to a body position akin to a banana or live shrimp wherein an individual’s pelvis is pressed forward and down setting their hips as the lowest point while keeping their chin high. The skydiving arch takes a little bit of time to dial in, but once you do, it allows you to relax and make use of your other limbs. This is especially handy when you begin to learn forward and backward movement and upper and lower body turns.
Gravity can act upon objects in fairly complex ways. However, all objects behave as if they have a center of gravity or, more simply, a place at which their mass is centered. Much like a shuttlecock in badminton, the skydiving arch creates a uniform center of gravity. Maintaining a uniform center of gravity allows you to freefall in a stable, steady manner. This not only makes it easier on your skydiving instructors but it also makes it easier for you to perform required skills and maneuvers. De-arching or a weak arch will often result in instability. A skydive can quickly become erratic and dangerous because of poor body position. Though, it can just as quickly be righted with a strong, stable arch.
To practice the skydiving arch ahead of time, lay on the ground. If it is a bit uncomfortable, place a pillow beneath your pelvis. Extend your arms in front of you, with about a 90-degree bend at the elbow and lift them off the ground. At the same time, extend your legs up and off the ground, maintaining a slight bend in your knees. You may find that you feel a bit of tension in your lower back. This is because you are activating your lower back muscles. As you may know, not everyone possesses the same amount of flexibility. Thankfully, flexibility can be easily improved!
Perfect practice makes perfect. So, if this skydiving pose is still a little out of reach, you may need to do a bit of stretching first. Then, to hone in the skydiving pose, you can begin first by standing upright. While standing, flex your glutes and push your hips forward, creating an arch in your back. The more you hold the position correctly, the easier it will become. As your muscles grow accustomed to the position and you acquire muscle memory, you can transition to your stomach on the floor and practice the position described above. As in the standing position, if you tighten your glutes it will help you to lift your legs and maintain a nice, stable arch.
Ready to test out your skydiving arch with an introductory tandem skydive? Or would you like to give this skydiving pose a go on your first accelerated freefall skydive? Reach out to Skydive Orange today!
The largest tandem skydiving center near Northern Virginia, Washington D.C. and Maryland.