Monday, 11 January 2010

Clearing the car of snow

I experienced an interesting snippet of body movement plus snow the other day when I was clearing the car before setting out. As I pushed the snow off with my arm my body twisted and slipped backwards. This is a fairly normal reaction to pushing but the snow made me realise I was weighted backwards on my heels and imbalanced.

As I pushed hard forward with the arms my heels went forward too, effectively toppling myself backwards.

Check out a Professor's solution to slipping on ice:Try

"For example, if you were on ice and starting to fall forward, you
would instinctively try to push backward on the ice.  If you do not  slip, by Newton's Third Law (action = -reaction), the ice will push  forward on your feet, helping you to regain your balance.  If your  feet slip, you could lose your balance and fall forward.  If you are stationary, you can stay upright as long as your center  of gravity is directly above the area on the ice defined by your  feet and the space between them.  By pressing on your toes or heels  and/or your left or right foot, you can keep yourself balanced.  If  you take small steps, it is easier to keep this balance and the  corrective forces will be smaller, making it less likely that you will slip.  Keeping your balance is not an easy problem as small children  quickly learn. For example if you are walking on a railroad track  and start to fall to the right, you can regain your balance by  bending the top part of your body to the right or the bottom part (a  foot and attached leg) to the left.  Try it!  Dick Plano, Professor of Physics emeritus, Rutgers University" (
Try the exercise he prescribes: stand feet shoulder width apart, 'slip' your right foot forward (on imaginary railway lines)-if you endeavour to keep your weight where it was you feel unstable so lean into it to regain your balance. Best done in socks on a wooden floor.
And hey presto: front stance! Our sturdy everyday practice stance. As endorsed by professors!

1 comment:

L said...

I found a great secret to clearing

your car off in a matter of


What you do is cover it with a

tarp before the snow storm hits.

You need to take rope or bungie

cords and tie it down to the door

handles so it does not blow away

in the wind.

Then when the car is covered with

snow, you just pull the tarp off.

It works like a charm.