Going Prone (Best Practices)

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  • This topic has 8 replies, 6 voices, and was last updated 3 months ago by Max. This post has been viewed 457 times
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    • #146749
      LittleBigBill
      Participant

        The U.S. Army (among others) have learned lessons from various military conflicts on the pros and cons of different methods of going prone. From blown-out knees to age, in general, catching up with many of us taking tactical classes.

        I know that going prone is a basic platform for staying “small” in someone else’s sights, but getting down, and up again, efficiently and quickly is another matter.

        I came across this video and wanted to know what the MVT Cadre and others thought of the methods in the video. If there are other videos that are suggested, link them please. I gotta get better at going prone without wrecking my body.

        Combat movement

      • #146759
        DuaneH
        Participant

          So the first thing came to my mind is the famous quote by a 2LT “In my experience….”
          So in 1991 I was taught to go to my knees, plant the buttstock of my M16-A1 and roll onto it. That went out the door with the GWOT and not just because we went to the M4 carbine. (wasn’t there something in between the A1 and M4? What happens when you have a break in service”

          I am not saying that some of what he said wasn’t relevant, but I was at an MVT class and someone asked Max the question of “how do you get to prone?” Max said something along the line of “Just get to the fuckin’ ground as quick as you can without permanently injuring something.” I think he used a few more “fuckin’s” but I left those out for the sake of brevity.

          I get to the ground in different ways depending on the terrain and whether or not there is something coming my way. Typically my go into prone is a controlled fall by going to my right knee first and using my support (left) hand to break my CONTROLLED descent.

          I don’t know what his rank was, but I prefer to take my instruction from senior NCO’s and maybe a warrant officer or two. Someone wise enough to have BUIS on their rifles.

        • #146765
          AntMan
          Participant

            Something else to consider is that everyone moves a little differently with pre-existing injuries etc. The main takeaway from the video is find a system that works for you and practice it so you don’t revert to jumping on your face under stress and you can verify that it can actually be effective.

            2xcqbc
            1xclc

          • #146768
            JohnnyMac
            Participant

              As usual, the “it depends” general answer applies.

              Factors that may slightly change how one goes prone:
              -hardness/rockiness of the ground
              -brush/foliage to clear
              -load weight- if really loaded down you might not have as much balance and also might need to move slower so as not to break a wrist or something (fight lite anyone?)
              -as Ant-Man said, physiological issues like past injuries

              With that said, don’t get hung up on minutiae with this. If you ACTUALLY need to take cover, a bruised knee/palm/etc are the least of your worries. Hollywood never shows anyone faceplanting/tripping/running into stuff, but it happens sometimes (that’s NOT to say run around like a madman and ensure you CONTROL your muzzle at all times). You just have to recover and carry on.

              Now, what can one do to prepare the body for taking the prone position? Flexibility is important: posterior chain, especially hamstrings. Shoulder strength and mobility are important. Abdominal strength is important. Asymmetric loads are important, given that you will have kit on with a rifle in one hand.

              Burpees will help.

              Lunges, circus press/landmine press, Turkish getups, etc might help for asymmetric work.

            • #146774
              First Sergeant
              Moderator

                So the first thing came to my mind is the famous quote by a 2LT “In my experience….”
                So in 1991 I was taught to go to my knees, plant the buttstock of my M16-A1 and roll onto it. That went out the door with the GWOT and not just because we went to the M4 carbine. (wasn’t there something in between the A1 and M4? What happens when you have a break in service”

                I am not saying that some of what he said wasn’t relevant, but I was at an MVT class and someone asked Max the question of “how do you get to prone?” Max said something along the line of “Just get to the fuckin’ ground as quick as you can without permanently injuring something.” I think he used a few more “fuckin’s” but I left those out for the sake of brevity.

                I get to the ground in different ways depending on the terrain and whether or not there is something coming my way. Typically my go into prone is a controlled fall by going to my right knee first and using my support (left) hand to break my CONTROLLED descent.

                I don’t know what his rank was, but I prefer to take my instruction from senior NCO’s and maybe a warrant officer or two. Someone wise enough to have BUIS on their rifles.

                The technique Duane describes in his first paragraph is the way I was originally taught in 1989 with the M16-A1. That is the EIB technique the guy in the video was talking about. @DuaneH, the M16-A2 is the one in between the A1 and M4. That technique doesn’t work with a carbine. We have also learned a lot more since 2001.

                The way he demonstrates going from kneeling to prone is what we teach. For those of you that have taken either CTT, HEAT1 or HEAT .5 think about Day 1. Remember the drill where you start standing engaging targets and finish in the prone, changing mags as you get into each position. That is the exact same way he talks about in the video.

                Here comes the “It Depends”. Sometimes when you take fire you just don’t have the time to be perfect about it. The situation dictates that you need to be in the prone and small NOW.

                I have seen guys eat the rear sight on a SAW more than once. Guys usually don’t do it twice.

                FILO
                Signal Out, Can You Identify
                Je ne regrette rien
                In Orbe Terrum Non Visi

              • #146782
                LittleBigBill
                Participant

                  Thank you for the varied replies. As usual, fitness is key to be able to get into and out of positions. (Thank you JohnnyMac for the exercise list.) Practicing a basic method of going to prone through kneeling, with my kit on, highlights the need for fitness and balance.

                  Just as one practices various positional reloads or malfunction drills, I can see that these movements need to be practiced too so the basic movement becomes second nature and there is no thinking about “now which hand/knee to move where?” in a stressful environment. I’m sure that my body would just respond to the situation, but I want to ensure I would use (learn) the most efficient method to keep myself from injury and fatigue.

                  I do remember the fighting position drill First Sergeant talks of and that is what I base my method on.
                  Texas 2020 showed me that I need to practice actual going to prone movements with my kit on. Going to a kneeling position for most of the week of training got one knee a LOT of use (and ache), as my body just went to that knee “naturally”. I think practicing going down on the less “natural” knee is like practicing non-dominant hand shooting, necessary because we don’t always get to pick our cover. Likewise with going into and out of prone on the non-dominant side. In a shooting environment isn’t the place to experiment with these movements/motions.

                  Cheers!

                • #146787
                  DuaneH
                  Participant

                    @1SG: Good to know that MVT is teaching this. I took CRCD in 13 and 14 and other than my above quote from Max it was not addressed. I knew that MVT is constantly evolving which is why I plan to take the HEAT series.

                    I was being humorously sarcastic about what came between the A1 and M4. As an AMEDD officer we are still issued the A2. You know the ones with the “A1” buffed out and restamped “A2”.

                  • #146804
                    First Sergeant
                    Moderator

                      @1SG: Good to know that MVT is teaching this. I took CRCD in 13 and 14 and other than my above quote from Max it was not addressed. I knew that MVT is constantly evolving which is why I plan to take the HEAT series.

                      I was being humorously sarcastic about what came between the A1 and M4. As an AMEDD officer we are still issued the A2. You know the ones with the “A1” buffed out and restamped “A2”.

                      Roger, just wanted to dig a little. ;-)

                      FILO
                      Signal Out, Can You Identify
                      Je ne regrette rien
                      In Orbe Terrum Non Visi

                    • #146819
                      Max
                      Keymaster

                        First video on the MVT Channel, from all the way back to the 2 Day CRCD classes (no flat range):

                        Then, as Scott said, we do this all day on flat range drills. Standing, kneeling, prone. No, we don’t run some BS ‘kata karate’ drills like in the original video. It’s either standing, kneeling (barricade or standard) and then prone. Sitting for forward slopes. Anything else is a hybrid position designed to fit your cover, or work the cover you are in.

                        And then guess what, one of my more recent videos. Whole bunch of going prone in that, plus hybrid to fit the terrain, plus crawling etc.

                        Fuckers.

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