…without holding onto anything…
Once in a while when standing in a subway car, I’m faced with the dilemma of either reaching around/over/through someone to grab a handle or simply keeping my balance with no assistance. Over the years, I’ve come up with a technique for performing the latter without hurting anyone or embarrassing myself. In NY subways, there is no consistency on the quickness of the start or abruptness of the stop, which makes this pretty difficult, especially since you can’t see anything outside the train in Manhattan.
Here what I do:
I stand with my feet about shoulder length apart and keep my feet diagonal to either side of the car (not parallel or perpendicular), and face the direction of the inertia. So when the train is about to start, I face the rear (but still with my feet at 45 degrees. When the train is moving, I change the position of my feet 90 degrees and face the front ( again, still at 45 degrees from the sides). I always turn my feel slightly outward and slightly bend my knees. Just slightly of course, since I don’t want to look like a surfer. And then the main trick: I lean forward so that there’s more weight on the balls of my feet (relative to the heels) than normal. And I also try to remain light on my feet and flexible in my knees and hips to counter any lateral movement of train (sometimes they rock or shift tracks). It’s actually a pretty good workout since I end up using all of the muscles in my legs.
This technique has served me well. I’m wondering of anyone else has any other techniques.