Foldover is a move used during the standing leg portion in which your upper-body is parallel to the floor and you are lightly gripping the barre. Am I sounding like Wikipedia yet? In Layman’s terms, foldover is what it sounds like: you are folded over. It is a good move for working the Thut™—and yes I am unofficially using the trademark there because we have unofficially coined that term— which is where the hamstring meets the glute. While it can make your thut(™) and standing leg burn baby burn, it is also one of the most difficult moves to maintain good form in the duration of the movement. As you may have heard us say, good form is important to prevent injury and to yield maximum effort to maximum results. So, let’s take a little walk down Foldover Lane.
Make sure your feet is underneath your hips
Whether you stand away from the barre and reach forward, or you are walking yourself out, you want to make sure that you are feet underneath your hips. This is to ensure that your upper body form is correct. Think of yourself as coming into a T-shape with your leg raised (although, you don’t have to get your leg up that high—we are working towards that!). With your feet out towards the center of the room, you are likely to let your back dip. With your feet closer to the mirror, you are likely to let that spine curve up towards the ceiling.
Draw your belly button drawn in towards spine
Speaking of your spine, you want to have that belly button drawing into the spine. When doing so, you are taking any arch out of your back. Here, you want to imagine that your spine is as flat as a table. We should be able to come around put our cups of coffee on your back (not that we would EVER do that. My mind just keeps coming back to coffee) without it falling off. But you’re also not doing the reverse: letting your belly button sink down towards the floor and bringing your booty towards the ceiling. Again, imagine that your back is a table, and adjust your feet and grip accordingly.
Ensure that your ear is right by biceps
This is easily one of the most common mistakes made in foldover. This is to ensure a multitude of things: namely good form in your back, and maximum range of motion in your leg. That might sound a bit silly, but if you think about it, your body is going to go where your head goes. If you are letting your head come above your biceps, you are becoming more upright, only allowing your leg to come up so far. You want as much range of motion as you can to work your thut. And, most importantly, bringing your head above your ears puts unnecessary stress on your back. Adversely (yes, I did just say adversely as if I’m writing an essay), letting your head come below your biceps means you are probably arching your back, also causing unnecessary stress and possible injury to your back. So, when you hear us say ears by the biceps, take that very literally. You should actually be able to squeeze your ears with your arms.
Softened standing knee
As you hear us say a million times in arms, it is important to make sure that you’re keeping a slight bend in your standing knee, and it is easy to let your leg lock out. Just as in arms, this is done primarily so you don’t feel dizzy. I think we can all agree that not passing out is a good thing.
This one is not as hard to grasp, but it can also be hard to maintain throughout a foldover series. Besides keeping your mind on a softened knee and neutral spine, think about keeping the hip of the working leg down towards the floor to keep your hips squared towards the floor. There are some cases in which you will be instructed to turn your knee and top of the foot out, creating a natural turn of the hip.
Modification form check
If foldover makes your upper-body hurt like the dickens, you always have the option to take any foldover series from all-fours. Make sure that your hands are underneath your shoulders, and your knees are right underneath your hips. You should make ninety-degree angles where your shoulder meets your back and where your hip meets your thigh. During the series, be sure to keep your hips squared towards the floor unless told otherwise. As well, you also have the option to drop to the elbow of the arm opposite of the working leg for more stability.