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Should I have straight legs or bent knees when I do a Forward Fold?

Updated: Feb 26, 2019

Whether you're new, or enjoy coming along regularly, to one of our remedial or beginner level movement classes, are a participant at one of our Body Balance (Les Mills UK) classes, are developing or deepening your movement practice at one of our workshops, or are working on a 1-2-1 injury rehabilitation, or movement training, programme with one of us, you may very possibly find your way in to an 'Easy Forward Fold'. Here's why:

A class participant recently questioned us.

Sometimes in our SLOWFLOW classes we'll encourage a move in to what we call an 'EASY FORWARD FOLD' (as shown in the image - although some people will be resting their hands or forearms on their legs, rather than their bellies and ribs, or may be sitting on a chair).

The participant commented (we encourage questions in class):

"Why do you call this easy?...its not easy for me!"

Good question, and we appreciate being called on this!

This is our explanation:

Apart from the increased physiological ease - described in the image - that this position, or modification of a more 'traditional' forward fold, affords the majority of people, i.e. because by bending our knees we are setting up conditions to help make it EASIER to lengthen through the muscles in the back without strain or discomfort, we also call it 'Easy' because:

We want to encourage a sense of EASING in to the movement.

'EASY' as in the opposite to being hard, or strenuous, on our body.

'EASY' as in an alternative to putting too much stress on our tissues.

Moving with EASE, as opposed to moving in, or through, pain.

And 'EASY' as an alternative to TRYING or STRUGGLING with something that is too difficult, or that our bodies aren't ready to do.

Because we are encouraging EASEFUL and relaxing movement, to allow more freedom in our movement, and to help down-regulate nervous system involvement that might be keeping us in pain.

And, last but not least, because our classes are about helping you Move More EASILY.

But perhaps 'Easeful' would be a better word for this movement?

Try it out. Let us know what you think?

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