Guest Author - Terri Johansen
Have you heard of, or tried The Bar Method? The Bar Method is a workout that sculpts the body and promises the shape and grace admired in dancers. You do not need to be a dancer to participate as people of all shapes, sizes, and age, can enjoy the benefits equally.
The Bar Method is an exercise technique based on the training methods of Lotte Berk a German Dancer. After a back injury Berk combined ballet bar exercises and physical therapy movements to develop the Lotte Berk Method. Burr Leonard, the developer of The Bar Method worked and trained under Lotte Berk for 20 years before stepping away to develop her own unique body sculpting exercise, The Bar Method.
In order to learn the Bar Method you will have to take studio classes, or purchase DVDs as there are no books on the topic. However recently the Bar Method website has added Online Classes for a fee. See the link below. Leonard states “you will have noticeable results and a sculpted body as well as:”
•Firm, elongated muscles
•Reduced body fat
•High muscle definition in the chest, upper arms and upper legs and hamstrings
•Strong, flat abdominals
•Increased stamina and energy
The Bar Method is a one hour, non-impact workout that works all the major muscle groups. It starts with a warm-up, free weight exercises and push-ups. While at the bar you will be introduced to some challenging, lower-body strength building poses and abdominals work and stretching are done on the floor. Part of the effectiveness of the workout is that many of the poses are held for several minutes which create an intense muscle burn.
Some of the exercises appear similar to Pilates and yoga, but the Bar Method does not emphasize a mind body experience and focuses purely on the physical aspects of the workout.
Here are some is a review based on common questions and answers discussed by Burr Leonard, in her own words—italicized words are direct responses.
•What is The Bar Method and why does it work?
The Bar Method integrates the fat-burning format of interval training with muscle-shaping isometrics to quickly and safely reshape the entire body. Its non-impact, workout targets all the major muscle groups and improves posture. The result is a recognizable “Bar Method body” featuring sculpted arms, flat abs, a lifted seat, and elongated thighs.
•Will the Bar Method help me lose weight?
Absolutely! The Bar Method’s exercise formula is especially designed to maximize the weight loss you get from exercise. The Bar Method class alternates between exercises that demand intense bursts of energy and deep stretches. This format produces both high caloric burn and firmer muscle mass.
•Is The Bar Method aerobic?
Yes. Even though the exercises look different from those of conventional aerobics. The Bar Method challenges the body’s strength and endurance throughout the class and delivers a high level of overall fitness.
•How often should I do the Bar Method Workout?
To get the best results come to class 3-5 times per week.
•Is The Bar Method good for preventing osteoporosis?
Definitely. First of all because the exercises are weight-bearing and non-impact, the perfect formula for putting the right amount of stress on your bones to build density without jarring the joints. The stretching performed in the class stimulates bone growth, and the strengthening around the hips and back helps prevent osteoporosis where your body is the most vulnerable to loss of bone mass.
•Can The Bar Method help with Arthritis?
The Bar Method provides stretching and isometrics which are non-impact and easy on your joints, which is recommended by the Arthritis Foundation. If you chose to do the exercises this caution is issued: listen to the options given by the teacher during each exercise and choose the one that’s right for you. Take a brief rest during the class as needed. If your joints begin to bother you take a break from the class altogether until they feel better. Within these parameters The Bar Method is a joint-friendly fitness option.
•Can The Bar Method help low back pain?
The Bar Method is based in part on rehabilitative back therapy. It works to “rewire” the connection between the core muscles and the limbs. It teaches your body to move from the hips, not the lower back. The exercises also gently stretch the back muscles throughout the class.
•How does The Bar Method strengthen the core?
The use of the ballet bar is uniquely designed for core work. Holding challenging muscle-building poses at the bar requires your body no choice but to engage the core muscles. Holding the poses for several minutes makes demands on core muscles. The abs muscles are working intensely and the back muscles are in action stabilizing the spine. These exercises teach the abs to activate when the hips, legs, and torso need them.
Burr Leonard, states that“The Bar Method workout creates a lean, firm, sculpted body by combining the muscle-shaping principles of isometrics, the body-elongating practice of dance conditioning, the science of physical therapy and the intense pace of interval training into a powerful exercise format that quickly and safely reshapes and elongates muscles.
Always consult a medical professional before starting any exercise plan. Be healthy, be happy!
The Bar Method Online Classes
To Purchas my EBOOK click here: Exercise Basics