Ever since last years’ hit film Black Swan proved to the masses that dance-inspired fitness regimes could re-shape bodies, a slew of ballet-based workouts have hit the market. Cardio Barre, Tracey Anderson Method and barre3 all come to mind, along with numeroous less successful competitors. The originator of the dancer workout, however, is The Bar Method.
The Bar Method was started in the 1970’s in San Francisco by former ballerina Lotte Burr. Combining isometrics, ballet, pilates and light weight work the workout is a low impact way to reshape muscle groups and improve flexibility. Bar Method studios have begun to spring up all over the country, but at $250 a month, keeping your tush in perfect shape can get expensive. Luckily, Bar Method offers a series of DVD’s
for busy, long-distance, or financially strapped potential students. At just $20 on The Bar Method website, you can keep your wallet and your thighs happy.
After trying classes and a couple other DVD’s, we here at Glam Damn It can attest that the Advanced Dancer’s Body Workout DVD is almost exactly like being in class. The DVD class is taught by Bar Method teacher Marnie Alton and begins with light weight work before diving into muscle reshaping exercises at the barre. The most-repeated phrase in any Bar Method class is “Tuck, tuck, tuck!” – a shorthand reminder to tuck your booty tightly underneath your hips. This move keeps your abs, glutes, and hips engaged during every single move and while you won’t notice it much during the workout, the next day you will feel the burn.
Don’t worry about procuring yourself a ballet barre – the back of a chair is suggested instead. After your
time at the barre, it’s onto mat work. But don’t get too excited to sit down – Bar Method is all about turning
fat into long, lean muscles and “mat work” is really just another way to say “your abs are going to burn for the next two days”. The best part about Bar Method is that the entire class is broken up into segments. Yes, you will stand at the barre (or chair) and do moves with scary-sounding names like “water-ski thigh
workout." And you will hold chair sits and V-ups until your thighs and abs shake and sweat pours down your face. But in between every grueling segment, Marnie pauses the workout and leads you through calming stretches. This is how your muscles reshape and turn into those long, thin-yet-powerful limbs like a ballerina.
Many women claim the Bar Method has lengthened their leg muscles so much, they’ve actually added inches to their height. We don’t know if this is true, but we do know that for $20 you can’t beat the intense workout that this DVD offers. Working out at home in your own living room is an experience in itself – with no more excuses to avoid going for the burn, we’ve found we actually enjoy this class and look forward to whatever time we’re able to squeeze in the hour it takes to finish the DVD from start to finish.