The Bar Method is one of the latest exercise techniques to makes waves among celebrities and exercise aficionados. It combines vigorous ballet barre routines (hence the name) with gentle, rehabilitative movements. Classes borrow techniques from Pilates and yoga as well as ballet and aerobics.
In a typical class, participants perform isometrics using their own body weight, which helps target various muscle groups. Classes may also incorporate exercise balls and light weights. Routines are completed on a mat or using a ballet barre (though at home, a sturdy chair will do in a pinch).
Benefits of the Bar Method: The Bar Method is said to tone the legs, abs and butt and shed fat. Practitioners say it affects arms and legs particularly quickly.
Who the Bar Method is best for: The Bar Method works the body much like ballet does. As with Pilates (and ballet), correct form is vital.
Getting ready: Stretching may be helpful before a Bar Method class. Wear a simple t-shirt, a pair of workout pants that cover the knees, and socks or ballet slippers. No tutu is required.
Calories burned: Bar Method practitioners burn between 250 and 500 calories per hour.
Beginners may strain their core or back while doing the Bar Method, since they are unlikely to have perfect form.
Who shouldn't do it: All pregnant women are required to bring in a doctor's note stating that they may perform the strengthening and stretching exercises typical in Bar Method classes. Pregnant women are highly encouraged to take prenatal Bar Method classes.
People with shoulder injuries should also consult a doctor before starting the Bar Method to avoid exacerbrating their injuries.