The Bar Method is a fitness program based on the exercises used by ballet dancers to tone and strengthen leg, hip and core muscles, improve posture, and firm and lengthen all the muscles of the body. It combines strenuous interval training with stationary poses, like those used in yoga.
The Bar Method Explained
The Bar Method uses a ballet barre and a sturdy chair as props, to help students balance as they perform deep stretches and move through periods of intense activity. The Bar Method firms and lengthens all the muscles of the body to give you a leaner appearance; it also works on core muscles to improve posture and balance.
The Bar Method exercise routine is similar to interval training, because students move from periods of intense physical activity to deep stretches that lengthen your muscles. Because the Bar Method focuses on periods of intense exercise, it does raise your heart rate and is a form of aerobic exercise, even though the classes don't look much like other aerobics classes.
Bar Method Classes
The Bar Method uses a series of exercises that isolate major muscle groups in order to strengthen all the muscles of the body. Students in Bar Method classes begin with a simple warm up and then progress to a series of isolation exercises that eventually stretch and contract all the muscles of the body. Students then progress to using free weights and push ups to tone the muscles of the upper body, and perform deep stretches using the ballet barre for support. Students finish the class with a series of standing poses that firm the legs, buttocks and abdomen before cooling down with another series of stretches.
You can burn off fat and achieve a leaner, toned physique with the Bar Method. Practicing the Bar Method three to five times a week can produce noticeable results in as little as two months.
How the Bar Method Compares to Yoga and Pilates
The Bar Method is different from both yoga and Pilates, though it does incorporate some of the elements of these fitness programs. The Bar Method offers a more intense workout than Pilates, to produce more endurance and more muscle mass. The Bar Method works large muscle groups, while Pilates focuses on small individual muscles, so the Bar Method produces denser muscles throughout the body. Pilates relies on machines, equipment and mat exercises, while the Bar Method helps students use their own body weight to reshape muscles.
Yoga is different from the Bar Method because it offers a more spiritual approach to fitness, one that proposes to deepen the connection between the mind, body and soul and one whose ultimate goal is not merely physical fitness but spiritual enlightenment. While yoga does use standing poses to firm the muscles of the legs and core, and while it can offer aerobic possibilities, its aim is inner tranformation, while the Bar Method focuses merely on improving physical fitness.