New Activity for the New Year: Bar Method
Have you heard of the Bar Method? Want to learn more? Well then today’s post is perfect for you. Marielle from Fit Girl in a Pretty World is going to share with you why she enjoys the bar method.
Why I Love The Bar Method
To give a quick background about me, I grew up playing soccer and ran track. Post college, my go-to exercise routine was typically weight lifting, intense boot camp classes, and running. Fast-forward a few years (well maybe 7 years) and my go to strength work out is definitely The Bar Method.
Now when you first hear “the Bar Method” what comes to your mind may be: Ballet class or Pilates. I’ve also heard someone say that “all you do is stretch.” So not true. While it does incorporate some of these concepts, it is first and foremost a full body strengthening/toning (whatever you want to call it) workout.
I’ve had my share of ankle and knee injuries from all the pounding exercises and activities I pushed myself to do. A little voice in my head has always told me that I need to find a low-impact activity to balance out my love for running. I’ve tried Pilates and Yoga classes and while I like them, I never really fell “in love” with them.
I had heard about the Bar Method from friends and past patients of mine, and I was so excited when a new studio opened up about 15 minutes away from my apartment! (This was a little over a year ago when we were living in Seattle).
My first class flew by and I spent most of the time trying to get my body in the correct position and to keep up. Boy was I sore- my abs, my arms, my legs. Who knew that 2# weights and tiny isolated movements could burn so good?? I was immediately hooked. When I found out we were moving to Los Angeles, I quickly looked up where the closest Bar Method Studio was…..turns out to be about 6 miles from my house. Perfect! I’ve been going consistently 2-3X week this past year and continue to run or do my occasional boot camp class.
Per the website, The Bar Method creates a “uniquely 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.”
Class is 1 hour-long and we rotate through different body sections throughout class. Shoulders, triceps, chest, legs, butt, abs, and then butt again. One thing I really enjoy about class is that we stretch after every section!! When we finish quad work, we stretch. When we finish tricep work, we stretch etc. This goes along with their concept of elongating and reshaping muscles. And it feels so good after your muscles have been burning.
The BIG Question: What physical changes have you noticed??
I’ve noticed a big change in my arms. My triceps and shoulders are more toned and they don’t feel as bulky as they did when I was into weight lifting. I’ve also noticed some more quad definition, more recently the past few months. (Not to say weight lifting is bad…for me, I got burnt out from it and fell in love with something new that works for me).
The funny thing about this workout is that the longer you take class, the better you are at finding the correct form and getting deep into the muscles. I definitely feel the ‘muscle shake’ all throughout class…..especially during thigh work. Oh Man.
I’m still a runner first and foremost and will never give that up, but I’ve found something that is a “great” alternative to joint pounding activities AND it kicks my ass!
I recommend anyone to try this workout! I’ve seen women my age, older, and extremely pregnant chicks kick my ass ☺ There are modifications for anyone based on an injury or strength issue.
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