From one Bar Method student to another

I’ve been doing the Bar Method at the Boulder location for close to two years at this point. In that amount of time, I’ve learned a few tips and tricks that might help some newbies out.

1. Try to think of this as a dance – find the beat of the music and move your body to it. This will help you stay on count with the instructor as well as add some fun to the whole thing. Especially during back dancing.

2. We’re all used to BIG movements in workouts. Not this one. They mean it when they say move ONE INCH.

And here’s why: in each repetition, the movement is basically you going from clenched to AS CLENCHED AS YOU CAN GET. (Yes, the capitalization, bold, and italics are necessary.) When you do this, you have no choice but to make small, controlled movements. And that’s where the power lies. Don’t believe me? Instructors often take class – watch one of them and you’ll see how small and controlled their movements are.

3. You’ll notice I used the word controlled above. That’s what all the movements should be. Even when you’re releasing something. For example, when we do full arm curls, you should be resisting and controlling the release of that motion.

4. To riff off of number three, there is no bouncing or swaying in Bar. At no time do you want to use momentum to complete a move. Again, it’s all about control.

5. When the instructor is giving a correction to someone in the class, pay attention and try to see if the same correction could be made in your body as well.

6. During round-back, the goal is to get your leg as straight as possible. We all think, initially, that it’s to get your leg as high as possible. The height will come in time. The beauty of this exercise is how it will tone your thighs and give you those shapely muscles around your knees. Muscles that help with knee health. So, focus on straightening your leg!

7. During flat-back, your breath is your biggest asset. (Same in ab work, for that matter.) For the first several months, I couldn’t do the leg movements in flat-back due to some groin issues, so all I focused on was my breath and pulling my abs back towards my spine. In all honesty, I sometimes think this did more for me than regular flat-back! Anyway, breathe out sharply with each rep and focus on drawing your abs in and you’ll get more from this exercise.

8. If you ever look in the mirror and see your butt sticking out, tuck it back under you! I can think of very few movements (besides cat/cow after ab work) where sticking your butt out is appropriate. Basically, you want your tail bone under you as much as possible. This will be hard for some people initially due to tight muscles and muscle imbalances between your low back and core, but you’ll get there. And getting there will help you with posture, alignment, and flattening out your abs not only in class, but in day-to-day life. Think about it, when someone’s back is arched to stick out their butt, their stomach automatically pooches out, which is the opposite of what we’re all going for, right?

{Note: none of the statements above are sanctioned by The Bar Method. This is my commentary, and my commentary only.}

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  1. We all know how effective the bar method is, having tips from someone who has been using the bar method for 2 years is a treat for myself. Thanks for sharig, great information.


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