What is the Bar Method&Trade; Exercise Program?

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  • Written By: Licia Morrow
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 20 September 2019
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The Bar Method™ is an exercise program that focuses on elongating muscles and burning fat. The practice involves the use of a sturdy chair or ballet barre. The results of the exercises include flattened abdominals, elongated and toned muscles in the legs, a lifted seat, and well-stretched muscles throughout the body. The Bar Method™ is similar to interval training because the body switches from intense exercise to stretching. This results in defined muscles and an increase in the burning of fat calories.

Burr Leonard created the Bar Method™ when she opened a Lotte Berk studio in 1991. Along with her partner, Carl Diehl, she developed the Bar Method™ to provide an accelerated workout, similar to that of ballet dancers, that sculpts the body quickly. She currently manages the premieres of studios across the United States, publishes fitness information, and produces fitness DVDs.

Pilates and yoga are similar to this method, but Leonard’s program is described as a more intense workout with fast results. Additionally, this method differs from yoga by placing emphasis only on fitness, rather than mind-body connection and breathing. While Pilates tends to focus on working the smaller muscle groups, the Bar Method™ elongates and strengthens the larger muscle groups.


In addition to the benefits of losing weight and the improved appearance of muscles, the Bar Method™ can increase life span and endurance by creating many of the same benefits of aerobic exercise. Studies have shown that increased muscle mass can help in the fight against cancer, diabetes, as well as heart disease. Other improvements in health gained from this method include improved posture, reduced back pain, and muscle stabilization in injured or weak areas of the body.

A class offered in this method would focus on contracting and stretching muscles while isolating specific muscle groups. Classes are taught at Bar Studios across the United States, including many in Los Angeles, California. Many popular actresses in Hollywood have turned to this exercise program to maintain and improve their fitness, health, and posture.

A typical Bar Method™ class involves brief, warm-up exercises to warm the body and increase the heart rate. Then, free weight exercises are incorporated, as well as push-ups and stretching using a ballet barre. Next, the class focuses on the lower body by putting students through a series of standing exercises, using the bar for support, and floor exercises that work the core and gluteal muscles. Finally, the class performs a set of slow stretches as a cool-down.


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Post 2

@SauteePan- Did you know that they also sell DVD’s for the Bar Method along with the accessories in order to perform the exercises at home? I think that it would be best to take a few classes in a studio so that you can get the mechanics down and learn how to perform the exercises correctly so that you don’t injure yourself.

I think that that is the biggest problem for me when I follow exercise tapes at home. I know that when I used to lift weights I would always get sore in the middle of my back probably from doing the exercises incorrectly. I stopped because I could not stand the pain I felt afterward, but these Bar Method exercises seemed like they were more controlled exercises that probably have a lower risk of injury.

Post 1

I always wanted to try this type of exercise.There is a new exercise studio that opened up that exclusively offers these classes in my area but I think that I need to get in better shape because I am a runner but I don’t do a lot of conditioning exercises and this method seems a bit intense.

I love that you get results quickly because that makes it really motivating. The studio by my house offers single classes and packages of classes from 5 to 20 classes in a package.

They also have a package that allows unlimited classes for six months and another package that offers unlimited classes for one year. The prepaid year package can cost up to $1,900 so these classes are not cheap.

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