Barre-based workouts have become increasing popular thanks to Natalie Portman's dancer bod in Black Swan, the Tracy Anderson Method, and barre3; and Bar Method, a ballet-inspired sculpting program with studios across the US, is no exception. The method, which is taught as an hour-long class, focuses on isometric movements, light weight work, stretching, and subtle moves at the barre. It is also one of the workouts Kelly Osborne used to get fit. As someone who practices it weekly, I can attest it's a serious workout, so I was excited (and even a little scared) to challenge myself with the Bar Method Dancer's Body Advanced Workout DVD ($20).
Led by cheery and pretty-to-look-at-while-you-are-sweating Bar Method teacher and actress Marnie Alton, the DVD offers a variety of the method's staple moves. Like the class, it starts off slow with leg lifts, light arm exercises (it's recommended you use two- to four-pound weights), and then jumps into the method's secret sauce: intense leg work at the barre. They recommend you use a chair or portable barre, but I found a ledge in my living room worked just fine for the "water-ski thigh-work" and more balletic "arabesque" exercises, and the floor and my yoga mat worked swell for the abdominal "clam shell" exercises. The routine was tough, and like the last "Accelerated" Bar Method DVD the ab exercises were killer. I wish the DVD included a chapter showcasing a few of the moves that are easier to perform with a makeshift barre, but the chapters with form instruction made up for it.
Is this DVD good for beginners? Keep on reading for the answer and a video clip of the workout.
If you've never taken a Bar Method class before I suggest you sign up for one before popping this in the DVD, or try one of the more basic workout DVDs so you better understand the fundamentals and form. If you already know how to "tuck, tuck, tuck" and are ready to let your legs shake (it's a good thing in Bar Method!), press play.
Wanna try a barre workout right now? Check out our video on toning your booty at home.