The Bar Method
Inspired by the Lotte Berk Method, the Bar Method is an exercise system that combines elements of ballet dance conditioning with rehabilitative therapy techniques. Founder Burr Leonard refined Berk’s exercises by drawing on the expertise of physical therapists, as well as insight from her father’s book, “Mastery.” She named her method for the ballet barres utilized during her classes.
The Bar Method combines isometric movements, dance conditioning and interval training to target those muscles which have the biggest impact on reshaping the body. The exercises are organized into the following categories: arm work, thigh work, seat work, round back, flat back, curl, back dancing and final stretch. Each exercise is designed to burn fat, elongate the muscles and reshape the body.
Classes are structured in such a way that students elongate one side of the body as they tone the other. Moreover, the latter half of the workout concentrates on aerobic exercises, allowing students to maximize their caloric burn after warming up.
Leonard designed the method to accommodate a wide range of fitness levels, body types and ages, making it a highly accessible workout regime. By incorporating physical therapy techniques, instructors are able to modify exercises to accommodate students with physical impediments, such as sensitive shoulders or tight hamstrings. Such students are often given access to props, such as lower bars, straps and cushions, which provide them with added support during class.
There are a multitude of health benefits associated with barre exercise, including improved posture, abdominal strength and flexibility. While the fast-paced aerobic exercises burn body fat and attribute to weight loss, the low-impact stretching exercises improve body alignment and increase flexibility. Following the advice of physical therapists, the method also eases the joints, thereby reducing the risk of injury during exercise.
The Bar Method provides its studio owners and instructors with access to master classes, coaching, workshops and teacher trainings via franchising opportunities. To open a studio, applicants must submit an inquiry form on the company’s official website.
Bar Method teachers undergo extensive training in anatomy, physiology and healthy movement patterns, allowing them to employ therapeutic techniques and hands-on adjustments during class. They also learn about body posture and alignment, which enables them to safely target muscles that would otherwise be difficult to reach.
In addition to training courses, studio teachers and owners also receive access to franchise and marketing support teams, informative videos, manuals and documents, annual studio conventions and more. For more information on the studio franchise program, visit www.barmethod.com.
NACAMS offers affordable, comprehensive barre liability insurance for teachers and teacher trainees of the Bar Method. Members receive professional and general liability insurance, $2 million per claim and $3 million per year, for as low as $179 per year—and students in teacher training receive the same coverage for the first-year rate of $25. Each member also receives rental damage coverage, identity protection, stolen equipment insurance, and professional benefits, like a free website and product discounts. Learn more about our barre liability insurance program at http://nacams.org/barre-instructor/.
For more information about NACAMS, call 800-964-0158