A method to the barness - The Bar Method: Change Your Body

During one of my little forays to Half Price Books, I noticed two of the Bar Method DVDs. They were priced a little higher than their other workout DVDs, so I let them pass, but once I got home and saw how well-reviewed, pricey (and nearly unavailable on Amazon) they are, I went right back and snapped them up.

I'm a sucker for these ballet-inspired, little-tiny-movement workouts. I think it's because I'm inherently lazy, so I don't like to jump around a lot, but also because I like workouts that make me concentrate on what my body is doing. I love how thoughtful yoga is for the same reason. So I began by trying what seemed to be the easier program, The Bar Method: Change Your Body!.

What's interesting about this system is that it uses light weights, which means there's a bit more focus on arm work than in my beloved Callanetics. Almost every movement is followed by an appropriate stretch. The glutes and legs are worked in a variety of ways. And there are truly challenging abdominal exercises. Now, these use very few crunches, but the focus is on pelvic tilts. My guess -- and I hope I'm not getting the anatomy wrong -- is that they're working the Psoas muscle, which is generally quite hard to reach. This isn't discussed on the video per se, but the effect of working the Psoas muscle is, I've heard, to pull in the abdominals -- which you can't get just by doing crunches. I haven't seen this kind of focus on the Psoas in any other workout video so far.

By the time the workout was done, I didn't really feel I had done anything. Sure, the individual exercises had been challenging, but none were exhausting. Still, I thought I'd wait a day or two to see how I felt the next day, if the exercises had really worked my muscles.

The next day: oh lord. And the day after that -- I could feel leg, butt, hip, and arm muscles still pleasantly hurting. Now that I know its effects, I can't wait to do it again!

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