When it comes to mixing up my strength training routine, I am a fan of the Bar Method, a ballet based sculpting class. Full of deceptively simple exercises with a focus on micro movements, these hour long classes always leave me sore in surprising places. I was excited to try the new 55 minute DVD Accelerated Workout, because sometimes I really enjoy working my fanny in the privacy of my own home.
I think it is great that this DVD workout doesn't require any extraordinary props, just a mat, a set of two to four-pound dumbbells, and a chair to create your home version of a ballet bar. In this well-shot video, Bar Method creator Burr Leonard and three Bar Method studio owners lead you through a series of moves that work your arms, abs, back, legs, and glutes — in other words, your entire body. The instructions are super clear and easy to follow — a joy compared to some over or under produced videos I used in the past — and the workout flies by except for the quad work which always kills me. However, I felt there were less exercises in the DVD than you would experience in a class — I think because a little more explanation is required in the video format for the precise moves.
To see if the workout got my heart rate up too, read more.
Because I love my heart rate monitor, I wore it for the workout and my heart rate stayed fairly low throughout the class (average rate was 99 bpm) so don't count on it as an aerobic workout. As a Pilates instructor, I also don't like working in a "tucked" position, where you draw your bottom of your pelvis forward. The position feels bad on my back, and it is fairly subtle so without a live instructor correcting the placement I worry about other folks will over tuck and compromise their low backs. When I do this work, I mostly work in a neutral spine.
I think this DVD is perfect for someone new to fitness for the exercises are easy to do but will definitely work you, but for someone well versed in the Bar Method, this workout may feel too easy.
You can purchase the DVD directly from the Bar Method website for $20 and start sculpting and stretching.