- On the areas of her life that are the healthiest, and not so healthy: "Well, I could probably drink less coffee and drink more water. I try to eat well, but sometimes you can be a little too obsessive. It's good to remember it's actually not the be-all and end-all, and if you're absolutely falling down with exhaustion, really, do you need to go to the gym?"
- On whether she owns a scale: "Truthfully, I'm usually happiest when I'm not going anywhere near it. But you know what size your body is. And if you're working out and have a lot of muscle, you're going to weigh more. I feel good when I feel like I'm really strong. And that's not necessarily when I'm at my numerically most gratifying weight."
- On workouts she's loving right now: "My favorite workout by far is boxing . . . I do The Bar Method. Then there's also this place called Hot 8 Yoga, and they do [Yoga Barre]. It's like The Bar Method, but it's, like, 105 degrees. It's psycho, but kind of awesome."
Your parents will be happy to know that those ballet classes you took as a kid aren't going to waste, thanks to a new wave of ballet-inspired workout classes popping up in cities all across the country. Put on your yoga wear, find your place in front of the bar, and stretch your way to a elongated, lean body — Black Swan style. But what class does what? Or are they all quite similar? Here's a rundown of some top classes across the country that use a bar as their main exercise equipment.
Source: The Daily Method
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.
Actress Emily Blunt teamed up with Matt Damon, her co-star of The Adjustment Bureau, for the March covers of Women's and Men's Health. It's the first time that the two magazines have ever shared cover models, and they could not have picked a better pair. Here's what Emily told the magazine about getting in shape to play a ballet dancer for the film:
"I looked like an aerobics teacher. My shoulders puffed out, my back looked like there was a barrel of snakes in it and I had an eight-pack."
Emily is thrilled with the results — the actress feels toned, defined, and "muscle-ly." Benoit-Swan Pouffer, the film's choreographer, told Dance Magazine that he got Emily in shape by putting her through a boot-camp-style workout that included dance training with Pouffer and working with a Tracy Anderson Method trainer. On average, Emily worked out for almost fours hours every day during the month that led up to filming; once filming began, she continued her sessions with Pouffer and also hit the gym. Even though the training was exhausting, Emily pulled it off and transformed herself into a dancer for the film's three performances: a solo, a duet, and a group number.
Back in November when Kelly Osbourne joined Dancing With the Stars, she said that her "body was going to get sick" from all that dancing. She wasn't lying. The youngest Osbourne took the stage with the Pussycat Dolls last week, looking smokin' hot alongside performers Mya and Carmen Electra. It's hard to believe that the size two starlet was a size 14 less than a year ago, and almost 50 pounds heavier. If you're as impressed with Kelly's transformation as we are (and want to see even more pics), read more
After calling it quits with trainer Tracy Anderson last year, Madonna has a new trainer. Heck, she has a whole new fitness method! For the last several months the singer has been working with trainer Sadie Lincoln, founder of barre3 — a vigorous workout that combines elements of yoga, Pilates, and ballet barre. Much like the Tracy Anderson Method, the barre3 workout promises clients a long, lean, and feminine physique. Madonna loves it so much that she's been flying Sadie into New York from Portland. The pair has been working out in Mikhail Baryshnikov's Upper West Side studio.
While a ballet barre fitness class is nothing new — Bar Method, for instance — barre3 promises to be different. First of all, there's a lot of variety built into the workout. If you take a barre3 class, the structure is always changing so students won't get bored. The hour or so long class is broken up into 8-minute sessions that target different areas of the body. It's vigorous, and focuses on achieving balance, strength, and flexibility. Have any of you tried the workout? I'd love to hear what you thought!
I have to admit that I've never been a fan of Kelly Osbourne, but after reading her interview in the latest issue of Us Weekly, I'm a convert. The singer talks in detail about the hard work she went through to transform herself from a size 14 to a size two. I love that Kelly did it in a totally manageable and healthy way, and has such a kick-ass attitude about everything she's been through. Focusing on a healthy diet and exercise plan, the 5-foot-2 star lost an amazing 42 pounds. Most importantly, she has let go of the shame she's carried for years because of her weight. Check out the highlights below.
- How Dancing With the Stars changed her life. "He [DWTS partner Louis van Amstel] made me work out, practice six times a day and get fit. I fought him the whole time, but at the end of the show I realized he was right. It worked."
- On working out. "After DWTS ended I followed the Bar Method and now I do that three times a week at least. Not every day. I don't have that kind of dedication. Working out sucks. You sweat and you stick, but then you're done — and then you see that just taking an hour three times a week can change you so much. It becomes addictive."
To find out what Kelly's eating and how her self-esteem has changed, read more
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
If you are looking for a killer workout or to add variety to your strength-training routine you need to check out The Bar Method. Never before have such small movements made me so sore! The exercises are designed to strengthen and stretch every major muscle group, and let me tell you from experience they do!
The work is definitely ballet and dance based, but no dance experience is required to reap the benefits of the class. Standing at the bar for relevés (heel raises to work the calves) and stretching your legs might just bring out your inner ballerina, and there is nothing wrong with that. This is definitely strength training with poise and faulty posture will be corrected by the instructor, so if you tend to slump this class will help you stand tall. All the movements, no matter if they are for your arms, legs, or abs, are best described as intense and minute. The work is very detailed oriented, which helps keep your brain engaged while your quads or abs scream for you to stop pulsing in a small range of motion. I really appreciated that a considerable portion of the class focuses on working the legs and glutes – two areas I love to work.
Want to know how much it costs? Then read more
Looking for a new way to get fit? Maybe you should try the bar. Not that type of bar, silly...
The Bar Method exercise system is another way to create a lean, firm, sculpted body by reshaping and elongating muscles while maintaining an intense pace that burns fat and increases stamina. The class is usually an hour long and composed of eight or nine strengthening exercises followed by stretching. The strength work combines holding positions that use the body’s own weight with small, controlled moves that increase range of motion and stamina. Stretching is focused on the hips, chest and lower back to improve posture and body alignment. Students begin the class with free weights and push-ups, move to the ballet bar to work their legs and abdominals, and finish on mats for more core work and stretching (basically interval training). The Bar Method is great for working tight muscles, especially those around the hips and lower back that get that way from sitting hours and hours a day at your desk.
To learn more about where you can take it as well as to see a few examples of the kind of exercises you'll be doing in a class, read more