The Bar Method Workout
Photography by Brian Fitzsimmons
Long time Bar Method instructor, Lindsey Durnil, took ownership of The Bar Method Austin this spring. Since then, she’s been busy shaping bodies using The Bar Method’s signature technique of precise isometric exercises followed by active and passive stretches. This month’s workout provides a full body workout using the resistance of bodyweight to work the right muscles in the right order, maximizing results.
1) Stretch at Bar
Stretches are strategically placed throughout class to create long, lean muscles and are just as important as the exercises. Stretch at Bar, gives a total body stretch after warm up and before the highest calorie burning portion of class begins – lower body thigh and seat work.
2) Bent Elbow Lifts
Holding 2-5 pound weights at shoulder height, align weights directly over elbows and drop shoulders down. Use an inch range of motion to press weights up and back down to shoulder height to work the anterior deltoids. Keep abs pulled back and engaged and keep a soft bend in the knees to protect the lower back.
Working as low and as far away from the bar as is comfortable, press the ball of the front foot into the spot where the carpet and wall meet. Engage all of your core muscles for stability and grip into your working side seat muscle while lifting your back foot off the floor. Pulse your leg up quickly about an inch high, 20 times.
4) Arabesque with ball
With feet turned out into a wide V position, hinge forward at your hips and bring working leg up to hip height. Use the bar for support and alignment, holding on wider than shoulder width. Lift head and upper torso by tilting the working side hip up one inch higher than the other hip and square shoulders towards the floor. Gripping into the gluteus maximus and medius, lift the leg up and down in an inch range of motion. Further engage the hamstring by actively squeezing in on the ball behind the thigh.
With the balls of the feet hip width and parallel on the required mini mat, hold onto the bar with a wide overhand grip. Straighten arms and sit down like you are sitting in a chair. Align knees over ankles and thighs parallel to the floor. In an inch range of motion, use quad muscles to lower and lift the body. Squeeze shoulder blades together to engage upper back muscles, and keep a straight flat back.
6) Waterski Seat
Starting with the body up against the bar, hinge back with completely straight arms, bring working side foot back behind you and then lift toes up off the floor. Keeping the working side knee underneath the hip, and working against the resistance of your tuck, use your glutes to pull your leg back slightly. Keep foot high to keep hamstring engaged, chest lifted to work upper back and a slight bend forward at the waist to engage abs and hips level and square.
7) Diamond Thigh
Bring feet into a wide V, opening toes 4-5 inches apart. Press the heels together, grip into your glutes, bend the knees and lower down until you feel a catch in your thighs. Keep knees pressed back wide to engage the side of the seat. With a flat back, abs pulled in and a lifted chest, lower the body in an inch range of motion and back up again.
8) Round Back
Resting on your glutes, bring one leg up overhead and keep it completely straight by gripping into the quad muscles. Hold on with the same side hand to protect your hip flexor and press opposite hand up into the bar to dig deep into abdominals. Use the quad muscles to move the working leg in toward the body slightly at various tempos. *Added challenge: press both hands up under the bar and extend the non-working leg and hover it at hip height to work deeper into the abs.
9) High Curl with the Ball
Place a ball behind the waist and hinge back on a 45-degree angle. Contract your abs, grip glutes, keep hips still and bend and unbend slightly at the waist to get a challenging combination of concentric (shortening) and eccentric (lengthening) abdominal contractions that are effective at slimming and toning the waist.
10) Oblique Punches
With the required support mats, press low back down into the large mat and bring one leg up overhead. Keep a soft bend in the knee and drop same side shoulder an inch, angling the chest towards the thigh. Press same side hand into the floor, while curling diagonally toward the extended leg for an intense oblique workout on both sides of the body.
*Added challenge: use a ball
Place both legs in 90-degree angles, lining up the knee and hip of the back leg. Place non-working side hand in line with same side knee and hop it forward to take the torso on a 45-degree angle. Lift back knee and toes up off the floor and grip into the seat muscles to keep leg at hip height. Rotate the working side hip forward, so work stays in the glutes and keep toes higher than the knee. Drop shoulders, pull abs back, and engage upper back muscles to work multiple muscle groups at one time.
The Bar Method Austin