There are several types of exercise that will energize you, allow you to bend like a pretzel and give you strong muscles. There are also a few forms of exercise that will relax you while you strengthen and tone your muscles. There is, however, one form of exercise that will do all at the same time. It’s called Bar Fitness and I’d like to tell you more about how you can reap its unique benefits at any age.
You’re Never Too Old To Go To The Bar
As I said, many types of exercise will boost your metabolism, burn fat, make you more flexible, and strengthen your muscles. Yet, many have certain safety precautions with them that someone of a certain age, or condition, may not find suitable.
For instance, kettlebells gives an awesome strength building, fat burning workout but swinging around a 10-20 lb (or more) weight may not be for everyone – especially if you’ve had any neck or back disk issues, shoulder, arm injuries, or even knee injuries.
Running on a treadmill, or track, assumes that your knees, ankles, feet bones and joints are in good condition and withstand your pounding weight on them. TRX gives an incredible workout too – burning fat as well as building muscle strength and flexibility. But, maneuvering yourself with cables, such as TRX uses, may not fit into your coordination or comfort level either.
Bar exercise is virtually non-impact, and uses only the movement of your own body to achieve results, so it’s a very safe method of exercise. With bar exercise, you use a ballet bar (or barre) to do a series of small, focused movements which can be handled safely for just about anyone. In bar exercise, you stand next to a wall mounted bar, or standing floor bar – the same as ballet dancers use – holding on with 1, or both hands, and perform a series of muscle contractions, extensions, and holds of positions that both burn fat and streamline muscles. But, you can also use the back of a sturdy chair, or a countertop as your bar as well.
The combination of classic ballet moves – like plies, parallel plies, Arabesques, ronde de jambs and others, with yoga and Pilates moves – aerobically burn fat, strengthen muscles, create flexibility, stamina, energize and relax you all at the same time.
Unlike other types of exercise, Bar fitness also works the back of your body, like back muscles that are harder to get at, all 3 major butt muscles, and back thigh muscles, strengthening, and toning them in ways other exercise can’t. As such, bar workouts really target “senior droopy drawers” – a flat, flabby backside that can accompany getting older from lack of proper exercise and/or sitting too much.
Bar fitness looks like effortless ballet moves but don’t be fooled. It’s also a very intense workout that can leave your legs shaking as you learn it. It focuses on integration of both larger and smaller, supporting muscles, to create proportion and balanced strength. The results are that of burning fat, creating rock hard bodies, flexibility, balance, and increased stamina. Because of its difference, many people have come to bar exercise when others didn’t quite yield results. Like those who practice bar exercise report, you can almost literally feel the fat melting off your body during workouts as the moves and holds really kick up your metabolism.
Bar Fitness is not just for the girls. More and more male athletes, as well as older men looking for a gentler-on-the-joints, yet tough workout, do it too. Even rock star Mick Jagger does ballet and bar exercise to keep his fluid, gazelle-like “Jagger moves”.
How To Get Started with Bar Exercise
If there’s any drawback to bar exercise, it may be that classes tend to be a little expensive. I recommend you buy an introductory bundle of classes at a local fitness center that teaches bar (barre) method exercise to see how the moves are done and decide if it’s for you. Many places offer 1-2 weeks up to 1 month, of a few times a week, or unlimited bar fitness classes for $20-150. Many people who practice bar exercise refer to this as “bar hopping” as they take walk-in bar classes at different places to try out that particular teacher’s routine. If taking an ongoing class is not in your budget, you might then consider buying a DVD to do at home. You can even buy your own at-home standing bar, or create your own wall bar in your home using a simple handrail bar attached with brackets far enough away from the wall.
I think bar exercise may be an excellent choice for older women and men who might have joint and/or other injuries, or conditions, that other forms of exercise may aggravate. I think you’ll like what bar exercise can do for restoring a youthful look and move to your body.