Tone & Tighten with The Bar Method: Part 1

The Bar Method FresnoI love it when a new fitness studio or healthy restaurant opens in Fresno — or anywhere for that matter! If done well, it has a positive, high vibration impact on the community around it, like a ripple effect. People are interested in what others are talking excitedly about and it motivates them to give it a try. That’s exactly how I was drawn to The Bar Method and why I took my first class.

Jennifer Hoekstra, the Owner (and Instructor) of The Bar Method Fresno, opened the studio a little over a year ago. In that short time, they’ve gained a large client base, most likely of those seeking the lean and toned body The Bar Method workouts are known to create. A plus: it works for all body types and ages.

To get a glimpse into a typical class, Lauren Hoekstra, the Studio Manager & Instructor, explains the 2 key exercises with demo by Instructor Brittany Fontes.

1. One-Weight Lifts:  Bar Method: One-Weight Lift, step 1heartWhy Do It: One-Weight Lifts sculpt and align your shoulders (specifically, the posterior deltoid) while also toning your upper back. The position and movement strengthens and straightens the back, improving your posture. The legs are also being worked, which helps to burn more calories! BM_OWL step 2heartWhat You Need: This can be done using a 2-3 lb. weight, no weight, or any prop (like a soda can) to replace the weight. BM_OWL step 3

heartHow To: Start slow with about 10-20 tempo reps using 1-inch isometric movements. Speed it up and finish with 20 faster lifts. BM_OWL final productheartThe End Result: The desirable “Bar Method Arms”.

2. Pretzel: Bar Method_pretzel: step 1

heartWhy Do It: The purpose of this exercise is to strengthen, tone and reshape the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius and hamstrings. It not only works your hamstrings, but also tones and slims your waist by working both the internal and external obliques. By keeping yourself upright, it strengthens and defines your upper back muscles, giving you beautiful posture. BM_pretzel finalheartWhat You Need: Just a floor!

heartHow To: Start slow with tempo reps, about 10-20, then speed it up with fast lifts, about 20-30. Use 1-inch isometric movements.

heartThe End Result: This exercise is what carves the waist and gives the gorgeous “Bar Method dancer’s dent”.

Lauren says, “One-weight lifts and Pretzel are great because they work both the upper and lower body.” I highly recommend taking a class at the studio. “A Bar Method instructor can provide attention to detail and hands on adjustment,” adds Lauren.

Please check back in tomorrow. Lauren tells us how to experience the famous “Bar Method” shake!

I’d love to know – have you been to The Bar Method & if so, what’s your favorite exercise?

Photos by Kelsey Burton Photography for A Lovely Life.

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