We know that there are a ton of barre spots across the city, however this one is a MUST GO and a studio we frequent often. The best part is it’s actually apart of a national chain, so you can check it out in your hood! The Bar Method Williamsburg predominantly uses your own bodyweight for resistance along with a few basic props – free weights, mats and a ball. Isometric exercises keep you working “in the muscle,” followed by some solid stretching to lengthen and elongate the areas worked. The result is a graceful, strong dancer-like body, including sculpted arms, flat abs, a lifted seat and elongated thighs, as well as improved posture and body alignment – count us in! We always leave feeling amazing, even if our thighs are burning, so we asked them a few questions to get to know more about this fantastic studio. And bonus, they’re giving HBFIT newsletter subscribers a discount! Make sure you get yours by signing up here.
Tell us a little about the background of Bar Method. How did it come about?
The Bar Method was born out of a method of movement created by German-born dancer Lotte Berk who injured herself onstage and developed a series of exercises to rehabilitate herself. She began working with other people who were injured and noticed that in addition to correcting their injuries, they got noticeably stronger and more toned. She later opened an exercise studio in London using a combination of her own rehab techniques, modern dance barre work, and yoga poses. Burr Leonard began taking The Lotte Berk Method in the early 1980s and went on to dramatically update the exercises using physical therapy principles, opening the first Bar Method studio in San Francisco in 2001. The Bar Method was so popular that many of their students went on to open their own studios and now there are over 100 studios across the country, including two in Brooklyn.
What about Bar Method BK? What do you guys offer?
We offer a low-impact, full-body workout that changes your body in a supportive and welcoming environment. It starts with a warm-up, free-weight exercises and push-ups, then moves on to intense, isometric leg work at the bar, followed by abdominal work at the bar and on mats. Every exercise includes active stretching to elongate targeted muscles. Our teachers are highly trained and provide adjustments for every student throughout the class to ensure they are getting the safest, most effective workout. We also have modifications for any limitations such as injuries or pregnancy, so the workout is doable for a wide variety of people.
The Bar Method Brooklyn has two locations – one in Cobble Hill and a brand new studio in Williamsburg. I opened the Cobble Hill studio in late 2014 and it’s been tremendously popular so I wanted to be able to offer it to more Brooklynites. Our Williamsburg studio, located in the heart of North Williamsburg in the building that formerly housed Vice Media, has two beautiful workout rooms, a locker room with amenities and showers on the way, and a spacious lobby. Our Cobble Hill studio has all the same offerings, plus on-site child care for moms who want to work out.
What are the benefits of barre workouts?
There many benefits of barre workouts. The Bar Method results in longer, leaner muscles, better posture and increased flexibility. It quickly re-shapes your muscles by targeting the ones that play the biggest role in body change. It also slims down people’s bodies and is safe and therapeutic at the same time. People often say they feel like they get a full-body, challenging workout that also leaves them feeling energized. We’re known for our attention to students’ form, helping them improve over time, no matter where they start from. That way you’re always working towards reaching a higher level of fitness.
What kind of classes do you offer? Who can benefit from a class most?
Anyone can benefit from taking class regularly. Barre workouts are often assumed to be just for dancers but that couldn’t be further from the truth. All types of people love The Bar Method – people who never exercised regularly before, runners, yogis, new moms, people with former injuries or other limitations.
We offer a variety of classes, including:
Mixed Level Classes – for all levels including beginners and advanced students. Teachers provide thorough explanations of the exercises while keeping the class moving to provide an overall challenging experience for everyone.
Bar Express – A fast-paced 45-minute workout for students of all levels to get you sculpted and back to the office or your day’s errands right on time. This class incorporates the same attention to safety, technique and muscle-sculpting moves that clients are accustomed to.
Bar Move – (coming to our Williamsburg location soon!) – An advanced variation of a Bar Method class for students who are familiar with the Bar Method technique. Bar Move gives students a cardio boost along with the same attention to safety, structure and muscle sculpting as the Bar Method Mixed Level classes. Bar Move is faster-paced and less predictable, offering a mash-up of Bar Method moves to create a fun, heart-thumping, sweaty hour of exercise.
If you guys had one mantra that embodies how people will leave Bar Method after a class, what would it be?
Strengthened, inside and out.
What music are you guys bumping in the studio right now?
Bad Liar by Selena Gomez, a lot songs from the Hamilton Mixtape, Instruction by Jax Jones featuring Demi Levato, Shine by Leon Bridges, Wild Thoughts by DJ Khaled ft. Rihanna.
If you could give one piece of advice to someone feel their best in and out of the studio what would that be?
It’s about progress, not perfection. Life is just one big learning experience, and the same is true for Bar Method classes. No matter where you’re starting from, keep working on things you love doing, accepting that although there are challenges to work through, your hard work will pay off. And remember to pat yourself on the back once in a while and take time to acknowledge your own accomplishments, however small. Not only does it feel good, but it will help you rise to the next challenge in your life.