What started out as a single studio in San Francisco quickly became a workout evolution as Bar Method studios have spread throughout the country. Twin Cities Bar Method owner and general manager Kayla O’Rourke manages one studio in Edina and another in the Northloop area of Minneapolis, framing the City South area like book ends. O’Rourke puts an emphasis on creating community and providing a space where clients can connect and get to know each other between strengthening their muscles.
You’ve probably seen Bar Method studios around town, or heard about this new workout trend, but unless you’ve taken a class yourself, you might be wondering ‘what is it?’ “A typical class runs between 45–60 minutes,” says Bar Method instructor Dena DiMeglio. “Every Bar Method class starts with a warmup, upper-body exercises and push-ups in the middle of the room.” Then you move to the barre for legwork. “The classes are fun, energetic and challenging. You’ll be hooked immediately!” says DiMeglio.
The Bar Method has found its way into the workout routines of many in the community and beyond, but where did it come from? Created with guidance by physical therapists, the Bar Method makes sure each client is practicing in a way that won’t cause them any pain (apart from a few sore muscles every now and then). “Our instructors undergo a lengthy and rigorous training that includes lessons of anatomy and hands-on adjustments,” according to the Bar Method website.
In these classes, you’re mostly using your own bodyweight, with a few extra things like free weights and mats. And after all the hard work, there’s good pay-off in the results. DiMeglio says clients will see “a graceful, strong, dancer-like body, as well as improved posture and body alignment.”
Bar Method member and Uptown resident Rachael Roselli agrees with these results. “Bar Method is truly the first workout I’ve done where I feel like my body and muscles have toned and lengthened,” she says, differentiating it from other gym memberships she’s tried.
Between work and kids and happy hour with the co-workers, workouts can sometimes take a backseat to the everyday of life. Many Bar Method clients sneak in a workout before work and start the day with a fresh mind and a bit of morning Zen. “It’s not a super sweaty class, so I can go straight from barre class to work without having to wash my hair,” Roselli says.
O’Rourke believes in creating a sense of community in her classes, and she also provides networking opportunities for her clients including happy hours or mimosas after class, among other special events.
Instructors try to use client’s names during class and create an environment where participants get to know each other.
And if you really can’t find the time to get to the studio, that doesn’t mean you can’t still experience Bar Method. The company launched Bar Online in 2013, giving students a chance to turn the Bar Method into their home practice.
Even if working out isn’t quite for you, students of all ages and experiences can find a way to make Bar Method work for them.
The Bar Method
Find studios in both Edina and the Northloop. For address information visit the website here.