The Method

How The Bar Method Does Cardio Differently and Why You Will Burn Calories

July 25, 2021

One of the most overwhelming aspects of committing to an exercise routine is trying to address all of your fitness needs in a limited amount of hours each week. Fortunately, The Bar Method is designed to provide everything you need — strength training, stretching and cardio — in one innovative workout that maximizes your results in the most time-efficient way possible. We’re sharing how our all-in-one program helps you torch calories while sculpting long, lean muscles.

How Barre Elevates Your Heart Rate

You may think The Bar Method is all about stretching, but our program is actually a form of interval training. In fact, we incorporate high-intensity intervals followed by lower intensity intervals in order to burn calories during class and after.

We also place our exercises in a specific order to maximize the burn. Each barre workout kicks off with a traditional warm-up routine that elevates your heart rate followed by a series of upper-body exercises and push-ups. The second half of class focuses on working the lower body with a sequence of leg and seat work at the barre. Finally, our classes wrap up with core exercises, or curl work, performed on the floor. The fast-paced structure of our classes gives you the perfect mix of cardio and strength training, which means you’ll burn calories throughout the class as well as several hours post-workout.

As instructor Stephanie Kagan explains, “The Bar Method doesn’t focus on cardio in the conventional sense — there’s no jumping, running or high-impact movements. But the sequence of each class follows a pattern that gradually builds and safely raises the heart rate to burn fat and calories. The structure of our classes maximizes efficiency by first warming up the body, then moving to the barre for the most intense sections of class. Once the heart rate is higher, we focus on abdominal work to capitalize.”

RELATED: The Bar Method or Aerobics: Why You Don’t Have to Decide

Calorie-Torching Barre Exercises

The Bar Method incorporates a type of strength training called isometric exercise, which consists of static holds that effectively challenge your muscles using a minimal range of motion. In other words, our classes focus more on control rather than momentum for a low-impact workout that gives you major results. We also employ regular stretching, which helps relieve those muscles worked to exhaustion while giving you a long, lean physique.

We intentionally focus on your largest, most calorie-hungry muscle groups to help you burn more calories overall. As Kagan explains, “Our exercises target both large muscle groups and smaller, often-overlooked stabilizer muscles for a complete workout.”

So which Bar Method exercises burn the most calories? According to Kagan, “Thigh work and seat work as categories burn the most calories because they work the largest muscles and muscle groups in the body. Fold-over, which is a seat exercise, is the best example of a high-calorie-burning move since students maintain a horizontal position, which both raises the heart rate and uses gravity as resistance. This move involves supporting your body weight on your standing leg so that both glutes work simultaneously.”

Another bonus of regular Bar Method workouts? They help your body keep burning calories long after class is over. “The technique creates dense muscle tissue, which burns more calories and raises your resting metabolism,” says Kagan. On average, one pound of muscle tissue burns approximately seven to 10 calories every day, while the same amount of fat burns only two to three calories per day. The more muscle you build, the more calories you burn — even when your body’s at rest.

RELATED: Calories Burned During a Bar Method Class: Why It’s Not a Zero-Sum Game

Barre Classes with Even More Cardio

In the mood to kick things up a notch? Our Bar Method Cardio classes are just the ticket. Designed to give you a boosted heart rate and a serious endorphin rush, this fast-paced approach focuses on quick footwork and large movements to boost your metabolism and improve your stamina.

“Bar Method Cardio is an aerobic extension of our technique,” Kagan explains. “The class uses our foundational positions and technique but weaves in larger ranges of motion and active exercises to raise the heart rate higher than our other formats. The focus is on continuous motion and quick transitions rather than muscular exhaustion — we have Bar Strength for that. Students will sweat, and that’s the goal!”

National Coach and Physical Therapy Consultant Kerrisa Smith-Manheimer adds that “The main differential of Bar Method Cardio classes, compared to other class offerings, is active exercises. Active exercises, like active fold over, active chair lunges and active sous sous, involve up and down movements of the whole body aimed to raise the heart rate, increase cardiovascular output and burn calories. The constant movement in a Bar Method Cardio class is not only fun, but it’s a great way to sweat and incorporate cardio into your Bar Method routine.”

Benefits of Barre With Cardio

Our unique blend of barre and choreography offers plenty of health benefits and sets our program apart from the rest. For starters, The Bar Method’s cardiovascular component helps improve your endurance, giving you more stamina and energy. It also helps support heart and lung health while boosting your metabolism for a greater daily calorie burn. Additionally, our body-weight exercises help define the muscles in your arms, abs, legs and seat while improving your posture, flexibility, body alignment and overall strength.

The best part? You don’t have to wait forever to start seeing and feeling results. In fact, many of our students feel the benefits within just a few weeks of taking classes on a consistent basis. That means a stronger, healthier, more confident you is just within reach.

Try The Bar Method for yourself and start burning calories, building strength and improving your flexibility with our all-in-one approach. Find a Bar Method studio near you to get started, or sign up for online classes here.