The Method

Secrets Behind Sculpting The Barre Butt

August 28, 2009

Gorgeous high, tight “butts” don’t come easy.   Bar Method students and dancers are among the few who achieve this sculpted feature, and it’s no wonder when you look at the struggle many exercise students have just recruiting their glute muscles, let alone changing their shape.  Glutes are among our largest and strongest muscles, so why do they behave like our laziest ones? To begin with, glutes are specialized muscles designed for intense activity.  Unless we intensely challenge them they tend to let our hamstrings do the work.  How, then, do we get to these muscles?
For the answers, let’s take a quick look back at how our glutes grew to be so large compared to those on other primates.  Our ancestors’ glutes made their leap in size around the time pre-humans wandered onto savannahs. This new environment called them up to become quick enough both to escape fast predators and to be predators themselves.  To meet this challenge, their legs developed the ability to push the ground behind them with considerable force, enabling them to leap forward in a series of powerful jumps, a gait we call running. Jogging, a slower form of moving forward, doesn’t work the same way, since joggers’ legs are still relying largely on their hamstrings and quads, the muscles that are designed for walking.  Today you have to be a dedicated sprinter, professional dancer or competitive athlete to lift your seat the old-fashioned way.

Butt SculptingMost of us don’t fall into these categories, so we’re lucky that the Bar Method offers an accessible technique for sculpting a gorgeous butt that is compatible with the original purpose of our glutes.  The Bar Method’s “seat” exercises simulate the powerful backward thrust of the runner’s leg by locking it tightly against its glute muscles – the same position a leg reaches just as its glutes work hardest during a sprint – and keeping it there for minutes at a time.  When you’re in a Bar Method class, you’re not running or jumping.  Just the same, you’re making your glutes work just as intensely as if you were.  New students say doing this exercise is “using muscles I never knew I had.”  Actually they always had these muscles.   What they’re using that’s new is a workout that their glutes can finally relate to.

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