Looking for a low-impact workout? Try bar fitness! - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

Bar fitness: Low impact, high results

It may look like ballet training. But, it's not.  

It's a fitness class that simply incorporates a ballet bar into the workout.

Instructor Jeane Chow says the role of the bar is pretty straightforward: You hold onto the bar so you're not falling over just for balance.

Balance is critical to bar method stretching and strengthening exercises that target specific parts of the body.

"You can do a lot more exercises, you can use the wall behind the bar as well as the bar itself. You just get a lot more leverage," says Chow.

Leverage helps with resistance, which strengthens muscles.  

The ballet bar may be a central part of the workout, but there are many other pieces involved, including floor exercises.

All the moves are considered low impact, which means almost anyone can do them.

It worked out perfectly for Susan Heil, who was looking for something she could do after a serious illness.

"I had to do something that was no impact, but that kind of rebuilt my muscles," she explains.

Bar fitness may be low impact, but it would be a mistake to say it's not challenging.

"When you're doing it, you know you're working when your muscles are quivering and you're about to collapse," Heil says.

That's because whether it's at the bar or on the mat, class participants have to hold certain positions while doing a bunch of different exercises.

On the whole, you could say the bar method combines elements of yoga, resistance, strength training and dance to create a brand new workout.

Copyright 2012 America Now. All rights reserved.

Powered by WorldNow