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photo (17)I just finished walking the dogs around the neighborhood and it was tough!  When walking multiple dogs one or more are going to get you tangled up in their leash.  When this happens I lift one leg up and over the offending leash (and sometimes dog) and then the other.  I credit Bar Method for my ability to do this with little trouble.  I feel like earlier in my life this little bit of stretching would have been a disaster and left me flat on my face tied up in leashes and fur.  Normally after a few minutes, the dogs get it.  “Oooooh,” they say to each other, “we all have to stay on one side of her.  Got it.”  Well not today’s gang.  They never quite figured it out.  Obviously not mensa members.  The extra leg lifts did remind me of a post I have been wanting to write.  The things I don’t like about Bar Method.

Gasp.

I know.  Don’t get me wrong.  I loooooooovvvvveeeee Bar Method.  It’s the bestest in the westest and you should definitely go to a studio and try it out right this second.  That being said no one is perfect so here are the things I don’t like about the exercise:

* Not getting corrections.  I’m always super annoyed when the teacher doesn’t give me corrections.  A lot of times I can tell I’m doing something wrong and fix it myself but a number of times I have no idea.  In arabesque (Butt exercise where you stand an arms distance away from the barre while your feet are turned out.  Lift one leg up to hip height while bending down over the bar.  Then push your chest back up in a cobra-esk pose. Finally do lots of little movements with that leg that is up in the air.  It’s my least favorite exercise because I’m pretty sure I look like a dancing hippo when I do it.) the instructor will tell you that the hip of your working leg (the one in the air) can be 2-3 inches higher than your other hip.  HOW AM I SUPPOSE TO KNOW IF MY HIP IS 2-3 INCHES HIGHER?  I can’t look back and see it.  Although I’ve certainly tried and in the process just look even sillier.   If the teacher doesn’t come and correct me I can guarantee I’m doing it wrong.

It annoys me just as much when I see other people doing it incorrectly and not getting “corrected” by the instructor.  I feel like if they are getting away with it so am I.  The difference between the exercises working and not working is being in the correct form and I need a lot of help to get there!

* Missed counting.  I’m pretty sure this is a pet peeve of anyone in any group exercise class.  The teacher tells you 20 more and starts counting then goes to correct someone or tell a detailed story about the muscles you are working.  In your head you have been counting this entire time and are almost done.  Then the instructor jumps in with “5 … 6”.  Whoa there lady.  We are on 18 … get it straight!

*  New instructors and instructors in training.  This is a totally unfair dislike of mine.  Teachers who are now my favorite where once new and, to be honest, I didn’t like them when they were new either!  Isnt’ that horrible?  New teachers are guilty of the missed counting worse than anyone else.  They also tend to make the exercises too hard.  That sounds ridiculous I know but there is a fine line between almost dead and dead.  While doing arm lifts if 99% of your class can’t maintain form because you are on set number 1,000 it’s time to move on to the next exercise.  I also don’t by it when they give me corrections.  Totally unfair of me especially since some of my best corrections have come from new instructors and more than likely they are paying super close attention to all their students since there is someone in the back of the room taking notes on them.  Still … I don’t buy it when they come by and change my position.  I think “fine I’ll do it this way for you but tomorrow I’m going back to the ‘right’ way.”

*  When I forget to bring water or when there are no clean towels.  The amount I sweat is almost comical.  Without water to dehydrate I may crumple up and die like a dead leaf.  Without a clean towel I’m going to make everyone and everything around me sopping wet.  It’s gross.  I admit it.

*  When an instructor doesn’t push me.  I NEED the instructor to make me push harder.  If it’s left up to me I would come out of that room looking and feeling like I didn’t do a thing.  I need that instructor to tell me to get back up on my toes for push ups, dare me to take an arm option during sit ups (usually this means to release your hands from the grip you have on your legs to keep you in position and force that work all into your abs), and tell me my leg can get higher (after all I have dogs to walk).

photo (16)*  Finally I strongly dislike when the instructor does both chair (Stand toward the barre with your feet hip distance apart.  Pull your body back so your arms are straight.  Sit down like you are sitting in a chair.  Except there is no chair.  There is just air and your burning thighs are what is keeping you in that position.  Then do a zillion little up and down movements.) and water ski (stand beside the barre with your heels together toes apart.  Lift your heels up as high as you can.  Walk you feet together so your heels are touching but your toes are still turned out.  Bend your knees as far as you can making a diamond shape with your legs.  Grab the barre and lean back while pushing your hips up.  Then do a zillion little up and down movements. It’s horrific.)  I know it sounds ridiculous as I just said I want to be pushed by the instructor but give me an f-ing break.  One of these exercises has me in tears.  Both of them together can easily be considered cruel and unusual punishment.

All that being said.  You should go try it out!

(Since there is a chance one or more of my instructors will read this blog I may be asking for it.  If they are reading then I can tell them the thing I love!  Anytime they say “at the barre.”  Pretzel at the barre.  Ab work at the barre.  Love.)

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