Barre, a workout combining muscle-burning and sculpting moves, Pilates and yoga, is a fitness trend some possibly expected to come and go. On the contrary, barre continues to gain enough devotees to sustain plenty of options around the Twin Cities, with multiple choices in Edina alone.
The Bar Method, Edina’s newest barre studio, is a nationally respected barre format taught in over 120 studios around the country, including a well-appointed space at Centennial Lakes Plaza. Local franchise owner, Kayla O’Rourke, opened this location after moving to the Twin Cities in 2015 to establish Minnesota’s first Bar Method in the North Loop in 2016.
O’Rourke wanted to get involved in the business side of The Bar Method when she took classes at the Chicago studio in 2014. She remained a Bar Method regular when she moved to Boston the next year, then put a plan together to own her own studios. “The Twin Cities made sense for my family,” O’Rourke says. “My husband, while not a Minnesota native, has two sisters here, and his mom lives in Red Wing.”
O’Rourke explains barre’s popularity comes from the efficiency, sustainability and increasing challenge of the workouts. Barre is for every age and fitness level because all the moves can be modified. At The Bar Method clients range from 18 to 70, and O’Rourke has heard numerous times from clients barre is the only workout that changed their bodies. “A lot of people have the misconception they must crawl out of a room dripping in sweat to have worked out enough,” O’Rourke says.
The efficiency of barre is a draw for clients. “Our workouts are cardio, sculpting, stretching and fat burning in a single hour. That doesn’t mean we are always the only workout a client does, but it does mean we are the only workout someone needs,” O’Rourke says.
“If you’re a runner, you need to add weight lifting and stretching or yoga to get the benefits that are already implemented in each barre session.”
Barre aficionados in Edina will recognize some of the standard moves in a Bar Method class, but they will also notice the particular attention to form and posture, including hands-on corrections by an instructor who moves around the room ensuring clients are getting the most out of each move in the safest manner. “The flow of our classes is very specific,” O’Rourke says. “We have a full-time physical therapist on staff who works with our innovation team to analyze and critique every single move we teach.”
Becoming a certified instructor at The Bar Method takes four to six months. O’Rourke says, “If you haven’t been evaluated by our national coaching team and fully certified, you aren’t teaching a class. For clients this means if you take a class in Minneapolis, then San Francisco, then Tampa, the quality of your workout will be equally stellar.”
For more information on The Bar Method’s class schedule and pricing, visit their website