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Summer Ready Workout

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With Memorial Day serving as the unofficial start of summer, it’s time to get those bikinis, white pants and floppy straw hats, dust off the grill, maybe even invest in some new espadrilles.  But before you hit the beach, pool, rooftop or wherever else it is you like to soak up the sun, try out these fitness moves from Burr Leonard, founder and creator of The Bar Method®, and get your body ready for summer.

The Bar Method® Leg Lifts

Warm weather is synonymous with bare legs. Adding leg lifts to your thigh routine will build your confidence and tone the muscles that you’ll want to show off in those new shorts.

1.   Stand on profile to the bar a half-an-arms-length away and hold onto it with your barside hand.

2.   Place your feet in a parallel, hip-width-apart position. Soften your knees and lift your chest. Place your working-side hand on your hip. Extend your working leg forward and rest your pointed foot lightly on the floor. Raise your working leg as high as your can. Keep your hips level.

3.   Bend slightly forward at your waist. Keep just a slight bend in your working leg.

4.   Raise your leg one inch and lower your back to your starting point.

The Bar Method® Foldover (turned out legs)

This summer, make it a point to lose the cover-up. Toning your butt and thighs with this move will make you proud of your derriere, and allow you to flaunt it in those bikini bottoms.

1.   Face the bar and stand arm’s length away from it.

2.   Place your feet in a wide V turnout, or first position. Soften your knees. Hinge forward at your hips.

3.   Either rest your elbows on the bar with one hand over the other with your forehead on top of your hands, OR place your hands on the bar and point your elbows down. If you’re petite, step farther away from the bar so that your head can be level with it.

4.   Extend your working leg behind you, point your foot and rest it on the floor.

5.   Pull your navel in and exhale a few times. Keep your abs pulled up and raise your leg until you feel a catch in your seat. Ideally lift your leg to horizontal or almost horizontal.

6.   Keep both legs turned out from your glutes. Flex your working foot and tighten its rotation so that it is a quarter turn to the right. Check that your standing leg and foot are still turned out. Keep your working leg straight and directly behind your working hip.

7.   Bring your head, neck and shoulders into one straight line.

8.   Begin slow lifts up, in a one-inch range of motion. Up-hold. Up-hold. Continue for 20 reps.

The Bar Method® Flat Back

Everyone knows that at the heart of a fit body is a fit core. Incorporating this move into your workout will take away your nerves when it comes to showing your midriff, and make you feel less guilty about those summer BBQ’s. 

1.   Move your mat so that it is 2/3 on the wall and 1/3 on the floor. If you need a riser mat for extra height or hip comfort, please take one. Sit on your mat with your back against the wall. Press your hips firmly against the wall. Take the bar with an under-handed (or over-handed) grip. Pivot your elbows forward so that they point diagonally towards the center of the room. Bend your knees and place your feet flat on the floor. Push your feet 1-2 inches towards the center of the room. Anchor your mid back firmly against the wall.

2.   Engage your abs by pulling them in towards your spine with every breath you take. Keep your abs in between breathes.

For more information, visit Burr Leonard and The Bar Method www.barmethod.com

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