“I love The Butt Class!”, as our very own Betsy Nye has coined it. “The Butt Class” is a cheeky way of referring to The Bar Effect. While The Bar Effect is designed as a whole-body, strength workout, there is significant concentration on the core and “butt” or more scientifically – the gluteus. As runners, we’re notorious for under-developing our glorious gluteus and hamstrings in comparison to our quadriceps so this strength-training class is a perfect compliment to our running. While the class is dominated by women (hint hint single men-folk), men will find it quite challenging as well. In fact, it’s oftentimes, more challenging for men as it not only relies on strength, but flexibility as well. Where flexibility lacks, muscles must engage even more to achieve the movement.
Test this out just as an example: stand with your feet wider than hip distance apart, toes pointed out, heels in. Squat down so that your knees are bent and legs are at 90 degrees. Make sure that your stance is wide enough so that your knees are directly over your ankles and not extending past (stress on the knee and potential injury can result otherwise). Next, tuck your tail bone under by pulling the top of your pelvic bone toward your rib cage – don’t let the butt stick out. Now at the same time, lengthen through the spine to maintain a straight back and pull the belly button to the spine to engage the abdominal muscles. Now, use your leg strength to press the knees out so that they’re in the same direction as the toes and not caving inward toward each other – all the while maintaining the tuck of the tail bone, the engagement of the core and the flat back. Lastly, if you really want to feel this, begin to contract and release your gluteus muscles (your butt). Contract and release 20-30 times. Congrats, you just did about 1 minute of a 60 minute class.
The general description of a Bar Effect class is as follows: “The class utilizes a fixed ballet-type bar, for balance only, to perform small isometric movements. The technique protects your joints as it does not involve any bouncing or jumping. Created with an Orthopedic background, each strength section of the workout is followed by a stretching section in order to elongate, lean muscle without bulk. It’s designed to taper in and lift muscles up.”
Don’t take my word for it, get your butt to a class! First-timers get one class free and as a DPMR business partner, members get a discount on class packages. Click here for the schedule.