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Dancer's Body

Before our calendar shoot last spring, the cheerleaders experienced workouts from Kurt Johnson with his American Power Yoga; Jay Johnson and his sweat-is-sexy boot camps; Kim with her energizing Zumba; and Lisa Hennings who introduced us to the Bar Method. We went through a variety of exercises, but I must share some more about the Bar Method because the workout is one of the most unique I've ever done.

Former Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader Meredith Oden worked for Lisa at her studio in Dallas and got everyone excited to take this ballet bar-based workout. She gave us the low-down on the basic history of the Bar Method and that it was originally generated by Lotte Berk, an injured dancer back in the 1930s, to help her recuperate. The small and precise exercises work every muscle over the entire length of the body, and after you max-out each muscle group, you stretch it. I had never done this before, although my flexibility definitely showed improvement within the first couple of weeks.

The Bar Method is particularly great for us cheerleaders because there is more focus on the hip flexors and hamstrings (higher kicks), abdominals (our uniform doesn't hide anything!), and overall flexibility (for example, the class always includes doing the splits on both sides). The workout is painful and shaking uncontrollably is perfectly normal … and quite alarming at the same time!

We are excited to have Lisa training us regularly this season, but I encourage anyone interested in learning more about the Bar Method to go check out her studio in the Inwood Village on Lovers Lane in Dallas.

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