By Connor Beach
A Huntington resident is combining her love for teaching and passion for health and fitness with her newest business venture.
Lauren Helm opened at the end of April a Huntington location of The Bar Method, a chain of boutique fitness studios that begin in California and has since spread across the country.
At the 50 Stewart Ave. space, Helm and her staff create a unique exercise routine that combines classes that utilize the ballet barre and body weight exercises.
The Bar Method was founded out of San Francisco in 2001; the chain has since grown to more than 118 locations nationwide.
Helm discovered The Bar Method in 2010 while living in Los Angeles. When she moved to Long Island, there was no convenient location for her to continue training.
With the closet studio nearly an hour away from her home, Helm said she decided to use the knowledge she gained through her background as a biology teacher to open Suffolk’s first Bar Method studio.
Helm said she was drawn to The Bar Method because of the emphasis on safety and the basis in physical therapy.
“I had a lot of injuries in the other sports I had done other the years, so I found the stretching and proper alignment to really be restorative for me,” Helm said.
The Huntington village studio offers mixed level classes for men and women of all ages and ability levels. Classes begin at 6 a.m. and are offered throughout the day until 8 p.m.
Every Bar Method class starts with a warm-up session in the middle of the bright, spacious studio before progressing to the barre for a sequence of leg and seat exercises and core work.
The Bar Method stands out from other exercise studios in the area, Helm said, because their instructors have specific training that creates “a higher level of connecting and that personal touch.”
“The Bar Method instructors train for six months so they have a really good understanding of anatomy and how all the different exercises align the body,” Helm said. “The instructors are also trained to modify the exercises on any given day for every client based on their fitness level, injuries, strengths or flexibility.”
Helm said that part of The Bar Method’s appeal is that the exercises are sustainable for people of any age and are designed to prevent injuries.
“We get a real variety of clients… We have clients in their teens all the way through their seventies,” She said.
The studio is located in the newly-renovated Ice House building on Stewart Avenue. It features a large workout room, full ladies locker room and will, in the near future, have a childcare center so that moms can find the time to stay healthy and fit.
The diverse appeal of The Bar Method creates a very welcoming and inclusive atmosphere in the classes; something Helm said creates a real spirit of camaraderie among her clients.
“We welcome everyone in, and you feel really good when you leave,” Helm said. “We want to create some confidence and wellness in everyone to keep people healthy and feeling good about themselves.”