Just reporting back on my bar method experience so far... It seems that bar method really hasn't taken off here in the UK - I think there are only about 3 providers in the entire country. Fortunately one of them is only about 30 mins from me, so I have been to a couple of classes. The classes provide a full body workout using strength building and stretching techniques, aimed towards conditioning for dance. Actual use of the barre makes up a fairly small proportion, maybe a quarter, of the hour class, and then it is only used to hold onto for support, not for leg stretches, which I was hoping for. All the stretches are either dynamic, or using the muscle contraction/PNF approach, which is what I did want to pursue for faster progress and additional safety. I can feel this is definitely going to improve my strength all over, and I will have the opportunity to improve flexibility by pushing myself during certain exercises once my strength is increased enough to provide the support. At the moment each session is quite punishing, but once I have gotten used to it I will start pushing my leg extensions etc. What is slightly annoying is the teacher likes doing the straddle stretch to finish (sitting down, spread your legs as wide as poss, lean forward from the hips), and I am not flexible enough yet to be able to lean forward at all. In the effort of trying to keep up in class I managed to strain my lower back last time. It is ok now, and I have learned my lesson, next time I will just use the correct muscles (abs, hammies, quads) to do what I can and not give in to trying to keep up with the teacher. But it seems a bit of a tricky stretch to include when you have a group of varied flexibility.