With all the fuss over the new, new exercise modalities, often the tried and true get overlooked. One of these is the world renowned Lotte Berk Method.
The Lotte Berk Method has been sculpting women in Manhattan's Upper East Side and the Hamptons for decades. New exercise videos come and go as fads, but when something works for women of all ages (as well as male professional athletes), then there must be something to it.
It all started in London in the 1940's when celebrated dancer Lotte Berk, a German Jew, fled Nazi Germany during the second world war and emigrated to London. After suffering a severe spinal injuries from a car accident she merged orthopedic rehabilitation with her known dance training to develop an exercise modality that would tone and shape her entire musculature which had weakened substantially during her months without movement.
At about the same time the Joseph Pilates was developing his core strengthening theories, Lotte designed an exercise method that brought her what is known today as core stability - strength, balance and stability around the pelvis and the lower back.
The Manchester Street studio, London
She soon opened her famous studio for women only. The aim of the method was to isolate different muscles and tone and release them individually and in conjunction with other stabilizing and synergizing muscle groups.
Movements are based on modern dance exercises and emphasize grace and posture. Although originating as orthopedic in its goals, the women practitioners began developing these stunning bodies, especially around the abdomen, hips and but. This discovery started women flocking to the studio.
Lydia Bach Brings Lotte Berk Method to the U.S.
One of Lotte's protégés, an American named Lydia Bach, is an example of the student surpassing the teacher. After a year of intense study under Lotte's tutelage, Bach had mastered all the original protocols and was ready to take them to the next level.