6 Things to Know Before you Take a Pilates Class

Pilates

Doing anything new is intimidating at first, and Pilates often seems complicated to people who have never taken a class before. There are names for exercises you’ve never heard of in any other class, and it seems as though there is so much emphasis on form. While it is true that learning how to keep your body in perfect alignment increases the effectiveness of your workout, there is no need to be scared. Get started with Pilates classes in NYC fitness enthusiasts love is easy, and you can use these tips to feel confident the first time you join the group.

There Is a Type of Pilates Class For Everyone

Traditional Pilates typically involves working on a mat or a reformer to perform your exercises. However, we also offer new classes that blend Pilates with your other favorite workouts. For instance, you can try out a blend of Pilates and yoga also known as a Barre class, or add a cardio element that increases the calorie burn.

Let the Instructor Know If You Are a Beginner

PIlates instructors actively watch the participants in a class so that they can offer guidance on form. Let your instructor know if you are new to Pilates so that they can make an extra effort to do things such as show you how to make modifications that increase the effectiveness of each exercise.

Wear the Right Clothing

To help you, your instructor needs to be able to see the lines of your body. Try to wear form fitting clothing such as leggings or capris that allow your instructor to see with a quick glance if you need help with an adjustment. You’ll also find that socks with grip on the soles helps you avoid sliding around as you perform each exercise.

Post-Workout Soreness Is Normal

After a Pilates session, it is common to suddenly become aware of every muscle in your body. This is because all of those fine movements target muscles that you don’t always use every day. Typically, you can expect post-workout soreness to last for a day or two.

You’ll Catch On to the Lingo Fast

Pilates not only has its own special moves, but you’ll also hear new terminology in your classes. For example, a Magic Circle is a piece of equipment that you will use to gently increase resistance during an exercise. While hearing your classmates use words you don’t know might seem intimidating, don’t worry. Everyone loves Pilates so much that they’re happy to share new information with beginners. If you do not know ask! Everyone once was a beginner.

Supplement With Other Workouts

Pilates can be intensive, make sure you maximize your recovery by taking a day or two off between sessions.  Adding in active recovery such as going for a swim at our health club or takeing a dance class to work in some cardio, will help maximize achieving your goals. Mixing it up helps you target all of your fitness needs.

There is definitely a learning curve to Pilates, like there is for anything you’re new to. You’ll find all of the support that you need to move through your exercises with proper form. As you get ready for your first class, just remember that everyone in there once started as a beginner. In fact, it won’t be long at all before you’re sharing tips with the next new member.

5 Reasons You Are Going to Love Cycling Classes

cycling

Cycling is one of the most effective ways to burn calories and this low-impact workout is perfect for everyone to enjoy. In fact, there’s a reason why the spin bikes are one of the most popular pieces of equipment at the gym. Cycling classes give you an opportunity to dedicate an entire workout session to this fun form of exercise, and you’ll look forward to going to your class when you realize that you can enjoy these amazing benefits for your mind and body.

Simulate Riding On the Open Road

When you already love cycling outdoors, it’s hard to give it up during periods of bad weather. Alternatively, you may have had a few close calls with cars and no longer feel safe riding your bike for your normal commute. Cycling classes NYC residents  can join allow you to adjust the settings on your spin bike so that it feels like you are on the open road or your favorite trail. Adding an incline or resistance gives you that extra bit of push to break through your fitness goals.

Knock Out a Workout On Your Lunch Break

Intense cycling classes help you to burn more calories in a shorter period of time, which is exactly what you need when you live a fast-paced lifestyle. Several of our classes are designed to pack a mighty punch in only 30 minutes, and the convenient lunch time hours are perfect for squeezing in a session when your evenings are just too busy. You’ll have so much fun riding to fast paced music that a lunchtime workout feels more like a fun-filled break.

Hit Your Fitness Goals

Whether you need to lose weight or want to refine your cycling abilities, we have a class that helps you meet your goals. For beginners, there is a class that focuses mainly on cycle techniques that you can use to improve your riding skills. There is also a class that incorporates weights to give you a whole body workout that helps you burn the fat fast. You can also pick and choose different classes every couple of weeks to find one that fits you best.

Meet New Workout Friends

There’s something to be said about working out with friends. Not only will you feel a sense of accountability that helps you stay motivated for going to the gym, but you’ll also find that the time flies by when you can workout with likeminded people. While you may be going too fast to talk much most of the time, it’s great to have someone to chat with before and after class.

Enjoy Access to Post-Workout Amenities

When you are looking for fitness clubs in your area, keep an eye out for amenities that promote better post-workout recovery. At our fitness center, you can enjoy a sports massage that works out any kinks before they turn into sore spots, or you can enjoy a hot shower or a dip in the pool. Associating your cycling classes with happy memories reinforces the importance of showing up and pedaling it out.

When you need to shake up your fitness routine, try out one of our cycling classes. From making new strides toward your fitness goals to making new friends, the benefits of cycling in a group just never quit.

Too Cold For The Outdoor Courts? Try NYHRC’s Indoor Basketball Courts

basketball

New York winters are among the most beautiful in the world, yet there is a downside to those gorgeous snow-filled landscapes. Between the blustering wind and the snow melting, trying to do your favorite outdoor activities becomes miserable. The good news is that you don’t have to let your skills on the court waste away during the winter. Instead, you can head to indoor basketball courts  residents use to stay warm and to keep their game on point.

Avoid Injury Delays

The winter weather generates new risks on outdoor courts. Just as rain creates a slippery surface during the spring and summer, it gets even worse when ice and snow arrive. Our indoor courts are cleaned regularly throughout the day so that you always have a safe place to play that prevents delays in your progress from injuries.

Challenge Yourself With New Competition

Playing a few rounds with your buddies is a great way to refine your skills. Yet, you quickly fall into a routine when you know how he or she alway passes the ball a certain way or fails to get those rebounds. At our health club in NYC, you can meet new practice partners and even engage in a few matches that help you learn how to anticipate unfamiliar plays. Challenging yourself against other players gives you an edge on any court. We also have freakquent 3 on 3 basketballl tournaments. Stay tuned for the latest competetions by signing up for our newsletter or going to NYHRC.com/Basketball.

Round Out Your Skills With Strength Training

During your time at the gym, you can also check out programs that help you gain an even bigger edge on the competition. Independent and group strength training programs help you to build the muscles you need to perform that perfect jump shot and run faster down the court. If you play semi-professionally, then you can also work with a personal trainer to identify your weak spots and build them up while the rest of your competition takes a winter day off.

Never Skip a Practice Session

It’s easy to put off a practice session when the temperature drops, but you’ll feel motivated to throw on your court shoes when you have a perfectly climatized gym to head to. Since you can reserve a court, you never have to worry about it being taken over by other people when you want to arrange a practice game. You’ll also find that amenities such as a sports massage afterward help you to get revved up for your practice.

Wrap Up

When those cold winds blow, be sure to head on into the gym for a practice session in an indoor court. From engaging in a 3-on-3 competition to just shooting a few hoops, you’ll stay on top of your game throughout the winter season.

Dominate the NYC Marathon With These Insider Tips

Runners running marathon in the city. They are running with arms raised over the bridge at sunset. Selective focus on beautiful brunette woman running and smiling. Wearing numbers on their sport clothes. Running through the finish with arms raised.

For 18 weeks your Friday happy hours have been replaced with long Saturday morning runs. You’ve missed concerts, weekends away, hell, some of your friends think you might have moved. You’ve tested your limits and now have to brave the biggest challenge yet: the NYC Marathon.

On Sunday, November 5th, you toe the line in hopes of joining a small family of marathon finishers. You’ve already trained, but now what? NYHRC Athletic Director and marathon running coach, Bill Elkins, is here with all of the ins and outs to help get you through race day.

      Lay out everything you need the night before.
      Don’t wait until race morning to find your lucky socks or favorite hat and be sure to plan for extra layers of clothing to wear before the race starts. Staten Island is a cold, windy place. You’ll be there for a couple of hours before you start, so be sure to bundle up. As you walk to the start line, there will be plenty of time to shed those layers.

      Insider Tip: Make sure to pack an extra layer or two in your drop bag for after the>race.

      Leave early!
      Whatever time you think you should leave, leave five minutes earlier. Race morning is a very stressful, butterfly-inducing morning. Don’t add to that stress by being late to the bag drop area or the start line.
      You crossed the start line, now what?
      Your adrenaline and excitement is both a blessing and a curse. That excitement, coupled with the cheering crowds and music in Brooklyn, will leave you feeling like a super hero! But remember: what happens in Brooklyn can come back to haunt you in the Bronx. Don’t let your excitement get the best of you. Stay focused, and run the race you trained hard for. There will be plenty of time to pick up the pace if you’re feeling good.
      Over the 59th Street Bridge you go…
      You made it through Brooklyn and Queens and have just crossed the 59th Street Bridge. Hang to one side of 1st Ave or the other. Let the crowds fill you with the energy you need to get you through your last 10 miles.

      It’s all about heart.
      You conquered the Bronx and are now running towards the noise coming from Central Park. From this point on, it’s all heart. You’re entering unchartered territory. Many of you ran 18-20 miles during your training but still have 6 more miles to go. Stay strong and focused. Keep your thoughts positive and remember your “why”.

      Insider Tip: Stay clear of other runners. This is an area where many runners might experience a cramp, which can come out of nowhere. The last thing you want is to have runners stop in front of you and cause you to change direction immediately, resulting in you also cramping up.

      Don’t forget…
      Have fun! The marathon journey isn’t all about the time on the clock when you cross the finish line. It’s about all of those runs with friends, getting out of bed early and toeing the line four boroughs away. Be proud of your effort and remember to smile, all eyes are on you!

Keep an eye out on race day for Bill, who will be running his 10th NYC Marathon! Bill has completed over a dozen half-marathons, ran from one side of St. Croix Island and back, is an Ironman finisher, and has ran countless short-distance and triathlon races. He’s coached over 100 athletes and has been the Race Director and Producer of multiple marathons and triathlons.

If you’d like to schedule an athletic consultation with Bill, email sports@nyhrc.com.

The Perfect, No Excuse Workout When You’re Short on Time

young fitness woman jumping rope outdoor

Your schedule can seem like a non-stop roller coaster, and sometimes, squeezing in a killer workout just seems out of the question. Don’t worry – we get it. It’s all about prioritizing and finding a quick, challenging workout that covers all the bases. NYHRC personal trainer, Elysia Cronheim, has the perfect routine for those jam-packed days.

“Instead of hitting the treadmill for 40 minutes on a workout that only effects one area, do HIIT circuits that incorporate both cardio and strength training,” says Elysia.” Since you need both cardio and strength to reduce body fat and reach your fitness goals, you’re doing double the work in a shorter time frame.”

Next time you’re short on time, try Elysia’s favorite HIIT circuit:

  • 10 burpees
  • 3 minutes of jump rope
  • 20 squat jumps
  • 30 secs mountain climbers

Repeat 3-4 times.

Looking for more tips on how to make time for fitness? Book a consultation with one of NYHRC’s trainers.

Exercising with the Stars

Shot of a young woman sparring with a boxing partner at the gym

We look to our horoscope for advice on love, relationships and work, but what about fitness? There are 12 signs in the zodiac with 12 individual ways of approaching things– workouts included!

Greg Peck, NYHRC personal trainer and author of Exercise with the Stars: Maximize Your Star Power has the inside scoop on how you should be slaying your fitness routine according to your sign:

Aries
March 21 – April 19th
A fire sign with lots of passion, you prefer to workout alone and hard, with a focus on lifting weights and competitive sports like racquetball and football.


Taurus

April 20 – May 20
Naturally strong and tough, you love boxing, weights, wrestling, and cardio. Just make sure to vary your workouts, as you tend to enjoy the same routine over and over.

Gemini
May 21 – June 20
You need lots of mental and physical stimulation based on your high energy levels. As long as you have variety, no type of exercise is off-limits to you.

Cancer
June 21 – July 22
You love to sweat and enjoy running, swimming, and a consistent weight routine. You also enjoy movement and love to dance.

Leo
July 23 – August 22
You have energy to burn! You love any kind of challenge and are very creative. Balance work, weights, and sports that require movement are best for you. Avoid your lazy streak by keeping your routines consistent.

Virgo
August 23 – September 22
Satisfying your stomach and eating healthy motivates you. You love to dance, take classes, and a varied weight routine.

Libra
September 23 – October 22
Looking good means everything to you, and you’re drawn to energetic activities that burn lots of calories. Gymnastics, rock climbing, and yoga mixed with weights is right up your alley.

Scorpio
October 23 – November 21
One of the most intense signs, you enjoy heavy weights and water sports. You also enjoy martial arts and running.

Sagittarius
November 22 – December 21
You love the outdoors and activities like horseback riding and running in the park. You’re very body-conscious and are physically talented and strong. When not outside, you’re likely hitting the weights.

Capricorn
December 22 – January 19
You’re a creature of habit and enjoy boxing, wrestling and weight lifting. You’re strong with loads of endurance. Be sure to stay on track to ensure you achieve your goals.

Aquarius

January 20 – February 18
Intellectually gifted and surprisingly tough, you love to swim. Active sports such as basketball, football, and soccer are very appealing to you.

Pisces
February 19 – March 20
Soft on the outside, tough on the inside, you love water sports, basketball, hiking, biking, and anything creative such as dance.

Looking for more workout ideas? Book a session with one of our personal trainers.

Why You Should Make Body-Weight Training Part of Your Fitness Routine

Two friends working out together doing pushups

Body-weight training is jam-packed with benefits. This take-with-you-anywhere workout helps quickly build strength, flexibility and muscles, and best of all, is equipment free!

“The quickest way to improve deconditioned muscles is body-weight training,” says NYHRC 23rd Street Personal Trainer, Luis Pertuz. “It’s incredibly efficient since we are always carrying ourselves.”

Deconditioned muscles occur when there’s very little physical activity or circulation in the body. “If you’re new to working out and your lifestyle is predominantly sedentary, your body will endure some level of damage due to repetitive patterns in your day-to-day routine,” says Luis. “Waking up, getting ready, going to work, sitting for the better part of 8.5 hours, going home to sleep and repeating this time and time again leads to very little room for activity and circulation. Eventually, this causes deconditioning of movement to the body, which can lead to injury. Body-weight training is a simple yet effective way to prevent this from happening, which is why it’s so important to incorporate it into your routine.”

Jumpstart your circulation with Luis’s favorite body-weight circuit:

  • Hands over head body weight squats (15 reps)
  • Push-ups (15 reps)
  • Side shuffles (1 minute)
  • Plank position (1 minute)

Repeat 5 times

Looking for more body-weight workout ideas? Book a session with one of our personal trainers.

Take Your Training to the Beach

Woman stretching before a run on the beach

Next time you hit the beach, skip the sunburn and try burning a few calories instead.

“The best workouts for the beach are full body, high intensity, and most importantly, fun,” says NYHRC 23rd Street Personal Trainer, Luis Pertuz. “Digging holes in the sand is a great exercise for your arms and back, and sand sprints following the patterns of the waves is an energizing and effective workout.”

NYHRC 13th Street Personal Trainer, Moe Widdi, loves these beach-approved, fun in the sun workouts.

  • Aqua jog
    Standing upright in shallow water, run in place for about a minute to a minute and a half. Be sure you’re lifting your knees as high as you can. The water resistance is great for a full body workout.
  • Bicycle
    The strength needed to balance on your bike in the sand will give you the lower body pump you’re looking for.
  • Leg criss cross
    Lying on your back in deep water, cross your legs to create an X. Hold that position for 10 seconds while circling your arms inwards and outwards. Switch legs and repeat for a minute.

Looking for more beach workouts? Book a session with one of our personal trainers.

The Best Travel-Friendly Workouts

Woman planking on top of bench in a park

A busy summer shouldn’t stop you from keeping fit. NYHRC personal trainer, Moe Widdi, shares his favorite no excuses exercises you can take with you on the go. All you need is a resistance band.

      Push-ups
      If you can’t do full push-ups, balance on your knees and focus on lowering yourself as slowly as possible. Then, get back up into a regressed push-up position and repeat. The idea is to focus on the eccentric or “negative” aspect of the push up (the lowering phase) that creates the most muscle tear, allowing you to progress into full push-ups.

      Chair Dips

      Be sure to keep your legs elevated. Lower your body slowly, push back up, and then squeeze your triceps.

      Back/shoulder push-ups
      Keeping your arms and elbows straight, allow the back of your shoulders to push outward. Then, press on your hands and allow your back to round.

      Band Squat Walks
      Get in a squat position keeping your knees over your toes. Maintain resistance by leaving space between your legs with a band and walk forward and backwards. You can gauge the intensity depending on where you place the band. For example, placing it around the knees will give you a different intensity level from placing it around the ankles.

      Band Quad Leg Extensions
      You can either stand or sit for this one – be sure to place the resistance band around your ankles, straighten your leg and push it forward to contract your quads.

Try this circuit on your next vacation:

      8-12 push-ups
      8-12 chair dips
      12-15 back/shoulder push-ups
      Rest for 30 seconds then repeat 1-3 times

      20 air squats
      20 stationary lunges (10 on each side)
      20 calves raises
      Rest for 30 seconds then repeat 1-3 times

      10 band squat walks (5 each leg)
      20 band quad leg extensions (10 each leg)
      20 band hamstrings leg curls (10 each leg)
      20 band side raises (10 each leg)
      Rest for 30 seconds then repeat 1-3 times

Rest for 1-2 minutes then repeat entire circuit.

Looking for more workout ideas? Book a consultation with one of NYHRC’s personal trainers: https://nyhrc.com/personal-training/

NYHRC Trainers’ Essential Workout Tips

Man doing battle ropes on the training floor.

Working out requires more than just physical endurance; it takes a daring mentality to crush those goals. NYHRC personal trainers share their essential fitness tips along with their favorite workouts:

Max Zeumer

Motivational Tips

  • Work out with a partner. They will push you and create a competitive atmosphere that will bring you to the next level.
  • Know your “why.” Remind yourself of the reason you began working out and why you continue to do so.

Max’s Favorite Workouts

  • Squats: One of Max’s go-tos for building strength and adding muscle.
  • Ab rollouts: Max recommends using a barbell or the ab wheel to strengthen your abs and give you that sculpted six-pack look.
  • Farmer’s carries: A full body exercise that helps enhance proper posture, and build grip and core strength.

Greg Peck

Motivational Tips

  • There is no such thing as bad exercise. Any exercise, even if you only have time to workout on the weekend, is better than none.
  • With a proper program you can improve your health, no matter what.

Greg’s Favorite Workout

  • Cardio and free weights: Only have time to workout on the weekend? Gregory recommends doing at least 30 minutes of cardio such as jumping rope, walking on a treadmill, cycling, or using the elliptical machine, followed by free weight exercises: Try doing three sets of 12 to 15 reps of weighted squats, chest presses, deadlifts, bicep curls, and triceps kickbacks.

Matt Smedra

Motivational Tips

  • View yourself as your biggest competitor and always stay focused.
  • Set performance goals. This way, you can reach your own expectations gradually. Eventually, your goals will grow bigger than you ever imagined.
  • Look at yourself as your biggest threat. You will do better than you did in your previous workouts and fear less when taking on a new workout.

Matt’s Favorite Workout

  • Deadlift: A full body exercise that works everything from your traps and back to your core and legs.

Dylan Arnold

Motivational Tips

  • Have fun during your workout is a must. Maintaining excitement is important for reaching your goals.
  • Trying a boxing class for a full body workout that will leave you feeling accomplished.

Dylan’s Favorite Workout

  • Barbell overhead presses: Not only does this strengthen your upper body, it also stabilizes your shoulders and works your core.

Looking for more trainer tips? Book a personal training consultation at NYHRC.com/personal-training.