The Power Of The Plank

Posted By Amy Schlinger on The Fine Line | February

It may look like an easy exercise, but the plank can be a beast.


It may look like an easy exercise, but the plank can be a beast. That beast is one of the most basic — and most effective — core exercises. It recruits multiple muscle groups — abdominals, hips, lower back, and shoulders — and because there are many variations, women of any fitness level can benefit from the plank.

When you think of a core exercise, it’s important to realize that your “core” means more than just the abdominals, says Michelle Lovitt, exercise physiologist and celebrity trainer in Los Angeles. “Your primary movers in a plank are your erector spinae, your rectus abdominus and your obliques. Secondary muscles that are working are your rhomboids, gluteal muscles, quadriceps, gastrocnemius, and deltoid muscles.” And depending on what variation of the plank you’re holding, it’s possible you may work more than that.

As we get older, exercises like the plank become even more important. “Core strength and proper functioning of the core are critical to coordination and motor control,” says Kelvin Gary, owner of Body Space Fitness in New York City, “two things that we start to loose as we get older.”

So why is something that looks easy so difficult to do? Most people don’t have much sense about core strength unless they have an active lifestyle, explains Matty Maggiacomo, master trainer at Barry’s Bootcamp in New York City. “If you spend a lot of time sitting down, either at work or on the couch, it’s very important to start integrating core exercises such as planks into your routine,” he says. “If you’re just starting out, try the most basic form of planking: the forearm plank.”


To get started: Come to your hands and knees and place your forearms on the ground, elbows bent 90 degrees, so your shoulder are stacked directly over your elbows. Extend your legs straight out behind you, come onto your toes, and, using your core, push through your forearms and toes to raise your legs and core off the ground. You want to try to create a straight line from your head to your feet, so pull your belly button into your spine, squeeze your shoulder blades together and down your back, and tighten your glutes as you push your heels back, explains Maggiacomo. Attempt to hold for 30 seconds. Over time, increase that to 45 or even 60 seconds. But don’t be surprised if it’s difficult at first.

Once you hit the 60- or 90-second mark, Kelvin suggests adding arm or leg movements or a dynamic component, such as sliding your feet on a towel or glider to make your plank more challenging. Below are more plank variations to try once you’re comfortable with the basic elbow plank. Add these into your daily fitness routine — or you can even try holding a few while you’re watching television at night.



1. Extended Plank
Place your hands on the floor, shoulders stacked directly over hands. Extend feet out behind you and come onto toes. Activating abs, glutes, and pulling shoulders back and down, push through your feet and hands to raise your core and legs off the ground. Be sure you’re in a straight line from head to toe. Hold 30 to 60 seconds.

2. Side Plank
Lie on the ground, on either your right or left side. Depending on the side you choose, bend that elbow and place your forearm on the ground in front of you, so that it is perpendicular to your upper arm. Stack your legs on top of one another. Using your core, glutes, and legs, push your forearm and bottom foot into the ground to raise your body off the ground. Body should be in line from head to toe. Your top hand can rest on your hip or reach upward toward the ceiling. Hold 30 to 60 seconds; repeat on the other side.

Modification: If you’re unable to balance with your feet stacked, simply place one in front of the other.

3. Decline Plank
Come into forearm plank position but have your feet elevated on a bench or a stair. Hold 30 to 60 seconds.

4. Extended Plank With Shoulder Taps
Come into extended plank position, hands on the floor, shoulders stacked above wrists, feet extended out behind you, body in a straight line head to toe. Without moving your core, shift your weight into your left hand as you lift your right hand off the ground and tap your left shoulder. Return your right hand back to the ground. Shift your weight into your right hand as you lift your left hand off the ground and tap your right shoulder. Continue alternating for 30 to 60 seconds.

5. Long-Lever Plank
Come to extended plank position. Without moving the rest of your body, walk your hands forward 4 to 6 inches. Hold for 30 to 60 seconds.

“Anytime you can’t engage in any physical activity, especially if you don’t have time for the gym, I’d encourage planks,” says Maggiacomo. “Plank holds require no equipment and limited space. Plank on!”

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How 3-D Technology Will Give You A Hot Body

Posted By David Kaufman on New York Post | 

Annie Wermiel

More than two decades ago, David Barton opened his first eponymous gym, helping establish New York City’s distinct brand of workout culture. His mini-empire of see-and-be-seen fitness centers transformed exercising from a mere pastime to a bona fide lifestyle from Manhattan to Miami.

Now Barton is shaking up the workout scene again, recently opening TMPL in Hell’s Kitchen. The gym pairs its equipment with new innovations in data-driven fitness technology to help clients achieve peak muscle building and caloric burn with every spin, swim stroke and pullup.

“There always seems to be something slowing down your ability to become stronger, faster or fitter,” Barton tells The Post. “But advances in metabolic science now allow us to assess what’s happening in people’s bodies in a way that works for almost everyone.”

To help them get there, TMPL focuses on detailed body analyses. Barton partnered with wellness expert Jim LaValle, whose Metabolic Code system measures hormone and cortisone levels, to create a personalized diet and fitness routine and to set overall fitness goals.

TMPL has 3-D computers to show folks how they’ll look once they reach their goals. “3-D doesn’t lie,” Barton says. “The technology is very sophisticated and the results are very accurate — and motivational.”

Annie Wermiel

Barton isn’t the only one using data to maximize workouts. On the Upper East Side, the sprawling Asphalt Green complex just launched its all-body AG6 class, which uses a computerized, Spanish-made technology called PRAMA to monitor performance and boost output. And at Body Space Fitness near Union Square, owner Kelvin Gary uses InBody, a tech-heavy “body composition analyzer” that measures fat, water and muscle levels to determine the specific workouts a client might need, as well as how intense they should be and what body parts to focus on.

“Some people need to put on muscle,” Gary explains, “while others just need to make the muscle they already have work better.”

In the Flatiron District, Layla Luciano and Jay Centeno opened PACT PARK, the first local facility to offer group kickboxing classes focusing on the Nexersys system, which features seven boxing pads (equipped with Wi-Fi) that measure the speed and intensity of every kick and punch.

“The data helps devise customized positions and combos calibrated to within a split second,” says Luciano, who co-starred on Bravo’s “Work Out New York.”

Workout enthusiasts say they feel more motivated as a result. “I’ve never sweat so much from just one class,” says Tanaya Macheel, a 26-year-old Manhattan-based writer who works out at least five times weekly. “I am really competitive with myself, so workouts just don’t mean as much to me if I’m not tracking my performance.”


Annie Wermiel

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The Workout Rule That Will Help You Lose Weight

Posted By Alexa Tucker on SELF | 

Six trainers share their best tips for staying consistent, accountable, and on track.

Studio1901, Getty Images

Getting your fitness on is a key component of weight loss, and even though certain types of exercise are known for their fat-burning capabilities, at the end of the day, there’s one rule that trumps all when it comes to working out for weight loss: consistency. Easier said than done, but 100 percent worth it.

Put simply, “in order to lose weight, you must burn more calories than you are consuming,” explains Jacqueline Kasen, a trainer at Anatomy at 1220 in Miami. Of course, your body burns calories just by livin’, but exercise helps create an even bigger calorie deficit. However, “the magic doesn’t happen overnight,” says Kelvin Gary, C.P.T., owner of NYC’s Body Space Fitness. (But, let’s be honest: Wouldn’t it be nice if it did work that way?)

“The whole process [of burning fat] takes time and energy,” adds Gary. “Consistency in the gym keeps the process moving in the right direction. It also helps you create the good habits that will eventually be your new normal, helping you reach those goals in a sustainable way.” Plus, if you take extended breaks, you risk losing some of the progress you’ve made from that rise-and-grind life.

Consistency means different things to different people, depending on your goals and what’s realistic for your lifestyle. Kasen reccomends aiming for four to five workouts per week—but you can start smaller, if you want. “Make the commitment to exercise at least three days per week—that will likely lead to wanting to exercise even more, like four or five days,” says Jenn Seracuse, director of Pilates at FLEX studios. “We are human and things happen, but it’s important not to let life completely derail you from your routine.”

Here are trainers’ best tips for staying consistent, accountable, and on track.

1. Try exercising at the same time every day.

Set yourself up for success as much as possible by picking a specific time to work out daily, suggest Kasen. Choose a time of day that works best for your schedule. It might take a couple of weeks to get comfortable with the new schedule, but before you know it, it’ll feel like a natural part of your routine. “Just like when you get up, the first thing you do is shower or brush your teeth—this is the same concept,” Kasen says.

Make a plan that actually fits your life,” says Jackie Dragone, director of barre at FLEX studios. “Take a look at your schedule and the extra pockets of time you have when you can truly commit to working out. If you know you are exhausted in the evening, commit to two workouts in the morning before work and two on the weekend. It’s about making it work for you.”

And if a regular routine just isn’t an option, schedule your workouts at the beginning of the week and stick to your plan (that means writing them down, too).

2. Try the hairband trick.

“Have a visual reminder that you see every day,” suggests Amelia DiDomenico, C.P.T., master trainer at Crunch Gyms. This can simply remind you to actually get your workout in, or it can be something that keeps you focused on your larger goals—whatever is motivating for you. “Just a small sticky note or even an image that reminds you where you’re going. You can use your bathroom, kitchen, or even your desk,” she says. Another sneaky trick? “Wear a rubber band or hair tie around your right wrist, and put it on your left wrist when have completed your workout.”

3. Do workouts you *actually* like.

Find ways to get active that you actually enjoy so you’re not tempted to skip your workouts—plus, you’re more likely to do it often and consistently if you have fun. “It’s different for everyone,” says Seracuse. “If you don’t love it and look forward to it, you won’t do it.” Consistency doesn’t mean doing the same thing every day—variety is important, and you should enjoy all (OK, most) of your workouts.

“If you dread boxing, try indoor cycling. Not a yogi? Maybe Zumba is for you,” adds Kara Hermes, a trainer at YG Studios. “There are so many fun and challenging types of fitness! With warmer weather approaching, experiment with outdoor workouts, too.”

Related: 8 Habits People Who’ve Lost Major Weight Have In Common

4. Stay accountable with paid classes or workout buddies.

“Take group classes,” suggests Seracuse. “Signing up (and paying for) a group class keeps you accountable, because someone is expecting you and you’re also making a financial commitment to be there.” Not into classes? “Find an accountability buddy,” she suggests. “This doesn’t even mean you have to work out together. Set goals and share them to keep each other on track. Text each other your workout plans, and then let each other know when you’ve completed them. I do this with one of my best friends and it’s very effective. Whenever I don’t feel like following through, I think about having to text her and tell her I bailed.”

5. Above all, keep your goal in mind and remember why you started.

Being consistent isn’t easy at first, but it’s crucial to meeting your goals and setting up healthy habits. “Generally, when starting a new routine, you make sacrifices to stay on course,” says Hermes. And if you’re having a hard time sticking with your new routine, or are thinking about skipping your workout, remember why you started in the first place. “What you put into your goal is what you get out of it, and if you don’t put the work in you won’t see change,” says Dragone.

Be specific about your goals, too, suggests Gary. “If you’re clear on your goals, you can be clear on what you need to do to get there, and you’re more likely to work harder towards them.”

Personally, a morning workout makes me feel energized, positive, and capable of taking on whatever the world throws at me—and when I do hit that snooze button instead of lacing up my sneakers? I usually regret it. And let me tell you, I never thought I’d see the day. These trainers know what they’re talking about, huh?

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5 Things Insanely Productive And Healthy People Do Before 8 A.M.

Posted By Alexa Tucker on SELF | 

Meet these morning unicorns, and try their #UpNOut secrets.

Egill Bjarki, Getty Images

Trainers are a rare breed of morning unicorns. What they can accomplish before 8 A.M. is pure magic—from training clients to teaching classes bright and early, many start their days before the sun rises and are out the door while the rest of us are still blissfully enjoying some shut-eye. But an early start to their workday doesn’t mean they don’t take time for themselves in the morning–actually, it’s a priority.

As fitness pros, they make sure they’re caring for themselves first, even when they’re insanely busy. And even though they don’t always squeeze their own workouts in that early (they are a little busy helping the rest of us do that), their mornings feel balanced, refreshing, and productive.

Below are five set-yourself-up-for-success habits that top trainers swear by. They may just inspire you to set your alarm 20 minutes earlier (ugh).

1. Hydrate (with water)—immediately.

Whether they go for a citrus-spiked sip or the regular stuff, drinking water is the first thing on many trainers’ healthy morning routines. “I usually drink two tall glasses of water to rehydrate me and get my metabolism going,” says Kelvin Gary, C.P.T., owner of NYC’s Body Space Fitness. (Staying hydrated is important for helping to keep your metabolism in tip-top shape, no matter how you drink it.) Plus, if you’re trying to get #UpNOut and to a workout, staying hydrated will help you power through your SoulCycle class. “Dehydration is one of the main causes of fatigue,” says Gary.

“I drink a liter of warm lemon water every morning before I eat or drink anything else,” adds Nerijus Bagdonas, a trainer at YG Studios. And while warm lemon water isn’t any more hydrating than regular water, if it’ll inspire you to sip on the H20, by all means, have at it.

2. Foam roll and stretch it out.

When your mind is awake but your muscles feel one step behind, there are ways to break your body out of that cooped-up, sleepy funk. “I foam roll first thing out of bed,” says Gary. “I’ve found this to be the best way to loosen up all the tightness from a night of sleep.” If you don’t have a foam roller, you can give your body a wake-up call with some stretching, too. “Stretching my back and breathing in child’s pose is helpful to release any tension formed from my sleeping position,” says Amelia DiDomenico, C.P.T., master trainer at Crunch Gyms.

3. Enjoy a cup of coffee.

Even unicorn morning people, like trainers, need a little jolt of java to kick off their day. “I drink coffee—it’s a habit at this point, and I love it,” says Rachel Robinson, a trainer at Barry’s Bootcamp Miami Beach. “I only use whole organic milk in my coffee and don’t use any sugar or creamers with high sugar.” Adds Gary, “I can’t go on without my French press coffee.” Know that feel—and here’s hoping YOUR morning java will also be serving up a dose of fitspiration soon.

4. Fuel up for the day with a healthy breakfast.

There’s no need to force yourself to eat if you’re not a breakfast person, but many trainers consider a healthy breakfast an essential part of their morning. “Eating a well-balanced breakfast is so important to me,” says Jackie Dragone, director of barre at FLEX studios. “My breakfasts contain protein, complex carbs, and healthy fat—this combo ensures that I have the energy I need to start the day.” A typical morning meal for Dragone is plain two-percent Greek yogurt with low-sugar granola and fruit, or two hard-boiled eggs with a slice of Ezekiel bread and some avocado slices.

Some trainers start their day with a small snack and eat a bigger breakfast later on. “Fresh fruit in the morning gives me enough energy and mental clarity to focus on my clients…it’s filled with healthy vitamins,” says DiDomenico. “I eat a larger, more substantial breakfast around 10 or 11 A.M.” Second breakfast = life.

5. Make time for reflection.

“I do my Headspace, a meditation app, to make sure my mind is clear and that I’m focused,” says Gary. “As a trainer, my job is very much tied to energy. I need to bring as much energy to every class that I teach and every client session. Energy, either good or bad, is contagious, so I need to make sure my mind is right. Plus, being an owner of a gym and having a team of trainers means that I have a lot of responsibilities that I need to be mentally sharp for.”

Even if you don’t start a regular meditation practice, taking just a minute to breathe in the morning can help center you for the day ahead. “I try to take at least five minutes, usually with my coffee, to just sit and focus on the day ahead and what I want to accomplish. This keeps me from getting overwhelmed by my schedule,” says Jenn Seracuse, director of Pilates at FLEX studios.

These morning #goals may feel overwhelming to try all at once, so start with one healthy morning habit and see if it fits into your routine. Build from there—and incorporate your own personalized healthy habits—and before you know it, you’ll be livin’ life like a bona fide morning person.

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15 Surprising Insider Secrets From Personal Trainers

They don’t all yell at you till you’re in a sweaty heap.

 BuzzFeed Staff
posted on May 6, 2016, at 12:05 p.m.

BuzzFeed Health spoke with three personal trainers who all work one-on-one with clients: Kelvin Gary, owner of Body Space”>Jason Tran, personal trainer and instructor at SWERVE Fitness, and >Lauren Williams, head coach at Tone House. Here’s what they really want you to know about personal training:

1. Their job isn’t to get you major results in a super short period of time.

Instagram: @jamiekiann / Via

“People still show up and expect to be handed results and don’t fully realize the amount of work that needs to go into those results,” says Gary. So, no, they probably won’t make you drop a few sizes in a week.

If you want to make major changes to how you look or perform, it can take weeks or months months of hard work and maybe even significant lifestyle changes, depending on how drastic the results are that you’re after.

2. They struggle with workout motivation, too.

Instagram: @demi____anne / Via

Sure, many people become trainers because they are interested in fitness and love working out. But that doesn’t mean they’re always in the mood to exercise or that they never dread a workout.

“I don’t always wake up and think ‘Ten miles! I’m going for it today!’” says Williams. But that also makes her a better trainer because it helps her relate to her clients who also struggle with staying on track.

3. They’re probably going to ask about your diet.

Instagram: @ghost_grrrrl / Via

If your goal is to lose fat or gain muscle, the way you eat has a huge impact on reaching your goals — no matter how much you’re sticking to your workout plan. So, don’t be surprised when they ask all about your diet and even request a food log.

4. But they won’t judge you for whatever you ate and drank last weekend (though they will hold you accountable).

Instagram: @buzzfeedhealth / Via

Trainers do want to know about your boozy brunches and pizza benders, but not because they want to make you feel bad about them. Rather, they want to know about your life outside of training so they can understand why you might not be reaching your goals. And they want to help keep you accountable to the goals you set.

“I never want people to feel bad. I want them to feel empowered. But you do have to be honest because at some point they might start blaming you for not getting the results they want,” says Williams.

5. When it comes to weight loss, losing about a pound a week is actually considered really good progress for most people.

Instagram: @gabriellabolinoxo / Via

Of course every body is different and a multitude of factors come into play when it comes to weight loss, but Gary says that many clients are surprised to learn what’s realistic when it comes to weight loss expectation. Sure, there are all kinds of extreme diets and detoxes that promise huge weekly weight losses. But when you’re going about it in a healthy and sustainable way, Gary says that for most clients seeking to lose weight, this is typically considered steady progress.

6. Contrary to popular belief, they are not making you do stuff you hate just to torture you.

Instagram: @jflo_fitness / Via

We tend to love doing the stuff we’re great at and dread doing the movements that feel super difficult or awkward or make us feel weak. If you hate burpees because they’re so cardiovascularly challenging or you hate side planks because you always feel off balance, these are clues to trainers that you have a gap in your fitness that they want to address.

But a good trainer won’t make you tackle that stuff immediately. They’ll usually work on establishing trust with you and also getting you more comfortable working out so that doing something you don’t like doesn’t seem so intimidating. “Once people start working out, they view themselves differently. People start to trust themselves and their bodies and get excited about their strength and they often become ready to move onto something they thought they hated,” Williams says.

7. Most of the work they do for clients happens outside of training sessions.

Instagram: @themadsnackwoman / Via

All three experts talked about how much time they spend outside the gym preparing for the next session with each of their clients. This includes planning clients’ sessions for the next week, researching new exercises and workouts, creating playlists, and following up with clients to confirm sessions, says Tran.

8. And most of your results will come from what you do outside of your sessions.

Twitter: @carlyluken

Even if you work hard every time you see your trainer and are committed to the programming they’ve created for you, it’s the time between sessions that is most crucial for progress, no matter what your goals are.

“We might see the average client two hours per week. There are 168 hours in a week. The magic happens in those other 166 hours,” says Gary. Williams agrees that progress results are more impacted by rest, recovery, sleep, and nutrition, than they are by your workouts alone. So don’t be surprised if your trainer texts you throughout the week to check up on your eating, sleeping, and de-stressing habits.

9. Whether or not a trainer looks shredded has nothing to do with how skilled they are.


“I think there’s a misconception that to be a personal trainer you have to have a super ripped body and a six-pack. But you can still be super motivational and a great coach even if you don’t meet that image,” says Tran.

Get this pin for $2 on Etsy.

10. Not all trainers are all about that “go hard or go home” mentality.

Nickelodeon / Via

“A lot of people think personal trainers are there to yell at you and make you do a lot of burpees and get a crazy burn. Traditionally you think about a trainer kicking your butt and making you sweat or lift a lot of weight,” says Williams.

And sure, some trainers might do that for some clients — if those workouts fit their goals — but working with a trainer doesn’t by default mean you’ll be doing super high-intensity workouts only or all the time. Because trainers are tailoring your programming to your goals, they’ll likely incorporate a mix of different kinds of workouts.

11. And yelling at clients isn’t actually a go-to motivational tool.

Disney / Via

There are trainers who choose to employ that drill-sergeant-at-a-boot-camp style, says Williams. But a good trainer wouldn’t interact with every client the same way, because everyone responds to different kinds of motivation.

“Some of my clients love CrossFit or Tone House; they love that intensity and they might want you to bring that into their session. But maybe others want something more gentle, a softer communication style. You have to get to know them,” she says.

12. You don’t have to be 100% injury-free to work with a trainer.

Paramount Pictures / Via

If you’ve only ever worked out by yourself or in group fitness classes you might think that being injured or having that on-again-off-again knee thing means you have to sit out of exercise completely till you’re healed. But a skilled trainer can write workouts that not only allow you to exercise without aggravating your injury, many times they can help you get stronger in ways that aid healing.

13. You don’t need to have an aesthetic goal to hire a trainer.

Instagram: @blackadventuristas / Via

Sure, lots of people have goals around changing their bodies, and plenty of people are pursuing overall health and wellness, but people also see trainers to get better at something they like doing — like become a faster runner, better cyclist, or stronger swimmer, says Gary. You might even hire a trainer to get back into working out safely after an injury or a long hiatus. Basically, no interest in changing your body? No problem!

14. They can also help you get over your intimidation about working out.

Instagram: @i_ambush / Via

Trainers don’t expect their clients to already be great at exercising or not-at-all-self-conscious about working out. In fact, part of what they can help you do is feel more comfortable with moving your body.

For instance, Williams helps people feel less awkward by starting them out with simple bodyweight moves and talking them through how their bodies should be engaged. She might ask someone to do a plank and tell them to push their hands into the floor and open their chest. This helps them connect what they’re doing to how their bodies feel, which can make them feel more comfortable and proficient using their bodies.

15. And as much as they love training you, they get super excited when you’re able to take the reins.

NBC / Via

Of course any trainer’s goal is to get you the results you want. But Williams says what’s even more rewarding is when clients master what you’ve worked on with them and can maintain their own base of fitness. When this happens the trainer gets to think of new goals to pursue or “problems” to solve, which is a fun challenge.

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5 Kettlebell Moves You’re Probably Doing Wrong (and How to Fix Them)

Used correctly, kettlebells can be a great addition to your strength training routine. Find out if you’re making these common mistakes—and learn how to fix them too


Kettlebells are everywhere, and for good reason: They’re a great way to add strength and resistance to your workout in moves that engage your muscles from head to toe. (Try this Killer Kettlebell Workout.) However, reaping the benefits is dependent on performing the moves correctly. Practice incorrect form, and you’re setting yourself up for injury, or at the very least, an inefficient exercise.

Here to help you get the most out of your kettlebell moves is Kelvin Gary, owner and lead trainer at Body Space Fitnessin New York City. Gary is a big believer in the power of kettlebells—a quick browse of his Instagram will prove that—and has seen how these bell-shaped weights can both transform his clients’ bodies when used correctly, and really mess up their progress, if critical mistakes are made. Take a look at these five basic kettlebell moves, and the most common form errors associated with them. Don’t worry, we show (and tell) you how to do them the right way!

Kettlebell Swing

The Right Way

With the kettlebell on the floor in front of you and legs in a wide stance, grab the bell by the handle with both hands. Hinge at the hips, bringing the kettlebell back and between your legs. Keeping your core engaged, forcefully propel the kettlebell forward by thrusting your hips forward and contracting your glutes. The kettlebell should swing to chest height before you let gravity take over, bringing it back between your legs. Repeat the move from start to finish in a fluid motion.

3 Mistakes You’re Making

  1. Hyperextending your back as you stand up. This puts too much pressure on your spine.
  2. Squatting instead of hinging at your hips. This puts the focus on your quads instead of your glutes and hamstrings.
  3. Breaking the momentum of the swing at the top, holding the kettlebell up with your arms instead of letting gravity take over. This puts unnecessary stress on your shoulders and makes the move less efficient.

Kettlebell Clean

The Right Way

Grab the handle of a kettlebell with one hand and sit back into your hips (as you would when prepping for a deadlift). While maintaining a neutral spine, propel the kettlebell up vertically by thrusting your hips forward, pulling your elbow back and tight to your side. When the kettlebell becomes weightless, quickly punch your hand around the bell, bringing it to a stop in the racked position (at shoulder level). Bring the bell back down to hover just above the floor and repeat.

3 Mistakes You’re Making

  1. Turning the move into a bicep curl, by not using your hips to send the bell vertical.
  2. Not “punching” through the handle. Punching is what stops the momentum of the bell, and will lessen the impact of the bell on the outside of your hand.
  3. Performing or finishing the move outside your shoulder. This wide position puts unnecessary stress on your shoulder and elbow.

Kettlebell Front Squat

The Right Way

Bring the kettlebell to chest height, gripping the bottom of the bell in both hands; thumbs should be through the handle. Keeping your elbows tucked in, perform a full squat, pressing into your heels to drive your body up to standing position. Squeeze your glutes at the top of the move to fully extend your hips. Squat back down to repeat the move, never letting the bell drop below chest height.

3 Mistakes You’re Making

  1. Holding the kettlebell too far away from your chest
  2. Pointing elbows out to the sides. They should be tucked in toward the midline of your body.
  3. Not standing up all the way. This puts the focus more on your quads instead of your glutes and hamstrings.

Kettlebell Overhead Press

The Right Way

Start with feet shoulder width apart and a kettlebell in the racked position (near your sternum). Press the kettlebellstraight up and overhead without using your legs to advance the motion. You should finish with your arm fully extended and in line with your ear. Bring the bell straight back down to starting position and repeat.

Mistakes You’re Making

  1. Starting with the kettlebell wide, outside of the racked position. This puts a lot of pressure on your shoulder and impedes your core from helping with the exercise.
  2. Not fully extending your arm at the top of the move.
  3. Leaving your extended arm out to the side, away from your ear.

Kettlebell Single-Arm Row

The Right Way

Step your right foot back, keeping the leg straight and directly behind you, as you bend your left knee. Place left forearm across and perpendicular to your left thigh as your torso falls forward, coming parallel to the floor. Pick up the kettlebell (on the floor beneath your shoulders) with your right hand, pulling or rowing the weight up. Elbow should be tucked close to your side as you squeeze your shoulder blade back. Bring bell back to starting position and repeat.

3 Mistakes You’re Making

  1. Failing to bring your torso parallel to the floor. This turns the rowing motion into more of a shoulder shrug, which alters the muscles at work.
  2. Using your biceps to control the movement instead of allowing your shoulder blades to move around the rib cage, which put the focus correctly on the back
  3. Pivoting your forearm during the row, which turns the grip on the kettlebell and taxes your muscles and joints around your forearm and wrist.

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New York City’s Best Gyms and Studios for Personal Training



If you have already signed up for a new gym membership this year but aren’t what to do beyond hitting the elliptical machine, investing in a short-term personal training program can help you not only achieve results but also do it efficiently and cost-effectively. Sure, having the privilege for someone to sculpt your sweat sessions doesn’t come cheap, but the money that you might spend tapping it back two or three times a week at fancy fitness studios could go towards personalized workouts that you can replicate on your own in the future.

Below, we’ve highlighted eight fitness facilities that are known for their top-notch personal training options, as well as the pricing breakdown for each.

Body Space Fitness

The Union Square location offers a three-month package of personalized sessions based on the results you’re looking for with several scheduling options. If you want to go once per week (for a total of 13 workouts), each will come out to $121. If you’re upping that to twice per week, then each one is just $116. If you’re looking for just a single session, that’ll set you back $126.

47 West 14th Street; Body Space Fitness

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Ultra-Effective Workout Moves That Top Fitness Trainers Love

A video posted by Kelvin Gary (@kelvingary) on

The exercise Kelvin Gary, personal trainer and founder of Body Space Fitness in New York City, swears by is the kettlebell swing. “This move is a great way to get your heart rate up while at the same time working your backside, your hamstrings, and your core.” See more beginner-friendly kettlebell exercises here.

Try It: First, you’ll need a kettlebell. Start with on that is 10 to 15 pounds (4 to 6 kilograms) if you’re a beginner, 15 to 20 pounds (6 to 8 kilograms) if you have experience with them. Now to the swing: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, gripping the kettlebell with both hands. Bend knees, then hinge at hips to swing kettlebell between legs. Stand as you swing it to chest height.

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Do Men and Women Need to Train Differently?


Kelvin Gary, The Sweat Life1

Considering the question of whether men and women need to train differently, my first thought is, “Boy, I could write a whole book on this topic, let alone a quick-read blog post.” So here is my short but sweet take on the topic, based on both facts and opinion. Do men and women need to train differently if they have the same goals? Not really. Do they need to train differently for differing goals? Absolutely, but at that point sex doesn’t matter. It’s the goals that set the tone of the training — and that goes for both men and women.

Let’s first lay down a few facts. First, we can’t totally ignore the impact of the hormone differences when training men vs. women. We also can’t write off the impact of anatomical differences between men vs. women. For example, we know that women tend to be more quad dominant than men. It’s also known that females may have a reduced ability to recover from a workout as quickly as men, so the volume of work in their workouts may need to be reduced. With the last few points in mind, it’s known that, “despite sex related differences, men and women respond to resistance exercise from their pretraining baselines in similar ways.” [1] Since muscles themselves work the same way in men vs. women, there is no sensible reason why strength-training programs for women need to be different from those for men. Other research has shown that while age matters with relation to how fast you see results and how quickly you lose those gains after you stop training, sex does not matter as much.

Hence, we get back to “GOALS” as the driver of what we do and how we do it. For example, if one person wants to increase muscle, they’re going to have to do more sets of lower repetition ranges with a weight that’s a higher percentage of his/ her one rep max. If someone else on the other hand, has the same goal, the training plan wouldn’t really change. While men may see a greater change in strength, from a relative strength standpoint, both men and women will see similar changes. If your goal is to “get lean” then I think the same applies and the general movements, sets, rep ranges, and relative loads should be about the same.

So you ask yourself, where do the differences between what men vs. women do at the gym come into play? What you’ll find is that it is less about what to do, and more about what you don’t do. One of the big issues I think for both men and women is that people usually have a plan that doesn’t take into account all of their issues. Research aside, I believe that on average, women are more willing to do all of the “body maintenance” work that will allow them to be ready to perform at their highest levels. What I’m talking about here is stretching, foam rolling, and all of the things that you think are annoying but you really do need. Even taking a Yoga or Pilates class, because it’s what you “need” to do, should be in the mix. Quite often it’s the men who need this the most.

Basically, men and women don’t need to train differently for similar goals. What they do need, however, is a proper plan that takes into account their needs and where they are starting from with relation to their goals. These two points alone will determine “how” you train, more so than gender!

Kelvin Gary, The Sweat Life2

Kelvin Gary is the Founder and Owner of Body Space Fitness, NYC, as well as a Trainer and Coach, and a Health Expert. After graduate school and feeling the effects of working in the corporate world, Kelvin Gary saw a better way for himself — and his eventual clients. The positive-minded fitness guru traded in his dress slacks for gym shorts and never looked back.

In 2012 Kelvin founded Body Space Fitness (BSF) in New York City, a boutique personal training gym that specializes in private and semi-private training, as well as small group fitness classes. Kelvin’s aim for BSF was to create a teaching environment where he and his coaches would be able to deliver lasting results to clients, by using full-body, functional training. He created a training format that delivers workouts specific to each individual using kettlebells, TRXs, sleds, and battling ropes, while minimizing the use of typical machines seen in big box gyms. BSF’s complete wellness program geared towards on-the-go New Yorkers, working in the worlds of fashion, film, music, finance, and technology, was made to keep clients fit, injury free and performing at their highest level.

BSF’s approach to fitness is unique in that the coaches go beyond just their clients’ time in the gym, helping clients with fitness and nutrition routines for their out of BSF time too. This comprehensive approach helps to deliver solid results that reinforce structure and good habits into one’s life for years to come. Influencers, including Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Cover Model Veronica Varekova and CFDA Fashion Designer, Rebecca Minkoff, are notable clients of the gym. Kelvin Gary’s fitness expertise and Body Space Fitness have been featured in SELF Magazine, SHAPE Magazine, NY Times and many other publications.

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