Tag Archive for: exercise

Your Butt To The Maximus (Redux, Part 1)

Last week I posted a short blog entry that highlighted the two best exercises for your butt in an easy-to-understand infographic. Due to the overwhelming number of requests for a follow up piece…here ya go! [VIDEO]

Screen Shot 2013-11-27 at 3.29.31 PM

What's The Best Exercise For Your Butt?

Face it, we all want buns of steel…well, at least buns like an unripe avocado — right?


The problem is, when it comes to exercise selection to sculpt the perfect derriere, most of us often miss the mark. Here is everything you need to know when it comes to targeting the glutes through exercise in an easy to understand infographic (the larger the box, the greater the activation of the glutes from the exercise).

Best Butt Exercises

Why Your Exercise Routine Will Hurt You If It's An Exercise Routine

Here’s another great guest post by Halevy Life’s Director of Programming and Education, Nick Johnson:

I recently had something very foreign happen to me; my mother told me I was right.


She sent this via text message from an examination room at a hospital, immediately after receiving an MRI for her knee that had been bothering her for around a year and a half by this point. Coincidentally it was about a year and a half (+ 3 weeks) ago she decided to join a step class. At that point it was a great idea right? You can just step up and down, squat and lunge for an hour straight and melt the fat away. What could possibly go wrong with this scenario?


I had expressed my concerns with only doing step classes and not adding any variation to her routine. About 2 weeks in to the 3-day/week step class experience, my mother started devloping knee pain. She had never had knee problems before this, so naturally my first inclination was to blame the step classes. She stopped taking the classes a week later and the pain and discomfort somewhat subsided, but any time she would really exert herself, the pain would come back. Fast-forward a year and a half, and the text message reads “Dr. says it’s a meniscus tear, looks like it has been the problem all along.” It’s hard not to say “I told you so”, so naturally that is exactly what I did. Because she didn’t listen to my advice, she was in pain; it’s the wooden spoon story in reverse. So why isn’t it a good idea to do the same thing over and over again?


Before we further address this question I want to make it clear that this isn’t just a knock on step classes; any exercise routine where you do the same thing over and over again is not a good idea. Even running all the time without switching things up will cause problems.

According to Paul Chek, and many other individuals of much greater intelligence than the most of us, there are 7 different ways in which the human body can move. Every movement is a derivation of those 7 “primal movement patterns.”

These movement patterns are:

1. Gait: as humans we can walk, jog or sprint. Every time you take a step, pushing off of the ground in a forward motion, you are demonstrating what the nerds like to call “gait.”

2. Lunge: this is my roommate’s least favorite of the 7 (he doesn’t like gait much either, at least at a faster pace). Every time you take a step up or down a stair you are exhibiting the lunge pattern (we live in a 5th floor walk-up apartment).

3. Squat: think of how much you get up and down out of your chair every day, you are squatting each and every time.

4. Bend: Picking anything up from the ground usually involves some type of bending, and so does doing the dishes.

5. Push: pushing has a vertical and horizontal component to it, so pushing away from your desk at work to grab another coffee (horizontal), or lifting that serving tray you use once a year at thanksgiving back up to the super inconvenient cabinet space above the refrigerator are both pushing movements.

6. Pull: much like the push pattern, pulling also has a vertical and horizontal component to it. Whether it’s pulling yourself up to grab that tray above the fridge you put away last year or opening the car door, it’s a pull.

7. Twist: rotation across the transverse plane (divides the body into a top and a bottom at the hips) occurs so frequently in daily life, but seems to be a big problem when it comes to strength and stability. Placing the dishes in the drying rack after you washed them, reaching up high for something with one hand, pulling open anything heavy with one hand all involve a twisting motion.


The secret (not really a secret, the information has been out there for a long time) to a good exercise program is incorporating a good balance of each movement pattern. Overtraining any one of these could lead to structural problems such as a meniscus tear, or injuries due to an overdevelopment of a specific area and weakness in another. Once again, this isn’t specific to step classes. Running, spinning, or even strength training the same patterns over and over again will not only increase the chance of injury, but decrease the effectiveness of the program as well; a discussion better saved for another time.

If you want to know more about creating a balanced program hit me up on Twitter @HL_Nick.

My Secret Motivation: Older Women

I’m currently in LA so I’ve been hitting workouts in my hotel gym.

Now I don’t know about you, but I need my space when I work out. No, I don’t need the whole gym to myself, but I just need to not feel like someone else is on top of me (besides, I spent enough years wrestling, grappling, and living with roommates).

So I’m busy running sprints on the treadmill this morning and a woman of a certain age — ok let’s just face it, an old lady — bypasses all of the open treadmills not next to me and settles on the treadmill right next to me. I can’t tell you why this bothers me, but it does.

But then something AWESOME happens.

This little old lady locks onto my intervals and starts doing them with me!


If that’s not a $hit ton of awesome right there, I don’t know what is. Inspired, I end up going extra rounds and really pushing myself thinking, I’m bringing some inspiration & motivation into her fitness routine. I went from pissed to honored in minutes.

After I finished and cooled down, she introduced herself — of course her name was Ruthie! — asked about my Halevy Life t-shirt (always shamelessly promoting!), and said she loved seeing someone work hard in the gym.

So…what’s the moral of the story? I think there are probably a solid 20, but my immediate takeaways:

1) You never know how you will affect other people, so always think like a leader.

2) Whether you want to be or not, you ARE a leader to someone at some point. Take this responsibility seriously.

3) Always choose the treadmill next to the little old lady. :)


Jeff Halevy’s top tips to getting trim & slim (New York Daily News)

From today’s print and online New York Daily News, my tips to getting trim & slim in 2013!

My Christmas Gift for You!

Jeff Halevy Fitness Guru Upper East Side Personal Training GymI’m usually “all business,” but this time of year is about FUN!

So you want your gift, huh? :)

Tweet me why you “deserve” (over all others) to train with me and I will:


  1. Do an entire assessment and training session with you at Halevy Life
  2. Design a custom exercise program for you
  3. Create a nutrition plan based on your goals

That’s it! All you have to do is Tweet me by Monday 12/24/12.*

*Some restrictions may apply. Call Halevy Life at (212) 233-0633 for details.

The REAL Secret to Long, Lean Muscles [VIDEO]

Long Lean Muscles Dancer's BodyAdmit it; that’s exactly what you want: the body of dancer, with long, lean muscles. Here’s the secret (it’s not what you think!)

Why Donald Trump Can't 'Motivate' Obama (The Key to All Human Behavior)

Read my latest article + video for Huffington Post here, regarding Donald Trump’s preposterous video challenge to President Obama earlier this week…

The Four Reasons Women Get Cellulite

Most women believe that cellulite affects only those who are overweight or out of shape. But, according to Frederic Delavier, fitness expert and author of the forthcoming Delavier’s Sculpting Anatomy for Women: Core, Butt, and Legs(Human Kinetics, 2012), cellulite affects two out of three women, including those who are very thin. “Cellulite is a typically feminine phenomenon where subcutaneous fat accumulates in certain areas, primarily the lower part of the body,” Delavier explains. “It is made up of a mixture of water, waste, and toxins in the skin tissue and fatty tissue in certain cells.”

According to Delavier, there are two types of cellulite. The first kind is characterized by a lack of elasticity in the skin. “When you pinch your skin between two fingers, it is puffy and looks like the skin of an orange,” Delavier explains. “It’s rough and sometimes wrinkled, and the skin is dehydrated and a little warm.” The second kind of cellulite causes skin tissue to be spongy and flabby. The cellulite looks different depending on whether you are standing (it diminishes) or lying down (it spreads). “This kind of cellulite mostly occurs in women over 35 years of age,” says Delavier. “It can appear after losing a substantial amount of weight, from losing weight too quickly, and from taking too many diuretic supplements.”

1. Water retention. When water carrying waste and residue accumulates and stagnates in porous pockets under the skin, it is called water retention. It happens during periods of stress or before menstruation and then goes away after a few days without any special treatment, except when following a strict diet of no sugar and little salt. Cellulite occurs when this water becomes gelatinous, hardens, and creates pressure under the skin. “Only through an intense localized treatment of the fatty mass will you be able to dislodge this orange-peel texture, which will tend to become more difficult over time,” Delavier explains.

2. Hormonal changes. The appearance and development of cellulite are linked to important hormonal stages in women’s lives, such as puberty and pregnancy. Menopause is characterized by the ovaries’ ceasing to function and produce hormones. “At this stage of life, even though your body tends to activate fat cells less often, this does not mean you will not accumulate cellulite,” says Delavier.

3. Stress. Cellulite can occur during a period of intense prolonged stress and be linked to gynecological, circulatory, and digestive problems. These can seriously aggravate cellulite. “The liver plays an essential role in digesting food, and if digestion is not occurring properly, then liver function slows down,” says Delavier. “Fat and sugar will be stored, and your body will retain toxins that will considerably alter your skin tissue.”

4. Heredity. Heredity is an important factor in the development of cellulite, just as it is for obesity. Women who have varicose veins and circulation problems often pass them on to their daughters. “By eating a diet without sugar and by working your legs, you can break the hereditary chain,” Delavier says.

In Delavier’s Sculpting Anatomy for Women: Core, Butt, and Legs, Delavier explains the four reasons why women get cellulite.

The best way to combat cellulite is with intense exercise. “With targeted and in-depth regular exercise, you can confine cellulite and stop it from expanding,” Delavier says. “You will want to use long sets and short recovery time to burn fat.” Since cellulite is primarily located on the lower part of the body, exercises should be focused on that area. He suggests flexion movements including forward lunges that will help activate blood circulation and will work the thigh muscles and the knees. Running and stair machines are also ideal for working the buttocks and thighs.

Delavier adds that anti-cellulite creams, plastic surgery, and massage are also common methods of treating cellulite, but they aren’t sustainable solutions.

My note: I do not believe in spot-reducing exercise as Delavier suggests, as science has been unable to prove it (and there’s quite a bit of evidence to the contrary).

Ballet Phenom & Halevy Life Client Beatriz Stix-Brunell on Cover of POINTE

Holy cow was I excited to see ballet wunderkind Beatriz-Stix Brunell (she’s only 19!) on the cover of POINTE (a.k.a the only ballet magazine that matters). If you live in London be sure to check out her at the Royal Ballet, where she was recently promoted to soloist.


Here’s a picture of me & Beatriz on her last Halevy Life visit back in July: