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5 Child's Play        

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leo Summer Core Training Program 

By Leo Pinto, Personal Trainer


With the arrival of the spring, it's noticeable a significant increase of member usage and heavier traffic in local gyms and health clubs - current and new members are working hard to obtain their desired bathing suit summer body . During this time of the year It's very hard to book sessions with good trainers or even to get a decent spot on competitive group fitness classes.

In order to design the most effective and efficient fitness program is important to define clear goals. A lot of times members know what they want but usually they have no clue how to get to it.


One of the most frequent questions I hear from new members at the gym is, " hey Leo what do I need to do to get rid of my muffin tops?" (or gut, belly, stomach and similar terms for the abdominal area) - My general answer is: " proper eating and targeted cardiovascular exercise are the most effective way to lose inches off of your waist line." Once they listen to my response they almost immediately reply:" What about crunches? Are they any good?" - my response: " crunches are a good exercise to strengthening your core but NOT necessarily effective to burn off abdominal fat".


I include several core training exercises on my clients exercise programs - the benefits of working your abdominal muscles are numerous: it improves balance and posture which helps preventing lower back pain and injury - Although crunches are one of the most popular core exercises - there are many other great exercises for core training.


For beginners, I suggest a simple core strengthening program I list it below ( number of sets, reps, time and order of exercises can be adjusted depending of member fitness level) - new members should look for assistance and guidance for proper execution.


- 3 sets of 45 seconds holding planks
- 3 sets of 20 1/2 crunches
- 3 sets of 30 seconds mountain climbers
- 3 sets of 15 side bends


These exercises are simple, effective and cover all the areas of your abdominal section - but my recommendation is to hire a Personal Trainer to assist in customize a fitness program to fit specific needs so members can maximize their gains by performing exercises correctly. If you have any questions please don't hesitate to contact me. Always here to serve.


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heartrateLearn Your Body Mass Index (BMI)  


Body Mass Index (BMI) is essentially a height to weight ratio.  Am I a healthy weight for my height.


Figure out your BMI now.

Underweight = < 18.5

Normal Weight = 18.5-24.9

Overweight = 25-29.9

Obese- 30 or higher


Remember, speak to your doctor before starting a fitness program and then seek out the right personal trainer for correct program design.  Enjoy your workout! 


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There are no quick fixes, but you can be effective and efficient with the time you have.  Leo, Sarah, Phillip, Andrea, and Lisa have put forth some moves to get you ready for summer.  Want extra help?  Personal trainers, fitness instructors, and nutritionists are here to help you get started.  
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Happy Spring!
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sarahGO TO Core Exercise- The Dead Bug
sarah By Sarah Lorraine, Personal Trainer 
Everyone wants a strong, sexy stomach but most have no idea what exercises will actually aide in this and which ones will do more damage to their body. The dead bug exercise is a great way to strengthen your core, practice proper breathing techniques and keep your tummy flat and sexy. This is a great way to stay in shape without practically tearing your muscle fibers. Not to worry if while performing this workout, one looks like a dead bug or even worse; like a dying bug, the outcome is worth the effort.


In this exercise, the performer has to lay down flat on their back, again, emphasis on the fact that the lower back has to be perfectly flat to avoid injury. The performer then bends their knees at a 90 degree angle and raises arms straight up to the ceiling. We will call this neutral stance. Starting with the left leg and right arm, the leg will extend straight out hovering over the ground as the arm extends straight back also hovering over the ground. Starting with 1 deep breath and advancing to 2,3,4 and so on and then returning to neutral, the performer then repeats with the opposite arm and leg. This should be repeated for 3-5 sets of 3 rounds of breathing. For those who cannot perform this with both the arm and leg, start with just lowering one leg at a time and work your way up. For those that need more of a challenge, Take 5 breathes per side and complete 3-5 rounds. Another challenge is to add weight in the form of either a dumbbell or ankle weights.

The dead bug is safe for everyone, from 9 year olds to 90 year olds, your everyday gym rat to an Olympic medalist. Everyone benefits from proper breathing and a strong core. Once the general technique is learned, one can apply this for years to their everyday life and exercise routine. The best part about the dead bug is that it requires no equipment and very little space, making this exercise a win-win for those who dare to try it. Assess your needs and goals and to insure safety, utilize the services of a personal trainer to execute and advance this exercise.  


Do you deadbug? 

andrea This is SO Time for Child's Play 
andreaparkinson By Andrea Parkinson, Personal Trainer 
You know those monkey bars on the playground- the ladders that are raised horizontally off the ground? They are designed for the tight wiry bodies of children to traverse. It's by no means an easy endeavor, even for an athletic child. The exercise involves grip, coordination from the core and momentum. Do you think you've grown out of trying to cross one yourself?

When was the last time you climbed up a ladder and gone down a slide again and again and again? Did you call it cardio when you did? How about hopscotch? Do you remember the exertion of jumping from one square to the other, landing one foot and hinging from your hip to reclaim your thrown stick? Did you call it agility training back then?

Of course, playgrounds are for kids. Kids are low to the ground to begin with. Their joints are only just forming. As adults, we have a bit more to consider before launching ourselves onto a climbing wall. But what if you could return to the playground and master some of those old wonders as part of your training program?

As an experienced trainer and mommy, I have enjoyed some of my best workouts in the playgrounds of Brooklyn and Manhattan. My clients have also had a lot of fun being outdoors and safely revisiting some of the joys of being youthful.

Come join me!


 What do you think?

phillipA Tower, A Stone And A Greek God Or Goddess 
What a guy!

You may even have heard of him.

Pulled off a nifty trick a long, long time ago because - let's just say - he had shoulders of gold.

Held captive with his son Icarus in a high tower surrounded by walls - Daedalus threw a stone at one of the many vultures awaiting their demise, with the ricochet killing a second bird.

Then father and son fashioned wings and flew home.

While you'll never be pulling off this Greek mythology slight-of-hand, how about pursuing a different kind of magic on the road to developing, among other things, your own broad-winged shoulders of gold.

Since you wouldn't pass up the chance to become a Greek god or goddess, check out the Bodinsync Prescription below for a compound movement that'll have you standing tall and breaking down plateau walls by killing several birds with one stone.

A word of warning though:

You may be getting more than you bargained for, because this one exercise targets the majority of your shoulder and upper back muscles - side and anterior deltoids, trapezius, rhomboids, teres minor, etc. and, as a bonus, your glutes, quads, hamstrings and abdominals.




  1. Select a dumbbell you can easily handle, stand facing away from the side of a weight bench, bend one leg up behind you to place your instep on the bench, and place the weight in front of your supporting leg as in diagram 1.

Your front leg should be bent to facilitate flat placement of your back instep on the bench as in diagram 2.

You're now in position to do a

Bulgarian-split squat.



2. Do a full squat, reaching across your body with the arm opposite your supporting leg to snatch the weight from the ground, as in diagram 3.  CAUTION:  Be sure to position your front leg at the appropriate distance from the bench to ensure that the squatting leg bends at a 90-degree angle. This will prevent putting undue strain on your knee.



3. Stand back up, weight in hand,  to assume the diagram-1 starting position.  Square your shoulders, straighten your back and pull the weight up under your chin to do a standing row as in diagram 4.


THAT'S ONE REPETITION.  To start another, squat back down and reach across your body with the weight to touch the floor.  Do 10 and switch legs to do another 10 on the opposite side.

TIP:   If this routine proves too difficult, you may forego using the bench and start by placing your back leg behind you to assume a lunge squat position, your heel up and the ball of your foot on the floor. You would then - with this one exception - follow the rest of the routine exactly as above. 


Do you like this exercise? 

 lisaImprove Hip Mobility & Tone Your Butt

Lisa Snow
The basic, 2 leg bridge is a wonderful exercise for beginners of all ages, but people master it quickly.

You know you've learned all you can from the 2 leg bridge when you can lift your hips all the way up (so that there is a straight line from your belly through your hips to your thighs).  Once the basic bridge gets too easy, many people stop doing bridges completely and move on to squats, deadlifts, or lower body weight machines.  That might be a mistake - there's more you can get out of the bridge!  There is a slightly harder kind of bridge popularized by sports physical therapist Gray Cook, which trainers affectionately call the Cook Bridge: a single leg variation.  You either hold the other knee with both hands (intermediate) or squeeze a tennis ball between the top thigh and the ribs (advanced).


Then you lift the hips as high as you can.  You don't need to hold still for long at the top.  Just go high and low for 10-15 reps, then make sure you repeat on the other leg. The Cook Bridge is a high bang for your buck exercise, working 2 muscle groups in a single move.  It strengthens the glute muscles (toning your butt!) while also stretching the hip flexors (improving hip mobility).  For healthy people, mastering the Cook Bridge can help you improve your squat and deadlift, since hip mobility is crucial to both these exercises.  For people who've had injuries to their low back, hips, or knees, the Cook Bridge can help rebuild leg strength in the early stages of recovery, before they've gotten medical clearance to do squats, leg presses, etc.


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