Benefits of Isometric Contraction

lauren-mann-plank.jpgThe tendons in your body are truly the powerhouses behind your daily routines. These elastic pieces of tissue connect your muscles to your bones, helping to support the weight and force you exert onto your muscles. Since your tendons do so much work to support your muscles, it’s important to maintain and increase your tendon strength.

According to the department of Sport Sciences at the University of Tokyo, isometric exercises help to strengthen and stiffen tendons.  Isometric exercises are exercises which involve contraction of the muscle where the length of the muscle does not change — for example, the plankScientists have found that long holds of muscle contractions produce a whopping 14% stiffer tendon than exercises that involve short duration contractions, such as jumps and sprints.

We recommend using durations of seconds to help guide your sets of stretching and isometric exercising. This will help you to make sure you are holding your contraction for long periods during exercises, which has been shown to cause a larger increase in tendon strength than sprint-like forms of contraction. Please feel more than welcome to ask one of the 14th Street Y trainers any questions regarding strengthening your tendons – or anything else!

For more information about the 14th Street Y, please visit our website at 14StreetY.org.

 

 

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Fitness Instructor Spotlight: Desira Barnes

Meet Pilates instructor Desira Barnes! Desira is has been teaching Pilates at the 14th Street Y since September 2016. She is originally from San Jose, California. After studying dance in college, Desira moved to New York. She was introduced to Pilates by another dancer and has not stopped since. As she puts it, “Pilates lends itself to dance, so it was meant to be.”

Desira is motivated to stay healthy in order to prevent injuries, pain, and weakness. When she is healthy, she feels like she can accomplish anything; “the best feeling in the world.” She believes that Pilates is a special type of workout because it is the foundation for all other forms of movement, helps the body to take on any type of activity, and brings awareness to posture and alignment.

In addition to teaching at the 14th Street Y, Desira has also partnered with her best friend to start a Pilates studio, Cinch Pilates, in downtown Brooklyn.

Meet Desira at a special pop-up Pilates 101 workshop on Saturday, April 22 from 12:30 – 2:00 PM, or try out her weekly class, Pilates Fundamentals, on Thursdays at 6:40 PM. 

For more information about the 14th Street Y, please visit our website at 14StreetY.org.

5 New Workouts to Try This Fall!

Your membership at the 14th Street Y gives you options. A lot of them. And while all the options may have been appealing when you first joined, sometimes the challenge of trying something new can intimidate us into sticking with what we know. If you’re tired of the treadmill but need new ideas, try one of these.  Or all five!

people-who-take-the-stairs-are-fitter-and-more-productive

  1.  The Stairs:  You have noticed, of course, that our elevator is getting a modernized make-over. Let this be your inspiration to take a ‘stair challenge’, not just when you’re at the Y but everywhere you go! In our vertical city, the opportunity burn some calories (and your glutes) comes up several times a day. Make it your mission that you’ll climb up to any floor 5 flights or lower.

JR_GroupRuns

2.  JackRabbit Running Programs: Our friends at JackRabbit are offering multiple FREE group runs every week, leaving  from great places like Union Square, upper east side, and central park. Check them out at http://www.jackrabbitsports.com

wa2_grande

3.   Aqua Aerobics drop-ins: New this fall at the 14th Street Y, you can drop in for Aqua Boot Camp and Aqua Fitness, 6:00PM Monday and Wednesday nights, (space permitting), for $25 bucks a pop. If you’ve ever wanted to try it but not commit to the whole semester, this is for you!

inversion

4.  Yoga Inversions. The world looks different upside down, and feels different too! Deepen your Yoga practice with this 3 week series on Saturdays at 12:30PM, designed to help reverse the aging process and regulate many of the body’s internal systems. Email Julie at Jgayerkris@14StreetY.org for information. $30 gets you the whole 3 week series!

anne and Maia curls

5. Thursday Evening POP UPS. Every month, Thursday at 7:30PM brings a new class experience. Try Masala Bhangra in September, Belly Dance and Abs in October, Ashtanga Yoga in November, and Center Ring Box and Tone in December. That’s enough variety to take you into the new year with your resolutions already met.

It’s a GALA countdown!

14stYGala_5.14.2015

There’s a reason for everyone to attend our Gala on Thursday, May 14th.

5. The GALA is a Zero Waste event! 

With reusable dishes and silverware, recycling of programs and posters and composting of any delicious food not immediately devoured, It’s a Gorgeous night of fun, with a teeny, tiny footprint.

4.  A delectable silent auction.

Escape to Montauk or the coast of Italy, talk shop with acclaimed chefs and film critics, go backstage at a Jones Beach concert, tour the New York Times offices or the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute… PLUS a selection of sports tickets and dining, culture and entertainment items from Hyatt, Joanna Vargas Salon, Live! with Kelly and Michael, One Five Hospitality, STK, the 14th Street Y and much more. Take a look, be inspired and bid away!

3.  A chance to shine!

the 14th Street Y dresses up almost as beautifully as you do. Our theater will bring the breezy warm late spring weather indoors, with a sophisticated atmosphere perfect for music from DJ Rabbi Darkside, delicious food, performances and the great company of people just like you.

Gorgeous people dance to DJ Rabbi Darkside.
Gorgeous people dance to DJ Rabbi Darkside.

4.  Speaking of food…

Taboonette.  “The emphasis here is on fresh articulated flavors and ingredients from signature “Middleterranean” pallet, merging the kitchens of the Middle East and Mediterranean with some home-style recipes and love for hospitality.”

5.  Catie Lazarus.

Catie Lazarus and guests Robert Smigel, Triumph, the Insult Comic Dog, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Mo Rocca, and Lady Rizo - Employee of The Month - The Bell House - September 18, 2013
CATIE LAZARUS– Comedian and host of popular podcast “Employee of the Month”

Catie Lazarus is a writer, talk show host, and Artist-in-Residence at Joe’s Pub. Gothamist calls her “One of the Finest Live Talk Show Hosts in New York City,” and Lewis Black said she is, “more brilliant than she will ever know.”  Lazarus has  hosted multiple web series, some animated or starring puppets; and hosts her own weekly podcast and monthly live show Employee of the Month. She even scored Jon Stewart’s first interview after he announced he was leaving the Daily Show. And she’s OUR Master of Ceremonies. You won’t want to miss it!

We haven’t even mentioned the best reason of all.  Attending the Gala means supporting everything you love about the Y. Every fitness, arts, early childhood, preschool, basketball, swim or camp program is made better by your support!

Get your tickets today!

This Weekend at the Y: Purim Fun for Everyone

by Rabbi Shira Koch Epstein, Executive Director

Purim is a holiday that is a thankful and joyful affirmation of Jewish survival, focused on joy and hope. We celebrate an ancient tale–the Book of Esther (aka the Megillah)– to remind us that we celebrate our remembered escape from persecution by generous acts towards those who are currently in need.

At the Y, we are excited to invite everyone in the neighborhood to celebrate together this weekend, at Pause/Play on Saturday, 2/28 and at a LABAKids concert on Sunday, 3/1. 

Saturday’s Pause/Play  will feature many celebratory Purim themed activities such as juggling, art (making masks), games and sports with our wonderful New Country Day Camp staff. Kids are encouraged to come in costume and join in a Purim Parade.  Adults can participate in activities with their children, or separately in two very special activities just for them.

Childcare and kid drop off activities are available!

On Sunday, enjoy LABAKIDS Purim concert together with your kids. Come in your favorite costume, make masks for an animal parade and take snapshots with our photo booth!

Each of these events are fun and accessible ways to get into the Purim spirit.  Everyone is welcome.

Traditionally, there are four observances for Purim–and each one has ways to engage at the 14th Street Y:

  1. Retelling the Purim story, frequently with humor and levity, dressed up in costumes as the characters in the story. This weekend at the Y, you can wear a costume to Saturday’s Pause/Play, bring toddlers in costume to our singalong at 4:00PM with Debbie Brukman, and party at the LABAKIDS concert on Sunday.
  1. Having a majestic celebratory feast, which traditionally includes healthy adults getting drunk. We hope that you will come enjoy delicious snacks at Pause/Play sponsored by Colson Patisserie and Sweet Loren, and that adults will drop off their kids at NCDC classes and come to the whisky tasting at 4:45PM with Dan Friedman.
  1. Giving financial gifts (tzedakah or charity) to those in need (matanot l’evyonim)
  2. Giving care packages of food and other treats to our friends and neighbors (mishloach manot).

As you decide how to give to your friends and to those in need, come chat with NY Times “Your Money” Columnist Ron Lieber as he discusses his new book, The Opposite of Spoiled: Raising Kids who are Grounded, Generous, and Smart About Money–and think with your neighbors about how to raise kids with excellent values who know how to save, splurge, and give in meaningful ways.

We hope to see you all this weekend for a wonderful celebration!

Pause and Play for Family Fit Day: Saturday January 24th 2-6PM

Cold Saturday Afternoons in January.  What to do?

In October of 2013, you may recall that we offered FAMILY FIT DAY for you and your family.  We saw how much kids loved to climb a rock wall, jump in a bounce house, and do activities normally featured in a summer camp day, like play GAGA or do martial arts with the fantastic Sensei Mark.  This year, we’re excited to do this in January (when the weather outside is frightful) and add the Family Fit Day element to our continued series, Pause/Play: Saturday Afternoons at the Y.  You can exercise together or in different sessions, celebrate sustainability and the new year for trees (Tu B’ Shvat Seder with Rabbi Shira Koch Epstein)….even take a family photo!

Take a look at the extensive schedule we’ve got planned right here.

FREE for members. Hope we see you there!

kids climb wall
Our Gym is transformed to a Rock Wall Climbing experience for kids!
PLAY in the 4th floor playroom!
Kids 4 and under get moving in our 4th floor playroom.
(kids really love GAGA)
Our Gym will also feature a new GAGA pit for lots of happy faces like this one.
Kids did Martial Arts,
Sensei Mark is back with martial arts
(it was a big crowd)
Toddler sing along and dance party with Debbie Brukman returns!
Family Yoga with Emily Sussell
Family Yoga with Emily Sussell

And so much more!  See you there.