As one of Los Angeles’ most sought-after personal private trainers and fitness experts, Howard Halen has, over the past 25 years, been driven by a singular passion: helping people reach their individual fitness goals, achieve optimal health and transform their individual needs and desires into positive lifestyle choices and enduring self-commitments.
When he entered the fitness industry in the mid-90s, Howard drew on his background as an all-around athlete (baseball, basketball, football) to focus on working with amateur and pro athletes. His empowering results, combined with sharing his expertise at local fitness seminars and partnering with different brands, led his clientele to grow exponentially over the years. Building his practice via various private training gyms and home sessions, he has facilitated transformations for hundreds of clients, ranging in age from 15 to 92. His practice continues to evolve as he learns more contemporary training techniques through his pursuit of continuing education. Freely sharing with his clients his own physical issues and limitations – including degenerative lumbar discs and the need for two hip replacement surgeries – has often helped his clients connect with him in a personal way. He has personally worked through and overcome many of the issues they find themselves struggling with.
A native of Los Angeles who once pursued a career as a professional baseball player, Howard laid the groundwork for his training work in the private sector during his years in the U.S. Army. One of his duties was to ensure that all of the men under his charge could pass their fitness tests.
The HNS System was created out of what Howard saw as a growing necessity for both himself and his many clients. Developed, tested and perfected over the past five years, the system is an inventive response to his increasing frustration with the use of traditional foam rollers without support, which put extreme stress on the body’s head, neck and core muscles. The system’s head and neck support allows those muscles to relax. The combination of the HNS System, foam roller and body weight enables the cylinder shape of the foam roller to perform penetrating deep massage that promotes self-myofascial release. Howard’s clients have been using the system for everything from physical therapy for lumbar and hip injuries to simple warmups and cool down periods. The HNS System’s official marketing tagline is “Bringing Head and Neck Support to Foam Rolling” – but Howard adds, “Wherever there’s a foam roller, there needs be an HNS with it.”
“Why do they call a medical practice a practice? Because it’s always evolving with every new scientific breakthrough that can benefit patients,” Howard says. “The fitness and physical therapy industries are no different. Techniques are constantly changing, with new products coming along to help people in ways we never could before. The beauty of The HNS System is that it will allow millions who could never use a foam roller effectively, or at all, because of the severe stress it put on their muscles to enjoy a multitude of ongoing health benefits. For people with injuries, it’s a way to facilitate healing. For others, it will keep their physical beings in better shape and prevent them from incurring injuries, strained muscles or knots in their back. It’s gratifying for me because as a personal trainer I can only impact the lives of a small percentage of people, but with The HNS System, the number of those I can help and bring pain relief to is literally endless.”