Don’t underestimate the power of yoga as a strength-building dynamo. If you practice a vigorous form of yoga regularly (3-6 times per week), you will undoubtedly notice increased muscle tone and enhanced definition.

Many people, however, believe that weightlifting is where it’s at in terms of building strength. True, lifting will most definitely boost your strength; however, it does so in a way very different from yoga. There’s an ongoing debate on which form of strength-building is better, but we won’t hash that out here. Weightlifting and yoga each have their strength-boosting merits. In fact, striking a balance between the two can produce incredible physical and mental results.

In many ways, yoga is a more convenient strength-training option. You don’t need all the equipment. In yoga, you simply support the weight of your own body with various muscle groups. For this reason, there is generally less risk for injury. Also, this tends to make yoga more of a full-body workout. In each pose, many different muscles are engaged simultaneously. It is less targeted than weight training.

Lifting, on the other hand, is oftentimes the quicker approach to realizing greater strength. It is not as skill heavy as yoga. In yoga, there is a lot going on – coordination, balance, breath, flexibly, quick transitions, pose after pose after pose, etc. In the practice, it is difficult to continue raising the bar in a noticeable way. With lifting, you simply increase the weight to monitor progress. In yoga, it’s more about increasing the holding time of postures and exploring different poses and pose variations. You may only realize subtle, gradual shifts in strength.

Weight training tends to make the muscles compact as they build up, which results in a bulky or bulging appearance. Yoga, however, lengthens out the muscles as they contract and build, so they end up looking a lot leaner but still tight and toned. For a balanced look, a combination of both practices can be effective.

The method you choose depends on what you wish to achieve in your workouts at the Pivotal Fitness Greenville gym.

The season of spring has finally surfaced! Hurray! To celebrate the sunshine and warmness, here are some workout tips to spring into action at the Pivotal Fitness Greenville athletic club.

  1. Get Heated
    Rev up your heart rate with a dose of intense cardio. Fire up your metabolism.
  2. Explore New Movement
    Don’t continue to repeat the same movements over and over again. Invite some newness into your routine. Static movement is a great way to switch things up. Practice static holds in plank, low plank, low lunge, or wall squat. Feel the burn.
  3. Spice/Switch Things Up
    The winter months can create a lot of mental, emotional and physical stagnation. To snap out of that winter lethargy and boredom, reinvent your workout method. If you’re always on the bike, get off the bike and hit up the treadmill. If you are always concentrating on strength and overlooking cardio, look for new ways to get your heart rate elevated. If you have been overlooking stretching and flexibility, get yourself to a yoga class at the Pivotal Fitness Greenville gym. If you are constantly involved in strength training, explore fresh variations on squatting, lifting, and lunges. Spice things up! Get out of your comfort zone!
  4. Fuel and Hydrate
    Stock up on lots of greens and drink loads of water to improve your body’s alkalinity and cell vitality. Drinking half of your body weight per day is highly recommended.
  5. Detox
    Spring – a season of new beginnings and renewal – is a wonderful opportunity to detox. One sure way to rid yourself of toxins is to sweat. Take a crazy sweaty yoga class at the Pivotal Fitness Greenville gym to release any bodily toxins that you are holding onto. Another way to detox is via diet. As the days get warmer, it’s important to eat more cooling, light foods. Introduce more salads and fresh fruits and veggies into your diet. Take a break on all the heavy, comfort foods of winter. Favor refreshing, enlivening foods.

Happy spring, Greenville gym enthusiasts!

If you’ve been doing a substantial amount of heavy and intense running, deadlifts, squats, or cycling at the Pivotal Fitness Greenville gym and feel some lateral knee pain, your IT band(s) may need some serious TLC.

Iliotibial band syndrome (ITBS) is a frequent injury to the knee that is most often associated with running, cycling, hiking, or weight-lifting (especially squats). This pain usually presents as a stinging sensation just above the knee and can persist during and after activity. No good.

IT band problems and pain usually result from poor training habits, body abnormalities or alignment issues in the legs and feet, and/or muscle imbalances. Foam rolling, RICE (rest, ice, compression, and elevation), massage, and proper footwear, are all great methods to relieve and prevent IT band problems and pain. But wait…there’s yet another way to rescue your IT bands.


If you’re a gym-enthusiast, athlete, or runner with IT band problems you will definitely benefit from the following yoga poses – poses that you should definitely incorporate into your warm-up and/or cool down routines at the Pivotal Fitness Greenville gym. Some of these poses are more accessible than others. Just play around with them mindfully to see which ones work for you, following the instruction of these yoga videos. Remember: Never force yourself into a pose. Never! Approach each pose consciously and gently.

All of these poses may be practiced pre-workout or post-workout at the Pivotal Fitness Greenville gym.

  1. Cow-Face Pose
  2. Pigeon Pose
  3. Double Pigeon Pose
  4. Revolved Triangle
  5. Half Lord of the Fishes Twist
  6. Reclining Twists
  7. Low Lunge
  8. Low Lunge With Twist
  9. Squat (Garland Pose)
  10. Dancer Pose

Practice yoga to prevent IT band issues from arising or to find relief from a current case of ITBS. Correct abnormalities and misalignments in the body. Boost your strength to correct muscle imbalances.

If you want to dive even deeper into a yoga practice, keep in mind that we offer yoga classes at the Pivotal Fitness Greenville athletic club.

If you do a lot of overhead pressing, snatches, squatting, and exercises that require really good thoracic extension, this post is for you.

The thoracic region of your spine is the mid region of the spine. For many people, there is a rounding of this region, otherwise known as kyphosis of the thoracic spine. In order to retain good form and boost your overhead pressing, snatching, and squatting performance, it is important to create and increase extension of the thoracic spine and correct any flexion or rounding that might be going on.

What do you gotta do to create better thoracic extension?


Yoga supports thoracic extension and allows you to do more overhead pressing, snatching, and squatting in your workouts at the Pivotal Fitness Greenville gym. One pose, in particular, is highly effective in lengthening the thoracic spine. That pose is called Downward Facing Dog.

Downward Facing Dog stretches the muscles below your pelvis. It stretches the backs of the legs, which if tight, can create a posterior pelvic tilt. A posterior pelvic tilt can create flexion (rounding) of the entire spine. Go ahead and try it. Tuck your butt or tailbone and you’ll feel your entire spine flex or round. This is not good. You want to ensure and promote the natural curvature of the spine in all of your actions, especially when you are working out at the Pivotal Fitness Greenville gym.

Let’s try out this pose. Come to all fours, creating a tabletop position. Press the palms firmly into the ground. Wrists will be directly under the shoulders. Knees will be directly under the hips. Palms are shoulders distance apart. Knees are hips distance apart. Now, raise your trunk from the floor sending your hips to the sky. Press the heels down. The feet should be parallel to each other with the toes pointing toward your head. Roll the shoulders onto the back to create space between the ears and shoulders. Extend the arms strong. Let the heart melt toward the earth. Relax the head and neck. Notice how the positioning of the arms is exactly the form you want to have when doing an overhead press or snatch.

Donward Facing Dog

You can also practice Downward Facing Dog with the assistance of a wall. Put your hands on the wall (like you’re getting arrested). Then, drop your body down through your arms. Slowly start to reach your arms up higher, all the while pushing your chest down through your arms. You’ll feel a sweet release in your thoracic spine.

Practice this pose pre-workout or post-workout when you are at the Pivotal Fitness Greenville gym. Hold it for 10 long, deep breaths. It is an awesome way to correct that rounding of the spine, open your shoulders, and expand your chest. Boost your overhead strength and get down with some Downward Facing Dog.

Photo Credit: Downward Facing Dog via

The holidays have this sneaky way of adding excess adipose tissue to the belly region. All of the various seductive sweets really start stacking up after heavy, regular indulgence. That’s why it is incredibly important to stick to structure and pledge to discipline. Sure, this is the time of the year to be merry – to party, to indulge, and to unwind. Yet, you don’t have to completely lose yourself and stall (even backslide) on your fitness progress. If you want to maintain your current core strength and continue advancing, you must hit up the Pivotal Fitness Greenville gym regularly and vigorously.

There are several yoga poses that, if practiced regularly, will keep your core strong, solid and toned. These poses are highly accessible and work all muscles of the core. Most core exercises only target the superficial muscles of the stomach (the 6-pack abs). These exercises, rather, target all layers – even the deepest layer – of your core. These deeper muscles are very important for balance.

Incorporate the following core yoga poses into your Pivotal Fitness Greenville gym routine at least 3 times per week for results.

Plank Pose

  1. Plank Pose (Hold 2 minutes)
  2. Down Dog (Hold 2 minutes)
  3. Dolphin Plank Pose (Hold 2 minutes)
  4. Dolphin Pose (Hold 2 minutes)
  5. Boat Pose (Hold 2 minutes)
  6. Half Boat Pose (Hold 1 to 2 minutes)
  7. Side Plank (Hold 1 to 2 minutes each side)
  8. Forearm Side Plank (Hold 1 to 2 minutes each side)
  9. Chaturanga (4-limbed Pose) Push Ups (5 to 10 repeats)
  10. Cat/Cow Exercises – Massage the internal organs of the belly and experience a sweet release in your spine. Do as many as you wish!

A fit core will support you in many ways. Yes, you’ll look good in a bikini. That’s not the only bonus, though. A fit core prevents lower pack pain and injury. A powerful core supports balance and allows you to exercise with less effort and more ease. A strong core cultivates stronger and more confident posture. Knowing this should definitely inspire you to give your center of gravity some extra attention.

A strong core is very empowering, creating outer and inner strength. To sculpt and strengthen your center, mix in a bit of yoga in your Pivotal Fitness Greenville gym routine.

Photo Credit: Image via Denice Lindell

Amidst your strenuous workout routine at the Pivotal Fitness Greenville gym, you probably don’t feel like you have adequate time and energy to get in that yoga or Pilates class that you have been pondering. That’s cool. I feel you. We can’t do it all. The good news: You don’t have to get in a full-blown yoga class to reap the powerful benefits of a yoga practice. Pivotal Fitness Greenville gym does, however, offer yoga and Pilates in the mind and body room. So, if a full-blown class is what your heart desires, we’ve got you covered. If not, get wild with this handful of highly accessible, total-body strengthening, and core-enhancing yoga poses while you’re working it at the Pivotal Fitness Greenville athletic club.

  1. High Plank
  2. Low Plank (Plank on forearms)
  3. Side Plank (Each side on forearm or arm extended)
  4. Downward Facing Dog (To amplify Down Dog, try bending your elbows at about 45 degrees so that they are hovering right above the ground)
  5. Dolphin (Downward Dog on forearms with option for Dolphin push-ups)
  6. Crescent Lunge (Each side)
  7. Boat Pose
  8. Bridge Pose

You can sprinkle these poses into your circuit-training regimen or practice them as a sequence post-workout. Hold each pose for 30 seconds to one minute. If you find this too easy, set your timer for 2 minutes per pose. The more the merrier. Also, after you have practiced these very fortifying postures, it’s nice to enjoy a few restorative poses to relax, cool down, and reboot the system. Try Child’s Pose and/or Butterfly Pose to experience a juicy stretch and release.

See that? Your Greenville yoga doesn’t have to be so hard to get in. Just hop on an exercise mat post sweat session, cycle through a few poses, and there you have it. Boom. Yoga made easy for Greenville gym going enthusiasts!

A few weeks ago, we discussed three fitness videos that can help you shed pounds fast. There was one that didn’t make the cut, but it’s been garnering a lot of attention ever since it was unofficially publicized via a high-profile politician in recent weeks.

Republican Party candidate for vice president — the athletically built, 42-year-old Paul Ryan, who shares the GOP ticket with presidential hopeful Mitt Romney — has stated in interviews that he stays fit by using the P90X. The fitness plan is broken down into 12 segments, led by fitness celebrity Tony Horton, and comes in kits for Base, Deluxe or Ultimate. The 90-day workout blends weight training, yoga, cardio and martial arts.

Surely its promoters were instantly overjoyed by the free publicity and the nationwide attention that the workout program suddenly received. Now it’s a regimen that’s on everyone’s tongues, on par with the previously popular Insanity workouts that we mentioned in our previous blog. The P90X makers told Huffington Post in August that they were “excited” to have a hand in Ryan’s fitness plan and the way he promotes the benefits of exercise on a global stage. In fact, reported that P90X eventually went ahead and purchased Google Ads featuring searches for “Paul Ryan fitness” leading back to their product and website.

Both appearance and health have proven to be important factors when it comes to how Americans choose their leaders. They want to elect officials who have endurance, strength and youth on their sides. And it helps that first lady Michelle Obama has set a recent standard for politicians taking a public stand on countrywide health, both with her own fit form and her promotion of the Let’s Move! program to combat obesity, especially in children.

Even those who would typically oppose the Romney/Ryan ticket are finding common grounds with the White House hopefuls thanks to this workout plan. Notedly, Dee Snider of Twisted Sister brought it up while speaking to the media about the fact that the band asked the GOP not to use “We’re Not Gonna Take It” for its campaign playlist, stating: “There is almost nothing on which I agree with Paul Ryan, except perhaps the use of the P90X.”

With locations in Columbia, Charleston, Summerville and Greenville, you may just refer to us as your local South Carolina gym. But there are a lot of words that can be used to describe our facilities: sports club, athletic training camp, wellness center.

Think about it; we offer more than just a set of machines and equipment you could theoretically have set up in your own home. We also offer personal training from certified professionals. You meet privately with someone who can help you target your trouble areas and determine a personalized strategy meet your fitness goals.

And there’s also a rotating schedule of classes for such fun and healthy activities as spinning, martial arts, yoga and dance. And those are available for beginners, moderate athletes and even those looking for a more hard-core, boot-camp type of exercise regimen.

Of course there’s also the communal aspect of Pivotal Fitness. In addition to taking classes with your friends, you can form partnerships with other gym members who share your schedule and provide ongoing motivation. You can even bring guests along with you if you have someone visiting from out of town.

Need some nutritional counseling? We offer that, too. You can start by accessing our supplement shop (at some locations) to pick up all of the vitamins and nutrients you need for a balanced diet before and after you exercise. Our nutritionists provide dietary information and inspirational support that’s specific to your lifestyle and weight loss goals.

Other special aspects of our comprehensive Greenville sports club are our Ladies Only Facilities, where only women are around while you work out, and our childcare program, where kids can be active and have fun while you’re taking care of your workout. Some locations even boast a tanning salon.

As you can see, it’s an all-in-one health center that offers physical fitness, social networking and recreational advantages. Ask us anytime how you can get started – or just start getting even more involved in our numerous opportunities than you are already!