tonya tittle energy fitness memphis

April 17, 2021

Our personal training clients are always wanting to improve posture, especially runners and desk jockeys. I have done many a blog post showing different ways to stretch different parts of the body. Lately I have been intent on wanting to improve/reverse the forward rotation of my shoulders after years of running, lifting and desk work.

I decided I would try anchoring my arm whilst the rest of my body is in a twist position which aids in the stretch. I then added windshield wiper abs so I can get that dynamic stretch instead of just the holding static stretch (on lifting or core days). The first few times I did it I could feel just how tight it was and now I add a little hamstring stretch with it or force my shoulder blade (scapula) to the floor and focus on breathing. It’s so much easier now.

I do realize that sharing this stretch with you, that many of you may not be able to put both knees together while your legs are in a spinal twist. That’s a whole different issue such as possible tight glutes, spine and supporting muscles. For now you may gently hold the top knee if it doesn’t torque your spine to a point of pain. Let’s focus on the chest stretch that you may feel deep into your armpit and breathe into it.

In the pictures below, notice that I have my hand in different positions. This is important to note as you change your hand position your upper arm bone either internally or externally (medially or laterally) rotates. You will want to try both and do the one that is hardest for you to do or just do both. You will have to wiggle your lower body in place and pick just the right angle for your body to be the most effective. Try to do morning and night for optimal benefits. You really get out of something what you put into it. You can start with 60 seconds and work up to 2-3 minutes if you are serious about your posture and also reducing shoulder, neck or back pain.

One interesting benefit I noticed after doing it for a week is that when I performed my post run shoulder stand I could see my feet, especially as I lowered them straight to the floor. This means that my chest is opened up a little more. I was even able to try some knee tuck and back up again core stuff for several reps without losing my balance.

Find Tonya online with live personal training/coaching or hire her to write a program for you with your own personalized 4-6 minute demo of each of your custom workouts included. Greenville, South Carolina site to be available this year in the town of Travelers Rest, South Carolina. Stay tuned for more details as we are working on securing a location. Memphis location 552 South Main, Memphis, TN 38103 is no longer onsite for training, massage and nutrition coaching.

Tonya Tittle, M.S., ACSM, LMT, TPI Level 1
Energy Fitness
Owner/Dir. of Training

If you haven’t had a functional movement assessment with a professional observe the way you move different joints and movements with your hips, shoulders, and spine then how do you know you are doing the most effective strength training, flexibility or cardio program? Hire someone like me to get you on track with a program to help you reduce current pain, eliminate pain, improve your current program or enhance your athletic performance.

August 3, 2018

I’m so excited to grace the cover of local Magazine Memphis Health & Fitness and be a healthy role model for my Personal Training Boutique Studio for over 16 years in Memphis.

We won or were in the top for several categories for the Fit List Readers Choice poll.  Thanks to all that voted! We’d love to help you get or stay fit and take advantage of our healing arts services as well.

Click here for a FREE Fitness Consult or for more info on our Massage or Reiki services click here.

Some serious Love in my heart for Memphis and feeling sappy as Energy Fitness opened to make a difference in peoples lives via fitness and nutrition. Sometimes we forget how much we help until the clients tell us or give us their vote. A special thanks to my amazing staff over the years and currently that helps to make Energy Fitness a special place as well as the many clients that have touched our hearts. Lisa Sanchez Sullivan, Mae Jensen,Jennifer Medeiros and Mark Tittle that made Energy Fitness possible by investing in his wife me (Tonya Tittle) 🙂


Here’s the link my page for the Fit List Cover shoot:

Here’s the link to the August issue Memphis Health and Fitness so you can see all the Fitness hotties and winners.

Energy Fitness, 552 South Main, Memphis, TN 38103, 901-466-6242 (voicemail or text)

April 2, 2017

As a personal trainer and athlete as well as a mother of young boys I know it’s not always convenient to plan ahead for meals. Planning ahead is essential if you want to have a flatter belly, fit into your clothes and have plenty of energy.

What if i told you that sometimes you need to get in touch with your hunger to make the changes you need to make to get the body changes you are craving?

Weekly the personal trainers at Energy Fitness here in Memphis find ourselves engaged in conversations with clients or acquaintances that state bold remarks as follows:

“When I eat salads or smaller meals I’m starving!”

“I don’t like to eat much for breakfast”

“I know what my problem is…I don’t eat enough during the day and when
I get home I like to have wine and eat too much”

Sometimes the only way to create change is doing something massive to get out of your own way and force change.

You may need to suck it up and be hungry for 3 days
in order to reset your metabolism.

Having a time limit on a behavior change or habit adjustment helps you to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Knowing that you won’t starve to death in 3 days and you are giving your body and digestive system a break to turnover new cells (every 3 days your intestinal cells completely turn over and you have new ones, every 30 days your skin has all new cells).

Chances are that your portions at each meal are way more than you actually need to survive and fuel your body. Continually having more than you need you can stretch your stomach and when you decide to cut back on calories and portions your body fights back by sending your brain hunger signals.

Do you recall a time where you had to go to the doctor for tests and you had to be in a fasting state? Did you go through a period of hunger and then it passed? It’s the same way for changing your portion sizes back down to a reasonable and needed level to reach your weight goal. You just have to know that feeling won’t last forever.

Here are some suggestions to help you get through the hunger pangs.

  • Write down on paper what your meals will be for the next 3 days (you may even want to write down what the 4th day is going to be so you don’t go hog wild crazy and revert back to your old bigger portions sizes).
  • Go to the grocery store with a list and stick to the list. Be sure to grab lots of protein options and fresh veggies including dark leafy greens.
  • This list with pictures may prove helpful: click here for 36 Healthier Picks for quick snacks report)
  • Eat a high protein breakfast containing at least 26 grams of protein.
  • Avoid sugary carbs or juices for breakfast as it just makes you hungrier all day.
  • Exercise and have a protein shake within 30 minutes post workout. Reducing stress with exercise can make you less likely to grab something to put in your mouth to self medicate.
  • Try out new teas. My favorite brands are Yogi and Traditional Medicinals (daily detox comes in different flavors)

Do you remember Stuart Smalling, the character from Saturday Night live that did self affirmations in the mirror each day stating “I’m good enough! I’m Smart Enough…And Dogonit People Like me!”?

Start a gratitude journal or put notes in your phone 5 things each day you are appreciative for. A few examples might be “I am greatful for shelter, hearing, vision, friends, clean water, stove to cook on, plates, utensils, etc.  Also remember that your thoughts are an extension of you and if you are putting it out into the world that you envision positive changes such as better looking skin, stronger, leaner and more beautiful self than you are bringing that frequency within reach.

By crowding your thoughts and day with new things, thoughts and experiences that are positive you crowd out the ability to focus on the negative. Recall what happens if someone says don’t press the red button? That’s all you can think about…pressing the red button!

Try this!

So what if I’m hungry for 3 days…It’s actually good for me and can help me reset my metabolism. I can use this as a step to getting closer to my goal of losing 15 pounds. I will take doable chunks at a time and have gratitude for each step along the way.

Not a personal training client onsite at Energy Fitness, 552 South Main, Memphis, TN 38103 and live in the area? Give us a call at 901-466-6242 or Click here for a FREE Consult (value $87)

Interested in our Massage or Body Wraps? Click here.

Don’t live nearby or travel a lot? Check out our customized online training ($40-$80) here:  Online Customized Training



May 18, 2016

Is your back tight? Do you sit a lot and have not so great posture? Did you just sit up straight? Let me introduce you to a muscle that can help your hips regain the ability to properly move in their full range. The psoas (pronounced “SO-az”) is a large and powerful muscle that is responsible for stabilizing the base of your spine. It actually connects up with another muscle called the iliacus and together they are called the iliopsoas (“Ill-ee-oh-SO-az'”). It can affect lots of people anywhere from office workers who sit a lot to active individuals especially runners, cyclists and rowers.

A tight or strained psoas can lead to lower back pain and can limit your free range of motion. Worse, a tightened psoas can put pressure on the lumbar vertebrae, leaving you susceptible to injury.

Look at the muscle anatomy picture below. As you can see, this muscle covers some real estate:  Attaching superiorly at the spine (to the transverse processes and lateral surface of thoracic vertebra 12 to the last lumbar vertebra and corresponding discs) and traversing down and forward through the pelvis to attach to the inside of the upper leg (lesser trochanter).  Understanding and visualizing the position of this muscle should help you appreciate the relationship of the psoas to the function of the trunk/spine, pelvis, and extremities.

psoas anatomy pic

Here are some other places that the psoas can refer to: (referral pain can be felt at a site other than where the cause is situated)

  • groin
  • upper thigh
  • contributes to scoliosis
  • abdomen
  • genitals
  • stiffness in hips or groin in morning when you get up
  • rotates legs outward
  • can’t stand up straight
  • stooped posture
  • leaning to one side



It is involved in everything!  As soon as I began to respect the stress and excessive loads that I was placing on my psoas (there are two, one on each side), my groin strain went away and so did my back and SI pain. SI is sacroiliac and refers to the SI joint. I injured this when I had laxity in my joints post-miscarriage between having my two boys as my body still had some the hormone relaxin. Because of my previous SI joint injury, as well as an old hamstring injury from college cross country, I have to be ever diligent on self care to keep active and injury free.

Releasing the psoas muscle is a relatively simple procedure that requires just a few minutes of your time and the use of a small ball. The psoas is actually located under your intestines.  To work it, you may need to come in at an angle. Look at the picture below and see where I have the ball located.  To really get in there you may have to bring the opposite knee out to the side of your body as to put more weight on the ball. Bring the knee up towards your ear until you feel the right amount of pressure.

psoas release with larger ball psoas release with tennis ball

  • Place a small soft ball on the floor. The ball should be slightly larger and softer than a tennis ball.
  • Lower yourself onto the small soft ball, about one to two inches outside of your belly button, near the area that hurts. You will feel a slight discomfort as you lower yourself, this is your psoas responding to the pressure. Hold for 20-60 seconds. Once you feel the discomfort fade then roll inside or 2″ up or move ball over laterally as to get other parts of the muscle. If I get lazy and don’t do for a while then it’s a bit more than slight discomfort, in fact it’s darn right breath-takingly painful. This short lived pain is worth the long term pain relief from setting my psoas free. 🙂 If you get in the habit of doing this in the beginning every other day the pain will lesson and you can then say do only on Sundays, or for runners before and after an intense running session.
  • Come up on your elbows and arch your back. This action will cause a more forceful stretch and, in turn, will cause your psoas to release.
  • Visit your physical therapist if the discomfort persists. This is the most effective way to loosen your psoas.
  • You can avoid a strained psoas by regularly engaging in stretching exercises which promote flexibility and mobility.
  • Try the stretch below on the left that I call “Frog Pose” for the adductors (inner thigh muscles). Kneel with your toes pointing out to the sides; rest your elbows or hands on the floor. Exhale, spread your knees, and lower your chest to the floor as you extend your arms parallel and forward. Note: this stretch is one of the most intense for the adductors. If you’re extremely flexible, you will be able to lower into a straddle split with your knees flexed. I have yet to see normal people do this, including myself! Breathe and hold these stretches anywhere from 30 seconds to 3 minutes. Yes, I said 3 minutes… ouch!!
  • Another stretch below you may want to try that also helps to release and keep that psoas from staying locked up is the hip flexor stretch (the bottom right 2 pictures).  Be sure to tuck your butt/hips under and keep your posture straight. For a more intense stretch as if it doesn’t hurt enough raise the arm to the ceiling of the leg that is back.

Frog pose toes out294

Not a client? Live in town and interested in our personal training or nutrition coaching? Click here for a FREE Consult (value $87) or give us a call at 901-466-6242

Check out our customized online training ($40-$80) here:  Online Customized Training

Interested in our Massage or Body Wraps? Click here.

Energy Fitness, 552 South Main, Memphis, TN
Tonya Tittle, M.S., ACSM
Owner/Dir. of Training