Gyrokinesis: The Mat Version of Gyrotonic That Can Be Done At Home!
Hey, guys. It’s Stephen here of CORE Therapy and Pilates in Austin, Texas. I wanted to go over a question I got today. Actually it was yesterday with one of my clients. It was a brand new client coming in with scoliosis, and she wanted to progress from physical therapy into our Pilates and Gyrotonic classes and eventually and to be able to do those things at home. And her question was, “How do I progress from physical therapy to Gyrotonic with the fancy crazy looking machines, and then be able to reproduce some of that at home?”
So my answer to her was that we offer something called Gyrokinesis. And what Gyrokinesis is is basically the mat version of Gyrotonic. So Gyrotonic is on those fancy looking machines and equipment that do all the spiraling and rotation, but Gyrokinesis is basically the mat version of it, and what that means is you’re sitting on a stool, or a chair, or you’re on the floor like a regular mat class.
So just like Pilates has Pilates reformer and trap table and chair work, and then Pilates mat work, with Gyrotonic is the work on the equipment, and Gyrokinesis is the work on the floor and the stool. So with that said, I went through a plan with this client about how I would need to see her for like three or four sessions to work on manual therapy, myofascial release, some joint work to get her more straightened out and whatnot.
But then the progress would come or the long term success would come from her getting stronger in her entire body, specifically, her trunk, and that Gyrotonic was gonna create a lot of rotation and enable to release some of the faults that are coming along from her, the faults from scoliosis, let me say it that way. So with that said, I was able to paint a picture of seeing me for a couple of times, seeing my trainer for a few Gyrotonic sessions, and then working into the Gyrokinesis class, and buying a Gyrokinesis video off of the website, and being able to do that at home.
So she came in expecting to have this long term plan that was gonna take her months to do here, and the reality is, it’s gonna take her about two months to get to that process of understanding the work well enough, and until then, there is some learning. But the long term for her ability to do the Gyrokinesis work at home is really where she’s gonna make the change.
So what I wanna do now is I’m gonna walk out into the studio, where we actually have two things going on right now. We have a Gyrotonic class going on, where there’s four people on the machines, and that’s what the Gyrotonic looks like with the actual specialized equipment. And then we have a Gyrokinesis class going on with four people on the floor or a stool, I’m not sure where they’re at now. So we’re gonna walk out there and look at that.
And if you have any comments or questions, just leave them in the comments below and I’ll be sure to get back to you with that. So hang on one second.
So to answer your question, stumpknocker , yes, it is for old fart’s like you, man. I love it (response to FB live question). All right, guys, that’s it for today. I hope you all have a great day. Any other comments after watching this when it’s not live, just put them in the comments below. Any questions, I should say, leave them in the comments. Take care.
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Co-Owner / Physical Therapist at CORE Therapy and Pilates Stephen graduated with a Masters in Physical Therapy in 1998 from LSUMC in New Orleans. Immediately interested in hands on therapy, he began to study with known manual therapist Brian Mulligan and became certified in the Maitland Australian Approach in 2003. Stephen completed a comprehensive Pilates training in Santa Monica at retroFit Pilates in 2002 and is Certified through The Pilates Method Alliance. The combined treatment of manual therapy with mind body awareness exercises using Pilates concepts was the start of his whole body treatment approach.
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Written by Pam Johnson
Madonna and Tiger Woods do it. Children and older adults do it too, as do people recovering from injuriesand those with neurological conditions such as Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and Parkinson’s Disease. Many dancers and golfers say they can’t do without it. So just what is this thing called Gyrotonic® exercise and why is it becoming so popular with people of all ages and lifestyles?
The GyrotoniC Expansion System®is an exercise modality that simultaneously stretches and strengthens muscles and tendons while articulating and mobilizing the joints. Exercises are performed with corresponding breathing patterns that help to build aerobic strength, neuro-muscular coordination and balance the body’s natural energy pathways.
Juliu Horvath developed Gyrotonic® exercise and Gyrokinesis® movement after many years of study to repair the injuries he sustained as a professional dancer. He sought to create a system of exercises that anyone could perform, regardless of age or state of health.
The Gyrotonic Expansion System® was specifically conceived through key principles of gymnastics, swimming, ballet, and yoga. This “System” is served by a series of specially designed exercise equipment, built around the human body with all regards to freedom of movement, without restriction to speed and versatility, enhancing rather than distracting from coordination, strength and flexibility.
GYRO means circular and TONIC signifies zest for life. Gyrotonic® equipment works the body naturally and gently in flowing, spiraling movements. In Gyrotonic® movement there is no end point to a movement…nothing is linear. The system’s specialized mechanism of resistance springs and pulleys, tones your muscles and keeps your joints fluid and mobile, eliminating stiffness and achiness.
Many Bodyscape clients say the feel lighter and more balanced after a session – almost like an internal massage.
- “Gyrotonic® exercise keeps my back loose and my hip joints feeling more open. For people with back pain or sciatica, it’s a must.” — Jan Evans
- “Understanding of core strength through flexibility is the biggest benefit of Gyrotonic® movement.” — Howard Lim
- The Gyrotonic® Tower is a truly unique piece of equipment. It works muscles I didn’t know I had and gently stretches out tight areas. The exercises are also FUN! I’ve been working out my entire life, but have never experienced anything like Gyrotonic® exercise. I love it! – Marlys James-Jolley
Gyrotonic® movement can be used to enhance other Mind-Body practices including Yoga and Pilates. It also provides a gentle, cardiovascular and strengthening workout option for injury rehabilitation and recovery.
Bodyscape offers both private and group Gyrotonic® sessions. We also incorporate Gyrotonic® exercise and Gyrokinesis® movement principles into our work with physical therapy patients. This system is of special importance and benefit to our patients and clients with MS, Parkinson’s and other neuromuscular conditions. We also offer sessions specifically for golfers to enhance their game and help avoid injury.
Gyrotonic® exercise training at BodyScape is utilized as an integrative approach to optimize physical therapy treatments allowing patients to simultaneous stretch and strengthen their bodies, while experiencing a complete body/mind exercise to calm and focus the mind.
For more information on GYROTONIC® exercise visit: www.gyrotonic.com
Gyrotonic® Exercise at Bodyscape
History and Principles of GYROTONIC® exercise
GYROTONIC® Golf Program
How to Get Started
GYROTONIC, GYROTONIC EXPANSION SYSTEM and GYROKINESIS are registered trademarks of Gyrotonic Sales Corp and are used with their permission.
Fitness Tech: What Is Gyrotonic? How It Works And Why You Should Do It
You might, therefore, have been wondering what it is, how it works and why you should do it. And so with that, here’s everything you need to know about Gyrotonic, including my own experience of the device.
The Gyrotonic method is based on principles of yoga, dance and tai chi but with an emphasis on… rotation and spiraling movements
What is Gyrotonic?
Gyrotonic is a unique system of exercise that incorporates movement principles from yoga, dance, gymnastics, swimming and t’ai chi. Central to this is the Gyrotonic Expansion System, or GXS, a rather complex-looking device specially designed with rotational discs and weighted pulleys. Usually made as part of a wooden frame, this set up allows the exerciser to strengthen their muscles via a specific exercise incorporating circular and spiraling movement patterns. It is these that are said to increase joint mobility, particularly in the spine. It’s also known to help a multitude of lower back or cervical spine pain such as sciatica, repetitive strain injury, multiple sclerosis, osteoporosis, and rheumatoid arthritis.
It works by simultaneously stretching and strengthening the body, increasing range of motion, correcting posture and developing coordination. Used as part of a regular exercise regime and it’s known to give users a stronger spine, improved posture, and bone density, strengthen joints, increase mobility, and balance neuro-muscular coordination.
What is it like?
I gave the Gyrotonic a spin at the ModoVite Pilates studio while in Barcelona. I’ll have to admit it does take some getting used to when you’ve never been on it before, and you will need direction from a teacher who will guide you through the movements. But afterward, you will feel great.
The Gyrotonic and me in action at ModoVite studio in Barcelona
It was my first time ever using the Gyrotonic system, so I had to ensure I warmed-up before moving on to working on the GXS machine. Exercises started with movements at the base of the spine and progressed to the arms, neck, and shoulders. Once you’re on the device, pulleys with straps are attached to your feet as your legs are stretched and strengthened, while at the same time encouraging movement in the abdominal muscles. Each class is one-on-one and lasts for about an hour. Since the machines are quite big and the system very specific, it’s usually something you’d do as part of a one-on-one.
How does it benefit you?
The club’s co-founder, David Amador, told me that Gyrotonic will also help with the regeneration of the nervous system, helping to reduce stress. However, he added that it will work differently for each individual, depending on their needs.
“Every single person who walks in our studio is a need, each need deserves a personalized service,” he said. “We work the body globally, addressing the person as a whole being, including all the techniques we offer in our studio.”
Gyrotonic can also help with the regeneration of the nervous system, helping to reduce stress
Where to find it
I tried the Gyrotonic machine in Barcelona, but it’s by no means the only country that provides the exercise. Nevertheless, despite being around for decades, the system is still seen as relatively new to the mainstream, especially in the UK, where it is only available in 30 different locations across the country. However, expect it in a Pilates studio near you, soon, as the exercise grows in popularity. Use gyrotonic.com to find a class near you, there are more and more popping up all the time.
We Tried It: Gyrotonic
Treadmill, stair climber, rowing machine, even yoga and Pilates-they all steer your body to move along an axis. But consider the movements you do in everyday life: reaching for the jar on the top shelf, unloading groceries from the car, or crouching over to tie your shoe. The point: Most functional movements move along more than one plane-they involve rotation and/or level changes. And so should your workout. That’s one reason why I was so interested in trying out Gyrotonic.
Gyrotonic is a training method based in principles of yoga, dance, tai chi, and swimming. Unlike yoga (and most workouts), there’s an emphasis on rotation and spiraling movement that doesn’t have an end point. You use handles and pulleys to enable sweeping, arcing movements, and there’s a fluid quality that goes hand in hand with your breathing (once you get the hang of it.)
Part of the appeal to me personally was that Gyrotonic offers the mind/body benefits of practicing yoga without any of the stillness that can (on some days) make me watch the clock. Regular Gyrotonic practice also builds core strength, balance, coordination, and agility. And I’m just getting started. Here are five more reasons to break out of your forward-facing routine and try Gyrotonic:
1. Counteract “computer back.” Practicing Gyrotonic regularly can greatly improve poor posture by lengthening the spine (so you look taller!) and strengthening the core to take pressure off of the lower back, along with opening the sternum and connecting your shoulders down your back, says Jill Carlucci-Martin, certified Gyrotonic instructor in New York City. “I even have a client who swears she grew an inch from taking weekly sessions!”
2. Eliminate the junk from your body. “The constant motion-arching, curling, spiraling, moving from your core, breathing methods-helps to prevent stagnation in the body by promoting removal of waste and lymph fluids,” Carlucci-Martin says.
3. Whittle your waist. In addition to strengthening the deep abdominal muscles around your waistline, Gyrotonic also helps slim your midsection by improving posture (so you stand taller) and eliminating fluid and bloating from your middle (and everywhere else).
4. Sculpt long, lean muscles. The lighter weights and emphasis on extending and expanding help build longer, leaner muscle.
5. Focus your mind. “All of the movements engage the whole body and the whole mind, as well as coordinating breath with movement,” Carlucci-Martin says. “Many of my busy city clients love it because for one hour of their day, they come in and have to stay focused. They can’t be thinking about what they have to buy at the grocery store or what’s on their schedule for work tomorrow. They always leave feeling refreshed and relaxed but also like they’ve had a workout, which is a wonderful combination.”
- By Abby Lerner
What’s it all about?
Gyrotonic is a unique system of exercise that incorporates movement principles from yoga, dance, gymnastics, swimming and t’ai chi. Central to gyrotonic is the Gyrotonic Expansion System, or GXS, a specially designed wooden machine with rotational discs and weighted pulleys that allow the exerciser to strengthen their muscles using flowing, circular movements.
What the expert says…
Beatriz Pascual is attributed as the woman who introduced gyrotonic to the UK. Trained by Julio Horvath, who created the system, she has her own studio in London, and also runs gyrotonic teacher training programmes (gyrotonic.co.uk).
‘Gyrotonic may resemble Pilates,’ says Pascual, ‘but it is much more like yoga in its origin and breathing techniques. Pilates followers often make the mistake of thinking it’s the same and then find it difficult to master the breathing, which is specific to each particular movement pattern.
‘The machine facilitates your movements,’ Pascual continues, ‘but it makes you do the work, not the other way round. You will feel better after one session, but overnight miracles aren’t going to happen – this is one of the biggest issues I have explaining to my clients. It takes at least five to 10 sessions to understand the principles behind gyrotonic.
‘Gyrotonic is three-dimensional in its range of movements, and this is unique to this form of exercise. Individuals who are used to working in linear movements are often surprised by how little control they have of their bodies in this way – so you need to be consistent with your sessions to see the benefits. Once a week is good, but twice a week is preferable.
‘Connecting with your body and getting the breathing right is crucial to getting the most out of gyrotonic – which means switching off and leaving the pressures of life outside. Establishing this state of active relaxation can be hard, especially when you are concentrating on mastering new body skills and trying to do your best.
‘Gyrotonic is a complete system of exercising: it articulates your joints, improves the flow of energy through the body, stimulates acupuncture points, builds stamina and strength and improves health.’
To find a teacher, your best bet is to log on to gyrotonic.com, the central website for everything there is to know about gyrotonic. Simply type in your postcode and the website will come up with a list of teachers and studios near you.
An introductory gyrotonic session will always focus on a warm-up before moving on to working on the GXS machine. Exercises start with movements at the base of the spine and progress to the arms, neck and shoulders. Pulleys with straps are attached to your feet as your legs are stretched and strengthened, while at the same time encouraging movement in the abdominal muscles. Each class is one-on-one and lasts for about an hour. Since the machines are quite big and the system very specific, small group classes aren’t that common, and the average class costs around £45.
Gyrotonic may have originated as a way of helping dancers, but its teachers consider it to be beneficial for just about anyone, including youngsters, those with arthritis and individuals seeking rehabilitation.
When finding out more, you may also come across gyrokinesis, which is a kind of floor version of gyrotonic. Since it does not use the big equipment, gyrokinesis classes tend to be run as small groups and are cheaper – expect to pay around £12 a session.
When it comes to kit, all you need is a T-shirt, a pair of comfortable leggings and some socks. You could do gyrotonic barefoot, but socks are preferred for reasons of hygiene. But if you’re one of those people who prefers to cut more of a dash when they’re exercising and who enjoys wearing specific functional clothing, then Adidas, Nike and Puma, among the major sports brands, offer the best selection. Labels such as Cassal, Fuerteventura, Bell Ferguson, Sweaty Betty (sweatybetty.com) and She Active (sheactive.com) also offer some stylish yet functional choices.
Although there are some potential cardiovascular benefits from gyrotonic, you’re not going to end each session in a pool of sweat, so while breathable clothing is preferable, forking out for technically designed kit is not essential. If you do get hooked and want your own GXS equipment to use at home, it will set you back at least £2,500.
Read all about it
All the training, equipment, teacher training certification and DVD products – just about anything to do with gyrotonic, in fact – goes through Julio Horvath’s website, gyrotonic.com.
It’s pricey. Private classes are expensive, often starting at £45 a session, which makes a one-on-one Pilates class look cheap at an average £29.
Not very many teachers. If you are keen, you may find yourself having to travel quite far to get your fix.
Not particularly sociable. Gyrotonics requires a degree of commitment, yet it’s a relatively solitary form of exercise. Group classes are rare since the machines are so big. If you prefer the support of exercising in a group, you could seek out gyrokinesis classes instead.
It can be frustrating. Unless you’ve got really good co-ordination, picking up the different circular movements can be a bit like rubbing your stomach while you pat your head. You need to give yourself time to see your body change as you learn the different moves.
Sports medics have attributed a more upright and elegant posture to the continuous involvement of the supportive muscles as they are strengthened and stretched.
Puts no stress on joints
Gyrotonics is beneficial for anyone suffering from joint pain because the unique way of securing the pulleys on the GXS machines allows movement without impact.
Leads to better co-ordination
The major muscle groups work together as well as interdependently, which, over time, leads to increased coordination with more efficient muscle recruitment.
Lifts your spirits
Fans attribute increased energy and raised spirits to the circular, spiralling motions and specific individual breathing patterns, which help relax tight muscles and stiff joints.
Gives you full spinal mobility
Gyrotonic movements free the spine to move in all directions, so improving back suppleness.
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What is GYROTONIC®?
Known in the US, Europe, and Asia under the trademark GYROTONIC®, a unique system of exercise that incorporates movement principles from yoga, dance, Tai chi, gymnastics and swimming. Founder Juliu Horvath has created equipment and movements that simultaneously stretch and strengthen muscles and ligaments.
A gymnast, swimmer and ballet principal with the Romanian National Ballet, Juliu defected to the USA in the 1970’s where he developed a system of yoga (GYROKINESIS®) that expands a person’s potential. He then created powerful movements done on his unique handcrafted wooden equipment (GYROTONIC®) to make his style of yoga both more accessible and challenging to many different users abilities and needs.
While most weight-training machines are designed for linear expression, Juliu’s machines facilitate the circular movements originating in the joints. Exercises synchronized with yoga breathing help develop flexibility, joint articulation, stamina, balance, coordination, and increased blood circulation.
It is the ideal training programme for anyone interested in improving all aspects of their fitness including dancers, athletes, sports enthusiasts, children, the elderly and injury rehabilitation clients.
For more information about GYROTONIC® visit www.gyrotonic.com
Pilates or GYROTONIC®…Which to choose?
We are the only studio on the West Coast to teach both The Pilates Method and GYROTONIC® Expansion System. Both systems compliment each other as well as stand on their own. At Revolution, you can choose to learn either one or both of these exciting mind-body techniques and we would love the chance to introduce them to you.
GYROTONIC® and GYROKINESIS® are registered trademarks of Gyrotonic Sales Corp and are used with their permission.