What Is GYROTONIC® Exercise?
Gyrotonic (from “gyro,” meaning spiral and “tonic” meaning to tone or invigorate) also referred to as the Gyrotonic method or Gyrotonic exercise is an original and unique movement method that addresses and exercises the entire body along with the mind. Developed by Hungarian born Juliu Horvath, a former dancer and gymnast, Gyrotonic exercises embrace key principles also found in swimming, dance, yoga, and Thai Chi. Stretching, strengthening, lengthening, spiraling, energizing and invigorating are all words used to describe Gyrotonic movement patterns. improving movement efficiency, increasing range of motion and flexibility, creating a supple spine, increasing joint stability, improving agility, opening energy pathways, stimulating the nervous system and creating deep internal strength by allowing the body to move beyond its current limitations. The Gyrotonic method is unique from all other exercise methods in that it opens and elongates the joints allowing the body to move through its full, natural range of motion in a supported manner without jarring or compression of any sort. Gyrotonic exercise allows those who practice it to strengthen movement, not a muscle, but rather the body's ability to move wholistically. Carefully choreographed circular and three-dimensional movements make up a Gyrotonic program.
“Imagine an exercise system that strengthens the body enough to be used in training world-class athletes, stretches more safely than any form of yoga and expands the core training concepts of Pilates into natural full-body movements like those used in everyday reaching and walking, along with jumping and swimming,' says Angela Crowley, a Gyrotonic master teacher, trainer and exercise spa owner in Coral Gables, Florida. "This is the Gyrotonic system."
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What is meant by "Feel good from the INSIDE OUT"?
Gyrotonic movement is work for the bones, joints and muscles of the human body. The movement stretches and strengthens muscles while simultaneously stimulating and stretching the connective tissue in and around the joints. The exercises, synchronized with corresponding breathing patterns, provide stimulation to the cardiovascular and nervous systems, as well as encourage development for increased strength, flexibility and coordination. Each movement originates from the spine and guides the energy out to the extremities, awakening the whole body to feel good inside and out!
How Is It Done?
The Gyrotonic method is practiced on specialized, handcrafted equipment which allows the body to work as it was designed: as one harmonious system, following three dimensional arcing, spiraling and circling paths of motion which transition from one movement to the next smoothly and efficiently. A primary focus is on all the different motions of the spine and how to create rhythmic, flowing movement within the entire body. Exercises are performed in a variety of positions -- sitting, standing, and lying down. Our studio currently has three Pulley-Tower Combination Units and one Jumping Stretching Board.
Who Can Benefit From It?
Gyrotonic exercise is for absolutely everyone. Worldwide, Gyrotonic movement is enjoyed by people of all ages and abilities -- from those needing therapeutic or rehabilitative exercise to professional athletes. Rehabilitation clients recover quicker, and more fully post-injury. Individuals with limited mobility and/or balance issues improve functionality and activities of daily living. People with muscular imbalances and compensatory movement patterns can restore proper muscle balance and re-educate their bodies to move properly and efficiently on a deep neuromuscular level. Athletes improve agility and performance and are aided in injury prevention. Because Gyrotonic equipment is highly adjustable, it can be customized to fit each persons unique physique and ability, adapting for things such as height, arm/leg length and range of motion. Anyone who wants to move more efficiently, powerfully or gracefully will benefit greatly from Gyrotonic exercise.
What Can I Expect During A Gyrotonic Lesson?
Gyrotonic exercises are performed in small groups or in one-on-one private lessons. Gyrotonic group classes in our studio are limited to 3 people which ensures each person will receive personal attention from the instructor throughout the class. Students may exercise barefoot or with socks (preferably ones with sticky grip on the bottom), but no shoes. Do expect to be touched by the instructor as it is necessary to help you get into the right position. You will not, however, be groped. Gyrotonic instructors are taught how to carefully and respectfully assist students manually with just the right amount of pressure for each individual. You will quickly become accustomed to it and even welcome it as your instructor helps you attain the right form, extension and movement. Ambient music may play in the background or not depending on the instructor's preference and your ability to connect your mind with your body and your breathing. You will be taught at your speed, at your ability level. If in a group class, more advanced students may be given options to increase the challenge of the exercise. The exercises will feel unlike anything you have ever done before. They will be taught slowly, adding or layering in new elements of the exercise as your mind and body are ready. Do not expect a cardiovascular work out. Advanced students who have practiced for several years and who have a clear understanding and ability to perform all aspects of the exercise are able to move from one exercise to the other so as to get a great cardiovascular workout, if desired, but that is not the main intent of the method. Students often report they leave a Gyrotonic session feeling more open, free, energized, alert and focused, yet peaceful and calm.
How often should Gyrotonic exercise be practiced?
One to two 1 hour sessions per week are suggested, although each individual will have personal goals and circumstances.
What does Gyrotonic equipment do?
Pulley Tower Combination Unit
The Gyrotonic Pulley Tower Combination Unit is the result of over thirty years of research and development, and is the most widely used piece of Gyrotonic equipment. The pulley tower provides smooth, even support and resistance via a unique, weighted pulley system that allows the body to move freely in the air against resistance but with support. The adjustable bench and
and rotating handle unit provide supported traction whereby the spine can be elongated to it's furthest extent and through it's fullest range of motion. can be customized to fit the individual proportions and movement capacities of each user. The design of the equipment supports the full, and natural range motion of the joints, allowing for three-dimensional, functional movement, and eliminating the sharp starts and stops where most injury occurs.
Jumping - Stretching Board
The Jumping-Stretching Board is a sliding environment and is different from a resistance or a simply supportive environment in that it is unstable -- forcing the nervous system to respond completely differently. A broad range of exercise sequences and modification options make the Jumping-Stretching Board accessible to people of all levels of strength and flexibility.
Jumping-Stretching Board exercise sequences are composed of full body, functional exercises, performed in a variety of body positions- kneeling, standing, lying and sitting. A diverse range of standing exercises improve flexibility, coordination, and functional strength. The ergonomic, gliding platform allows users to experience running and jumping in a low impact, horizontal plane, with the spine and pelvis fully supported, making it ideal for post injury exercise. Four independent gliding slides, with optional rotating platforms, provide for challenging strength and coordination sequences.