If you’ve been coming to Simply Balanced for any length of time, or if you’ve walked into the mat room at all, you’ve noticed that huge, interesting looking machine we call the Gyrotonic. What many of our clients don’t know, however, is what exactly Gyrotonic is and how it compares to Pilates.
Although we call the machine in our studio a “Gyrotonic,” it is actually called “The Pulley Tower,” and is one of five machines used in an exercise system called Gyrotonic. It is a system which originated in the dance world, then moved to incorporate gymnastics, and eventually made its way to the rest of us as exercise through choreographed movement. Similarly to Pilates, there is a mat element in addition to the machines; the mat work is called Gyrokinesis.
The Pulley Tower, like some of the other Gyro machines, is a pulley and weight based system which enables free form movement in virtually any direction. Through constant (or nearly constant!) choreographed movement, clients are able to increase their strength while increasing mobility and muscle endurance at the same time. Movement and increased freedom of mobility are hallmarks of Gyrotonic exercise, as well as major toning and muscular fitness. The benefits are far reaching: injury prevention, joint strength, cardiovascular endurance, coordination, and more. Because clients are strengthening muscles as they move, working together as a system, they are able to fix muscle imbalances and teach their bodies how to move as a whole. The many benefits of Gyro make it a wonderful exercise for almost anyone, regardless of age or fitness level.
Tony Guidera, our Gyrotonic instructor at Simply Balanced, incorporates element of both mat and machine based Gyro, as well as his own choreography, to create custom workouts for each client. Because Gryo focuses so much on choreography, there is a series Tony goes through, but he also tailors it to fit each client’s needs. A typical workout with Tony begins with his 21 minute intense series on the mat, including both cardio and total body strengthening simultaneously. Although the rest of the workout may change from person to person, he has each client do the mat series (take it from us – it’s hard!) each time. Why? Because it’s rewarding; you’ll quickly start to see major improvements in your body and stamina.
Tony has taught clients ranging from age 14 to age 78, which is truly a testament to the versatility of the Gyrotonic system. Some clients come looking for a cardio workout, and some for stretching, toning, or rehabilitation from injuries. Many cross-train with Pilates, yoga, and other forms of exercise, although some stick to Gyro exclusively. It all depends on the needs of the individual client.
If you are interested in trying Gyro for yourself, contact Tony by email at [email protected] to set up an appointment. You can also contact our front desk for more information at [email protected]. In the meantime, don’t be intimidated by The Pulley Tower – we promise it’s not as scary as it looks!