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Have You Tried Gyrotonic?

What do Madonna, Teri Hatcher, and Edie Falco all have in common? They all share a love for Gyrotonic. You might be asking yourself, "What the heck is Gyrotonic?" It sounds like some sort of sexual beverage concoction, I know, but it is an innovative, somewhat complicated form of exercise.

I usually explain that Gyrotonic is like Pilates but in three dimensions instead of just two. It is very circular while Pilates is very square. Gyrotonic emphasizes mobility and Pilates tends to focus more on stability. You can think of gyro as yoga with resistance.

The machine known as the Cobra (or Tower Pulley) resembles a medieval torture device, but don't be intimidated since looks can be deceptive. Performing the motions of Gyrotonic feels so great that you can almost forget you're exercising. The exercises (there are about 50 sets of them with multiple variations) are based on the principles of yoga, ballet, swimming, t'ai chi, and gymnastics. That's a lot of principles so you can tell it is a mind/body exercise, so workout boredom in a Gyrotonic session is virtually impossible. The system emphasizes breath control and controlled resistance to develop flexibility and strength while encouraging a complete range of circular motion. To learn more about how the "cobra" works,

The machine consists of a bench that you sit or lie on and a tower with a system of cables, pulleys, and weights, which you move with straps on your hands or feet or with handles attached to circular plates in the front.

If you are interested in trying it out, you can often find Gyrotonic instructors at many Pilates studios (the two forms are great complements to one another). Or you can check this Studio Finder function on the Gyrotonic website. The downside is that private sessions are as expensive, if not more so, than private Pilates sessions: $65 to $85 per session. Group classes are rare since the machine is so dang big.

If you have a chance to try it out, I highly recommend it.


Join The Conversation
wickedced wickedced 10 years
Hi folks... am new to FitSugar, but not new to Gyrotonic. The machine, up close and personal, is not scary at all - it's all wood and curved, and damn sexy once you get to know it. As for price, I'm in New York City but I've never seen a private Gyrotonic session be priced higher than a private Pilates session. For personal training type services you will always pay between $65 and $85. More so for really advanced or Master trainers. I know pilates has mat classes that are less expensive, and actually Gyrotonic has classes as well. I've taken two kinds of these clases - "tower" classes" that are on the cobra, but require you to have some knowledge of the system. And Gyrokinesis classes - which is the mat class version of Gyrotonic, and from what I am told, is the original workout that started Gyrotonic. So, Like Madison63 says - get on the cobra and give it a try!
madison63 madison63 10 years
i definitely found it working every muscle in my body. and i now understand how people become "leaner" because of pilates. i like this rather than lifting weights because it's less pressure on my shoulders and back.
AucuneRancune AucuneRancune 10 years
Definitely looks like some sort of torture device.
PrissyLilBadAss PrissyLilBadAss 10 years
I saw this on "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" and wanted to try it! Little to pricey for the sessions though.
scratch5 scratch5 10 years
I ahve always wanted to try this. I have some friend who really love it. But it does look like that machine could eat you!
rubialala rubialala 10 years
I'm scared of this machine.
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