Enhance Your Pilates Workout with Gyrokinesis’s® Spiraling
Combining seemingly different styles of exercise into your regular fitness routine can reap tremendous benefits. . . physically and mentally. Exploring complementary workouts will not only prevent mental boredom, it will provide you with options to develop strength and flexibility. Think peanut butter and jelly, macaroni and cheese, or the mind/body connection.
Practicing Pilates and Gyrokinesis® in separate workout classes offers the best of both worlds. Mat and apparatus Pilates offer the client a series of challenging exercises designed to strengthen and elongate the body’s core. Many people associate Pilates with apparatus that relies on springs and pulleys that add resistance. Under the watchful eye of a trained instructor, Pilates’ students learn breathing patterns that assist them as they perform a series of exercises.
As students’ skills progress, the trainer will add variations to challenge endurance, balance, coordination and range of motion. Pilates can also be practiced on a mat with no equipment at all. Some Pilates mat classes include strictly classical movements. The instructor leads students through a series of core-strengthening exercises that demand strength, focus, and concentration to be performed properly.
In order to retain interest and challenge individual clients in a class situation, some Pilates classes rely on small apparatus, ranging from the Pilates ring to soft, squishy balls, small weights, a Swiss ball or something new like gliding disks, to introduce new challenges.
So, if Pilates offers such a range of variations to meet a client’s individual needs, why try Gyrokinesis®? Why not?
Gyrokinesis® is relatively new, at least compared to Pilates, which was developed in the 1920s. It’s the name for a mat version of Gyrotonic®, an exercise system that relies on apparatus, starting first on intimidating-looking contraption called the tower.
Gyrotonic® apparatus is used with a highly trained instructor who can assess a client’s functional needs, then deftly adjust pulleys before taking the client through a progressive series of exercises that are appropriate not just for fitness. In Europe, Gyrokinesis® is commonly used as physical therapy, for injury prevention and rehabilitation. Gyrotonic, and its mat component, Gyrokinesis®, were developed by injured professional dancer Juliu Horvarth. Both systems combine movements from yoga, Pilates, swimming and tai chi to lengthen and strengthen muscles.
While Pilates is highly effective in developing a strong core, it does lack a three-dimensional component clients find appealing in a Gyrokinesis® class.
Gyrokinesis®, frequently introduced in a group or class environment, is based on a choreographed series of movement that are low-impact yet challenging when executed through a complete range of motion.
Like any other new training system, Gyrokinesis® may introduce a new vocabulary to describe challenging movements that take participants beyond traditional stretching and strength training.
Students will learn, through practice, to arch and curl the spine, to employ breathing practices to complement each motion, improving its effectiveness.
Pilates provides a firm foundation, quantified core and stability training, and there’s no doubt Pilates performance can be enhanced by the strength, flexibility and focus offered by Gyrokinesis®.
Nancy Hawkins Rigg is the founder and owner of Forever Fit Foundation, a personal training business specializing in Pilates, Gyrotonic, Gyrokinesis, Yamuna Body Rolling and sport specific training. Forever Fit Foundation accepts clients at three sites: Dover, Lewes and Mendenhall Station, Pa., just over the Delaware line. A certified athletic trainer, she earned her bachelors degree from the University of Delaware and her masters degree in exercise science and sports medicine from Miami University in Ohio. To schedule an appointment or for more information, call (302) 423-1816 or (302) 698-5201.
Publisher’s Note on Forever Fit Foundation:
It has been two years since I started taking Pilate’s with Forever Fit, and I couldn’t be more satisfied with a program. Each session is something new and challenging. My posture and flexibility have improved unbelievably. If you have ever thought of trying Pilate’s, but haven’t, then you owe it to yourself to at least try it once. Because once you do, you will never want to stop.