GYROTONIC® is a holistic system of movements that gives strength and flexibility, and a great deal more. Our lives are full of stress and stress has a memory that goes straight to the fascia fibers, the membrane that envelops our anatomical structure. With time, pain can develop. GYROTONIC® movements help you release this stress, while at the same time improving your posture and helping you to connect body and mind. Little by little, instead of absorbing stress, you will draw energy from it through movement. The technique will make you feel more alive, move the way you've always wanted to, and connect your body and soul. This is an excellent discipline for everyone from the age of 15 to 99, with a special program for dancers and athletes focused on prevention and rehabilitation.
Gyrotonic® is a real tonic and celebrities do it
Dancers have been using it for years. Chiropractors are starting to use it to compliment their practices. Gyrotonic ® exercises the musculature while mobilizing and articulating the joints, simultaneously stretching and strengthening the body with minimal effort. Gyrotonic® has attracted an impressive list of celebrities and athletes, from pro golfers Tiger Woods and Mark Wilson to Madonna, Naomi Campbell, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jennifer Anniston, Liv Tyler and Julianne Moore. That's because its a great way to get the long, lean dancer's body that Hollywood celebrities are flaunting. Using one primary machine, the Gyrotonic Expansion System®, lengthens and tones muscles in a set of sequences similar to a dance. The System, which is built around the human body, allows for total freedom of movement, with no restriction to speed and versatility. The best part is that you're forced to use your core muscles during every exercise, the only real way to get definition in the abs. The one-on-one sessions are highly personalized and designed to work with everyone from the most advanced yogis to someone recovering from an injury. The arch and curl movements, which is the basis of each exercise, helps to elongate the spine, while strenthening the core. Internal benefits touted by Gyrotonic® include increase circulation, better coordination, draining of the lymphatic system and increased mobility in the joints and stimulation of the nervous system. At more advanced level (the exercise has seven levels) you get the benefits of a cardiovascular and weight training workout.
When she vaults across the stage at Earls Court tonight, Madonna's toned physique and extraordinary flexibility will make her the envy of women of all ages. But there is a secret behind the 58-year-old mother of two's incredible elasticity. Madonna makes weekly visits to north London fitness guru James D'Silva, who is one of the few pioneers of the Gyrotonic Expansion System®. He tutors Madonna from a studio below a small estate agent in St John's Wood, for £60 an hour. Gyrotonic® was developed by Romanian ballet dancer Juliu Horvath to help prepare dancers for the stage.
Gyrotonic Expansion System®
The Gyrotonic Expansion System® consists of Gyrotonic® (equipment-based) and Gyrokinesis® (mat-based) exercises that draw from ballet, swimming, yoga and Qi Gong (an ancient Chinese practice of cultivating energy through the mind, pronounced chee gung). Gyrotonic® ("gyro" meaning circle or spiral and "tonic" meaning invigorate or strengthen) and Gyrokinesis® ("kinesis" meaning movement) focus on spine flexibility and incorporate circular, rotational and three dimensional movements unlike traditional strengthening exercises (think bicep curls vs. pirouette). Even though the development of Gyrokinesis® preceded Gyrotonic® (Horvath came up with the theory and basic movements before he developed the equipment), It's better to start with a private Gyrotonic® session before participating in a Gyrokinesis® class, because it's actually easier to learn the movements using the equipment.The Gyrotonic® equipment we used is called the Pulley Tower Combination Unit, and is made up of a pulley tower with wrist and ankle straps and a moveable bench with two discs that are turned with handles, called the handle unit. Much of the philosopy is based on yawning, letting the body open naturally. That delicious feeling follows you feeling more open, invigorated, and bodyaware throughout the rest of your day.
Gyrotonic® for Injury Prevention and Rehabilitation
Now that Pilates and yoga have become mainstream, and you thought they were all you needed to develop your core strength and flexibility, along comes something to show you there's more to learn. Gyrotonic® training is the next step - circular, flowing movements that work to integrate movement patterns while increasing coordination, flexibility and strength. Gyrotonic® helps triathletes perform better while avoiding injuries, what more could you want? Gyrotonic® emphasizes the breath as a source of energy to initiate your movements. Although Pilates and Gyrotonic® develop abdominal and pelvic floor muscles, Gyrotonic® movements are three dimensional, spherical and fluid, whereas Pilates movements are typically more linear and finite. Also, like Pilates, Gyrotonic® first became popular with dancers, athletes, and then physical therapists. It has become so popular in the last three years that the number of studios offering Gyrotonic® lessons has tripled worldwide; no small feat. The Gyrotonic Expansion System®'s primary piece of equipment is a pulley tower that consists of two pieces: a sevenfoot-tall, gracefully-carved wooden tower with two sets of pulleys, and a padded bench with two rotating wheels on one end. The rotating wheels allow you to perform a series of arch and curls which smoothly guide your spine through flexion and extension while simultaneously opening the chest and shoulders. Weights on the pulleys provide resistance and support the movements of your legs, arms, or hands in the pulley's straps. At the heart of all the movements is the activation of the deep core muscles.
Besides being popular with dancers, athletes, and anyone else that wants to improve their fitness and athletic performance, Gyrotonic® and Gyrokinesis® have a huge following in the medical field. Because of the balanced approach, both disciplines are ideal for muscle, ligament and tendon recovery without sacrificing fitness. These days, athletes are discovering the benefits of core conditioning and injury prevention training as an addition to their training programs. Gyrotonic® and Gyrokinesis® fit the bill by providing three dimensional movements that strengthen and open the body functionally to complement an athlete's rigorous training.
Fascia - The new buzzword a Gyrotonic® trainer needs to know?
'FASCIA' has become the new buzzword in the mindful movement culture which includes the practices of the GYROTONIC® Method as well as Pilates and Yoga. Progressive physical therapists, massage therapists and body workers alike are paying attention to new studies on this topic and the possible implications for their professional fields. The word 'fascia' is Latin for 'band'. In anatomical terms, the fascia is a layer of tough, collagenous connective tissue that spreads throughout the entire body without interruption,just like a three dimensional web. Fascia surrounds, encloses, supports and protects all structures within our bodies: muscles, bones, ligaments, tendons,blood vessels and organs. Even the brain and the central nervous system are enwrapped and supported by fascial sheets. The term fascia is used as a general umbrella name for different types of connective tissues. There are distinctions between superficial and deep, and dense and non-dense fascia. The superficial fascia is a thin layer of loose fatty connective tissue underlying the skin, binding it to the parts beneath. The deep fascia is the fascia that both separates and binds muscles together, allowing for them to slide over each other. The visceral fascia suspends the organs within their cavities. Fascia is a product of mesenchyme, a type of connective tissue, which develops in embryos before differentiating intonumerous other structures like bone and cartilage.If you think of this fascial network as a braided web of interconnected ropes, you can imagine that it would respond to directional tugging and pulling. If you pulled on it, the whole web would change and adjust its form according to the pull applied, while maintaining its tensional integrity. This is exactly what is happening with each movement that the body makes. The fascia is designed to follow the movement of muscles, bones and organs that it encases by allowing a glide between neighboring fascial layers. Because of the wavy orientation of its fibers, fascia is a flexible yet strong structure that can be stretched. As some research suggests, it can contract and release by itself. This can also happen as a response to stress. Injury, surgery, lack of movement and dehydration can inhibit the fascia's natural glide and stretching capacity. Any adhesion or perforation may lead to dysfunctional movement patterns in the fascial network with possibly far reaching health consequences for the whole organism. As a tensegrity system, the fascial network gives form to our bodies and keeps things in place. Most importantly, it participates in every movement, allowing for movement to occur without the body falling apart. Recent studies have found that fascia has a very high quantity of receptors, free nerve endings, blood vessels and circulating fluid. With that, fascia could be one of our strongest sensory organs. In regards to proprioception, the responsible receptors are the mechanoreceptors. They give us feed back on where we are in space, our symmetry and the biomechanics of our movements. These receptors can change the tension of the muscles that pull on fascia. Free nerve endings in the body's viscera are linked to our interoception, the sense of overall well being which is non-symmetrical and subjective. Information fed from the visceral fascia helps us with the perception of our body, whether we feel heavy, light, tall, short, dense, open and so forth. It is part of our sensuality and the feeling of being at home in our body. We rely on interoception when using our body awareness after working out and while meditating to see how we feel inside but also to get a sense of our physiological condition. Finally anywhere you move in the Gyrotonic® Method you are moving fascia.