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Pilates and Gyrotonic FAQ

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PILATES AND GYROTONIC FAQ

What is the difference between Pilates and Gyrotonic?

Both Pilates and Gyrotonic are specialized exercise methods which help elongate muscles and create strength. The two methods are complementary to one another, and many of our clients find that they achieve maximum results using both. Here are some of the differences:

  • Gyrotonic works on “releasing” and exploring the limits within a controlled range of motion. Pilates helps you become more controlled and aligned.
  • Pilates uses spring resistance while Gyrotonic uses a pulley and weight system.
  • Gyrotonic is more circular or 3 dimensional. Pilates is more linear or 2 dimensional.
  • Gyrotonic requires more control through a larger range of motion. Pilates requires more focused control.
  • Gyrotonic is unique for its circling, spiraling and undulating motion patterns which help strengthen all of the body’s internal support structures.
  • Both teach you how to move with connection and fluidity to create greater awareness of your body.

What is the difference between Pilates/Gyrotonic and Yoga?

All three systems integrate the mind and body. In some respects Pilates/Gyrotonic are like Yoga. Both are considered mind-body type of movement whilst yoga is a complex series of exercises designed to prepare the body and mind for spiritual purposes. Both emphasize deep breathing and smooth, long movements that encourage the mind-body connection. The difference is that while Yoga requires moving from one static posture to the next, Pilates/Gyrotonic flow through a series of movements that are more dynamic, systematic and anatomically-based incorporating resistance equipment. The goal with these exercises is to strengthen the postural muscles while achieving optimal functional fitness.

Who can do Pilates and Gyrotonic?

These technique are progressive and is suitable for people from all walks of life. From people who suffer from back pain, osteoarthritis and posture related pain to dancers and Olympic athletes, who use Pilates to improve movement control, prevent injuries and improve performance.Our exercises are easily and readily adapted to each individual’s needs and strengths. Seniors should get a doctor’s approval before beginning these programs.

Can I do Gyrotonic and Pilates if I’m injured?

Gyrotonic and Pilates are inherently rehabilitative. It is being used more and more frequently by the medical community and in physical therapy clinics for its ability to isolate, strengthen and stabilize the muscles, tendons and ligaments of the body without any stress on the joints. However, please consult your doctors and physical therapists before you take on any form of exercises when the injuries are being healed.

How about orthopedic surgery recovery?

Pilates/Gyrotonic are excellent for orthopedic surgery recovery, and is an integral part of surgery rehabilitation for many physical therapists and orthopedic surgeons. The smooth, even movements and lack of jarring start to finish while using the equipments is very restorative. It is important that you receive clearance for your doctors or therapists before beginning your Pilates/Gyrotonic training. This will allow your instructor to develop a safe and effective exercise program tailored to your needs.

Can I do Gyrotonic and Pilates when I’m pregnant and post-partum?

No two women’s bodies are the same, and this is especially true during pregnancy. There are workouts that are quite appropriate for some people during pregnancy and not for others. During a normal, healthy pregnancy, moderate exercise is safe for the fetus. Exercise is also said to prevent varicose veins, hemorrhoids and low back pain and helps to boost self esteem, maintain fitness level and prepare the body for the physical demand of motherhood. The workouts that we design for prenatal is adjusted over the course of the pregnancy. They are also great for post-partum recovery including toning the core and pelvic floor, and maintaining better posture.

I have a bad back. Will I be able to do Pilates and Gyrotonic?

Although you should always consult your physician before starting any fitness routine, the workout is gentle and controlled with no sudden jarring actions. It is therefore more important that you work with a qualified instructor to ensure that you are doing the movements correctly. An experienced instructor will be able to modify the exercises to accommodate your limitations, continually challenge you within your range and monitor your improvements. If you commit yourself to a consistent workout schedule you will certainly feel results.

Will this enhance my performance in other sports?

Absolutely. These methods, only recently becoming more and more mainstream, have been practiced by pro athletes, dancers, celebrities, and physical therapists for years. Pilates and Gyrotonic strengthen your core, improves your flexibility, balance, and uniformly develops strength and coordination throughout the entire body. No matter what kind of athlete you are, your performances will improve greatly.

Can Gyrotonic and Pilates replace strength/weight training and cardio?

It is entirely up to you. Gyrotonic and Pilates are musculo-skeletal conditioning and strength training. Both Pilates and Gyrotonic are resistance based exercise methods that create strength without bulk, a lean and sleek result not found from lifting weights. There is also a cardiovascular component to these methods, especially at the more advanced level. For cardiovascular health, once you have gained familiarity with the chosen method, you will be able to move through those exercises with continual fluidity thus providing you with an aerobic workout. However, if you are looking at achieving different fitness goals through good functional strength/weight and cardio training, i.e. increasing speed, power and strength for your athletic endeavor, then complement your weight training with Gyrotonic/Pilate will help you get faster and all rounded results. You can also incorporate our program into your regular routine (walking, running, aerobics, aqua fitness etc.)

How can Gyrotonic and Pilates be different than weight training or other resistance exercise?

  • the spring resistance and pulley system more closely resembles muscular contraction
  • emphasis on concentric/eccentric contraction for injury prevention
  • the exercises can be customized for special needs
  • emphasis is placed on rebalancing muscles around the joints
  • corrects over-training and muscle imbalance that leads to injury
  • emphasizes balancing strength with flexibility
  • for injury prevention and more efficient movement
  • improvement in posture and body awareness
  • weight training and Pilates/Gyrotonic can be combined in your fitness program and are a great complement to one another

How many times a week should I commit to the workout in the beginning?

Initially 2 to 3 times a week is ideal, especially for the first 6 to 8 weeks. It is important to gain familiarity and invest your time and energy to learn it. Thereafter, we recommend at least once a week depending on your lifestyle. You can choose Pilates/Gyrotonic as your only fitness program or you can incorporate them into your other fitness routine.

Can I lose weight doing Pilates/Gyrotonic?

They can compliment your weight loss program. A lot of our clients reported downsized of their waist, legs and arms, as well as having a lean and graceful appearance. If your goal is to lose weight, you have to also look into other factors that might contribute to the success, i.e. hormonal health, dietary habits, overall lifestyle habits etc.

How fast can I see result?

It depends. Some people feel the effect of the workout in one session, some have to experience a few sessions before they start to notice a different. Most of the people choose Pilates as their regular exercise routine to maintain physical fitness. As always, the more you put in to your sessions, the more you will get out of them. The results may vary also depending if the client is participating in private or group classes, frequency of the sessions, doing other forms of physical activities, or having any existing injuries and health issues.

Will I get the same results with a mat workout as with equipment workout?

Mat-based workouts are very convenient and can be done anywhere. Adding the larger resistance equipment will add much more variety and intensity to your program. Furthermore, the equipment not only can add challenge to your workout, it can assist you in accomplishing moves that you might not able to do in mat workout and fine tune your alignment to achieve greater results.

Should I start with mat or equipment?

Equipment uses specialized spring resistance to build strength, flexibility, coordination and increase range of motion. Mat-based workout requires you to provide your own resistance solely through the use of your own body. Initially, equipment workout may provide more immediate tactile/sensory feedback, but has a steeper learning curve do to the use of equipment. Mat is the basis for the system and allows one to jump right in, but in the beginning the practice may be enhanced with the use of the equipment. It’s great to do both equipment and Mat right from the beginning.

Is the equipment good for flexibility?

Yes. They can guide your muscles through a gradual and gentle stretch to minimize injuries associated with sudden and over stretching of the muscles.

Will I “grow taller” by doing Pilates/Gyrotonic?

Much of these exercises requires you to look within, focus on your breathing, and feel the subtle differences within your body. The decompression of the spine which is one of the main goals, as well as by strengthening the postural muscles, people have learned to maintain good posture thereby appearing taller.

Will I feel sore afterwards?

Since every Pilates class includes a stretch and a strength component, as well as a warm up and cool down, you will feel minimal soreness. Most people feel energized after their sessions.

What do I wear to classes?

You should wear clothing that is comfortable and fitting. Yoga pants and a slim-fitting T-shirt or tank top are good options. Socks are mandatory for hygiene purposes. We suggest that long hair be tied back, and remove any jewelry for safety purposes.