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Gyrotonic Vs. Pilates

author image Andrea Cespedes
Andrea Cespedes is a professionally trained chef who has focused studies in nutrition. With more than 20 years of experience in the fitness industry, she coaches cycling and running and teaches Pilates and yoga. She is an American Council on Exercise-certified personal trainer, RYT-200 and has degrees from Princeton and Columbia University.
Gyrotonic Vs. Pilates
Gyrotonic and Pilates can improve a person's body by utilizing specific principles and techniques. Photo Credit: Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images

There are hundreds of exercises out there that can make a person healthier and fit. Two popular forms of exercise that are designed to enhance a person's health and physique are known as Gyrotonic and Pilates. Both have similar exercise styles but they incorporate different techniques to give a person their desired results.

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Gyrotonic Exercise

Gyrotonic exercise was developed by Juliu Horvath in the mid-1970s. Gyrotonic focuses on improving the body's agility and strength by using circular exercise movements so the whole body works together rather than each part of the body operating separately. Gyrotonic exercise is performed on a machine consisting of weighted pulleys and rotational discs. It is an exercise comprised of four primary principles: intention, stabilization, decompression and coordination. Intention places an emphasis on guiding the body where you would like it to go, stabilization focuses on stabilizing the body throughout each movement, decompression allows the joints to move freely without constraint and coordination focuses on taking each breath, calmly, while in motion.


Pilates was developed by Joseph Pilates in the 1920s. There are six principles of Pilates: breathing, centering, concentration, control, ease of movement and precision. Breathing stresses inhaling upon extension and exhaling during flexion, centering emphasizes strengthening and using the core muscles through each movement, concentration promotes the mind and body working together in harmony to complete each movement, control focuses on having smooth and even motion, ease of movement promotes easy transitions when putting the body into motion and precision helps a person become aware of their body. Pilates utilizes a variety of stretching techniques to provide flexibility, elongation and strength to the body's muscles and brings the spine and pelvis into alignment. The machine used to perform Pilates exercises is called a reformer, which consists of leather straps, gears and springs.

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