“When I discovered Gryrotonic®, I loved it!” says Kristen Thompson. “It provides a total body work-out, and it simulates the feeling of being in water and air. It draws from the movements of yoga, ballet, Pilates, gymnastics, tai chi, and swimming, but it is different because it is three dimensional.”
Owner and certified Gyrotonic trainer of the new studio KAT Movement — Gyrotonic® at 812 State Road, Ms. Thompson is enthusiastic about the benefits of this unique exercise concept.
“It was developed in the 1970s by dancer Juliu Horvath, who had sustained injuries, including to his Achilles tendon. In the beginning, Gyrotonic was a means for professional dancers to deepen their stretches and improve their fluidity of movement.”
The results were so positive that over time, athletes and others began to practice Gyrotonic. Physical therapists and members of the medical profession also recognized its value.
Arching and Curling
The foundation of the Gyrotonic form of exercise is its focus on three dimensional, spherical and fluid movements, including arching and curling the spine.
“Spinal mobility is very important for every age level,” explains Ms. Thompson. “Gyrotonic exercises are circular, elongating, and strengthening. They also help prevent injuries by toning, stretching, and increasing range of motion and flexibility. We can pay attention to one area, such as knee, shoulder, neck, etc. But it is a full body work-out and in a balanced way.
“Gyrotonic is for all ages, abilities, and agility levels,” she continues. “My focus is to help the everyday person looking for a new way to stretch, strengthen, improve posture, lessen aches and lower back pain, engage their core muscles, and increase coordination, focus, and flexibility. All ages can benefit from the gentle, fluid, circular motion that guide the body through a rejuvenating, relaxing, and renewing head-to-toe work-out.”
The unique pulley tower is Gyrotonic’s primary piece of equipment. It consists of two pieces, a seven-foot wooden tower with two sets of pulleys and a padded bench with two rotating wheels at the end. These rotating wheels allow the exerciser to perform a series of arches and curls, helping the spine to flex and extend, while simultaneously opening the chest and shoulders, explains Ms. Thompson. Weights on the pulleys provide resistance and support the movements of the legs, arms, and hands, all working in a balanced way. At the heart of all the movements is the activation of the deep core muscles.
Balance and Posture
Clients are all ages, from seven to 81, and everyone in between, says Ms. Thompson. “For older people, it can be very beneficial for balance and posture. It is truly for all ages, including kids with agility problems and medical conditions, people with sports injuries, or conditions such as arthritis. I also have clients who do triathlons. And it’s helpful for new mothers, too. It’s a great way to strengthen the muscles and work out the core, which is especially important for them.”
Ms. Thompson trained and worked with master teachers of Gyrotonic at Kinsespirit and Fluid Fitness studios in New York, and has earned Level One certification enabling her to instruct clients. Sessions are one-on-one with Ms. Thompson for 50 minutes, and are $60. Savings are available with packages of five or 10 sessions. Gift packages are also offered.
Ms. Thompson is very enthusiastic and encouraged about her studio and the numbers of clients who continue to return. “When I opened the studio in April, I completely remodeled the space. I wanted it to be warm and welcoming. I so much enjoy sharing something that I love with others and seeing them enjoy it as much as I do. And, then when they see how much better they feel after a work-out, it is very rewarding.
“This is such a beneficial way to exercise. No other exercise can move you three dimensionally and stretch and strengthen at the same time. It’s such a graceful, fluid program.”
As the Gyrotonic founder has pointed out, “The ultimate aim is to be at home in one’s body, experience greater freedom of movement, to feel unrestricted and uninhibited, to be free from pain, to be at one with the nature of oneself, and to experience exercise as a creative and delightful experience”
Ms. Thompson’s studio is open Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. by appointment. (908) 500-3470. Kthompson360@gmail.com. The studio is also on Facebook: KAT Movement — Gyrotonic®.