July 05, 2002 On NY1
Fluid Workout Of Gyro Helps To Ease Back Pain
JULY 01ST, 2002
World-renowned karate expert Shihan William Best has seen lots of exercises come and go, but the sixth-degree black belt says he has never seen anything like Gyro. Short for Gyrotonic, the workout utilizes various equipment to enhance coordination and flexibility.
“Being a martial artist for many years and having a lot of back problems from doing martial arts, what I found is that the flexibility and the focus and the fluidity and mobility that the Gyrotonic workouts help to improve really help you get more body awareness and keep your back as flexible as possible,” says Best.
Tony Morales, a master teacher of Gyrotonic and the director of Circular Power in Midtown, says the system uses key principles of gymnastics, swimming, dance and yoga to help improve movement, with a special emphasis on the spine.
“Through the circular motion you get a lot more fluidity through the spine, which gives you a healthier spine,” Morales says. “Depending on what a person wants to do with their body, they get more out of their body.”
The workout uses different machines, such as the “pulley tower,” the “jumping-stretching slide board” and the “ladder,” that all use wheels and pulleys to guide users in the fluid, continuous exercises.
Gyro has been around since the 80s. Some, such as Dance Theater of Harlem’s Lenora Pavlakos, swear by it.
“This system has increased my range of motion,” she says. “It’s helped to decompress the body from all the jumping and being thrown around in partner work. The system has helped my back and increased flexibility.”
“I have a curvature in my spine,” says Lisa York, a Gyrotonic trainer, “so I’ve had some discomfort from that. I stand up when I’m working, about seven or eight hours a day. I found that doing this, my spine feels a lot better – I used to have some pain – and I’m able to stand up and have more energy.”
Morales recently opened Circular Power in Midtown, and it’s far from one-dimensional. He says there are literally hundreds of exercises you can do.
“You can work aerobically, you can work more in a yogic vein – it depends on the person, basically,” he says.
Morales adds that people of all ages can do Gyro, and he encourages them to set their own goals for strength and weight loss.
– Cheryl Wills
888 8th Avenue (at 53rd Street)