Fitness Spotlight: Gyrotonic Exercise


The Movement Center Client Daeri on a Gyrotonic Machine

Last week, BeautyXposé had the opportunity to attend an event at one of Boston’s premier fitness facilities, The Movement Center.  What makes this gym so special, you ask?  Well, first, it’s not a gym – at least not in the traditional sense where you’re desperately waiting for an elliptical to free up, while praying the weightlifters in the corner aren’t staring at the muffin top sprouting over the elastic band of your yoga pants (hey- it’s not summer yet, and there’s still a lot of holiday leftovers to work off!).

In actuality, The Movement Center is a quaint facility with a very relaxing atmosphere – and not a treadmill in sight.

But what really makes The Center stand out is its specialization in a relatively new fitness approach called Gyrotonic.  These class exercises, performed on machines, use principles of yoga, swimming, gymnastics, tai chi and dance in order to build strength and flexibility.

logoKathy Van Patten, founder of The Movement Center, says that unlike Pilates machines, which use springs for controlled, linear movements, Gyrotonic machines’ pulley/lever systems encourage fluid, circular movements, so there is no compression on your joints.  The biggest difference?  Pilates emphasizes joint stability and core strength, whereas Gyrotonic exercises incorporate movements around and away from joints as well as articulation in the pelvis, spine and shoulder girdle.

Don’t be fooled – while the machines resemble ancient torture devices, they’re actually tame enough to cater to The Movement Center’s varied clientele ranging from young, lithe dancers to active octogenarians.  And for those who are still weary, Gyrokenesis exercises offer the same benefits, but are conducted without equipment, beginning on a chair and moving to mat work.

See it in action! Check out what Kathy has to say in our amazingly gritty video (it was taken on a regular camera since we forgot the actual video recorder – but we’d prefer to think that we’re trendy in that “reality-show raw footage” type of way).


Get in on the fun yourself!  Find a studio near you at