what is gyrotonic
08 Jun

What Is the GYROTONIC Method?

Embracing holistic movement with the GYROTONIC® method


The GYROTONIC® method is increasingly popular worldwide, and there are nearly 13,000 trainers in 84 countries offering instruction in the GYROTONIC® method. Chicago Northshore Studio, gyms in Evanston, is proud to be among those programs. Despite its growing popularity, many are still unfamiliar with the unique history of GYROTONIC® and the benefits it brings when incorporated into a regular exercise routine. With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at this unique exercise practice.

The history behind GYROTONIC®

The GYROTONIC® method was created by Juliu Horvath. Horvath was born in 1942 in Temesvar, Romania. Although he excelled at gymnastics and swimming throughout his youth, at 19 he began to study dance and by 21 he was a principle dancer for the Romanian National Ballet Company. In 1970 he applied for and received political asylum in the United States. He immigrated to New York City.

After moving to the United States, Horvath danced on cars in Central Park and took other work until he found a permanent position as a principle dancer for the Houston Ballet. Sadly, his dancing career came to an abrupt when he ruptured his Achilles tendon. Still a committed athlete, as Horvath recovered he began studying yoga, eventually using his new insights into movement and healing to create his own movement system: “Yoga for Dancers.”

Horvath’s first students were mostly professional dancers, but as his reputation spread Horvath attracted a more diverse clientele. He began to adapt his system so that anyone, no matter their previous experience, age, or athletic ability, could benefit from his unique training program. This new program was called the GYROKINESIS® method.

As he continued to refine his unusual instruction style, Horvath created his own line of equipment. The GYROTONIC® method uses this specialized equipment to stretch and strengthen muscles and stimulate and strengthen the connective tissues in and around the joints. Chicago Northshore Studio offers complete training with certified instructors on all the GYROTONIC® equipment, including the Gyrotoner, Jumping-Stretching Board, Leg Extension Unit, Ladder and Archway.

Who benefits most from the GYROTONIC® method?

One of the best parts of GYROTONIC® is that it is accessible to every student. It meets the mover at his or her level, whether you are an experienced athlete or just returning from rehab. The GYROTONIC® equipment is highly adjustable, and so it can be customized for each person’s ability and range of motion. The GYROTONIC® equipment also strengthens without jarring or compression, good for people with pre-existing injuries or limited mobility.

If you’ve become interested in GYROTONIC® as a way to work out without aggravating an existing injury or disability, Chicago Northshore Kinetics has the expert answers you need. Over the years, we have worked with clients who have had a range of limitations and injuries. We believe GYROTONIC® is an excellent rehabilitative exercise program. However, we strongly recommend consulting with your health care provider before beginning any new workout regime.

Practicing the GYROTONIC® method is about harmonious participation with your body. At any level, the GYROTONIC® method will stimulate the nervous system, open your energy pathways, and increase your range of motion and joint articulation, and develop balance, strength and flexibility. Intrigued? Watch a short video about the method here or drop by our studio to observe a class.

How is the GYROTONIC® method different from Pilates?

Because of its specialized equipment system, the GYROTONIC® method is quite different from Pilates. If you want, you can do both. The two practices can complement one another since they both increase abdominal and pelvic strength. However, GYROTONIC® is not just another kind of Pilates. Expect to try something completely new when you walk into your first GYROTONIC® class.

Along with the proprietary GYROTONIC® equipment, the three-dimensional movements your instructor will teach you are designed to work the body in a circular, integrated way. These fluid movements drawn from yoga, dance, and tai-chi require more bodily awareness and control. As practitioners focus on moving the whole body in new ways, they build neuro-muscular connections and particularly improve the strength and flexibility of the spine.

Many people enjoy both Pilates and the GYROTONIC® method, and practice both simultaneously to introduce variety in their weekly workout schedule. In our studio we encourage you to do what works best to meet your fitness goals. You are welcome to attend both types of classes.

Can I practice GYROTONIC® at home?

Because the GYROTONIC® method requires using the GYROTONIC® equipment, it is something that most people must do in a studio. However, some of the basic movements that are used to open the joints and awaken the spine in a GYROTONIC® class come from the GYROKINESIS® method. GYROKINESIS® does not use the same equipment and so it can be done anywhere.


The GYROKINESIS ® method combines fluid, dance-like, 360 movements with yoga breathing techniques. Once you have learned the basic movements you can do GYROKINESIS® at home, sitting on a chair or on a yoga mat. Our studio offers classes in the GYROKINESIS® method as well as the GYROTONIC® method. Although the methods can be practiced separately, doing both at once is most effective, especially if you want to work independently at home.

Getting started with the GYROTONIC® method

From athletes, to the elderly, to those recovering from injury, the GYROTONIC® method offers a unique and accessible experience for everyone. If you are ready to try this revolutionary exercise system, sign up with our introductory package to get three private sessions at a reduced fee. Then check out our extensive class listings with our talented team. We’re excited to begin your GYROTONIC® wellness journey with you.