Celebrity trend: Gy­ro­ton­ics

First For Women - - Contents -

A-list beau­ties are buzzing about the ben­e­fits of this unique ton­ing method. But can it re­ally melt belly flab and ease joint pain? FIRST health and well­ness colum­nist Jorge Cruise weighs in

Sure, we’d all love to have en­vi­ably jig­gle-free arms and a flat stom­ach like Wendie Mal­ick, but weight lift­ing and car­dio get so mo­not­o­nous, sweaty and painful. That’s why we were in­trigued when we heard that the Hot in Cleve­land alum doesn’t en­dure gru­el­ing sweat ses­sions to keep her fig­ure look­ing great. Her se­cret: a se­ries of slow, rolling move­ments per­formed on a Pi­latesstyle ma­chine called the Gy­ro­tonic Ex­pan­sion Sys­tem.

The method was devel­oped in the 1970s by cel­e­brated bal­let dancer Juliu Hor­vath as a way to help him stay in shape while heal­ing from an Achilles ten­don in­jury. Hor­vath de­signed the se­ries of move­ments, and even­tu­ally the Gy­ro­tonic ma­chines, to keep his mus­cles lim­ber while main­tain­ing and build­ing core strength, bal­ance, stamina and co­or­di­na­tion. The low-im­pact method grew in pop­u­lar­ity with other dancers, and soon Gy­ro­ton­ics be­gan to in­fil­trate re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion cen­ters, sports-train­ing fa­cil­i­ties and elite gyms as fit­ness buffs and celebri­ties saw its im­pres­sive re­sults.

How does Gy­ro­ton­ics work? Ex­perts ex­plain that the method (which in­cludes mov­ing with and against a se­ries of re­sis­tance pul­leys and ro­tat­ing han­dles) length­ens and tones mus­cles through­out the body, fo­cus­ing on the core and spine. The flow­ing se­quences iso­late the deep-tis­sue ab­dom­i­nal mus­cles that cinch in the waist and strengthen the lower back, while con­stant fluid arm move­ments

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