It may sound like something invented by NASA, but the Gyrotonic Expansion System (GXS) has more in common with Pilates than pilots. It’s a form of exercise that uses specialised machines to improve flexibility and balance as well as muscle strength.
The machines are designed to give completely smooth action without the jolting that can occur on ordinary exercise machines. They involve circular, spiralling and undulating movements to increase the functional capacity of the spine, meaning that you’ll be toned and limber without stressing your joints.
The machines consist of a weighted pulley tower and a system of adjustable handles and foot-loops to enable a whole range of different stretching and resistance exercises.
Your first session at a Gyrotonic studio should include an introduction to the machines. A qualified Gyrotonic trainer will take you through the key exercises and show you how to get the most from the system. Make sure you wear loose clothing and trainers and take a bottle of water.
The low-impact exercises involved in the Gyrotonic Expansion System mean that it’s perfect for re-habilitation after a sports injury. In fact, the system was developed for exactly; ballet dancer Juliu Horvath developed GXS in the 1960s after injuring his Achilles tendon. Nowadays, athletes and novices alike use the system and it’s ideal for anyone who wants improved muscle tone and flexibility.