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Pilates and The GYROTONIC® Method- What's the Difference?

Pilates has become a household name with different styles and training programs as it's evolved over the years. Pilates has specialized equipment such as the pilates reformer, Cadillac / Trapeze table, and more, and there are multiple pieces of GYROTONIC® specialized equipment too. While they may look alike, it's important to address these two very different methodologies while welcoming the beauty of movement and freedom to choose what workout is for you on any particular day! You don't have to choose just one. Just keep moving mindfully and experience the differences yourself.


Looking at equipment alone and not the method, one main difference is the spring systems found on the pilates equipment vs. the pulley system with weights found on the Gyrotonic equipment. The springs help to isolate and build muscle groups. The further you pull the tension on those springs, the more tension you will feel, and the closer you are you will obviously feel less. On the Gyrotonic equipment, you will experience the same tension throughout your movement, regardless of where you are in space.

The Methods: Linear vs. 3-Dimensional

Both Pilates and Gyrotonic focus on the spine, core strength, mobility, and flexibility. Here are some key differences: Pilates has much more linear movement whereas The Gyrotonic and Gyrokinesis Methods work 3-dimensionally. In pilates, the mover is building strength and flexibility within muscle groups, controlling positions, and utilizing breath differently. Movement, breath, and connections are approached differently within the Gyrotonic Methodology, focusing on balance of the entire body as an organism, along with energies, creating stability and mobility 3 dimensionally within every joint with absolute full range of motion. The feedback of the Gyrotonic equipment complements this with its weighted pully system in fluid spirals and circles. The Gyrotonic Method activates many co-contracting muscle groups and energetic body systems to help stabilize and expand.

Pilates, Yoga, Gyrotonic, Gyrokinesis-- which do you choose?

Many studios and clinics worldwide utilize pilates, yoga, the Gyrotonic Method and other movement modalities as preferred by healthcare professionals. It can be a matter of background, training, and experience. Functional movement training is all the rage right now and for good reason. Fun fact: Pilates teachers can now obtain their CEC's through many Gyrotonic teacher training courses-- however they must become certified and licensed to teach, so to be sure to visit the the Gyrotonic headquarters website to find a licensed and certified trainer near you. If they are not listed, they are not licensed to teach. We encourage you to explore working with qualified practitioners to keep moving mindfully!

Come move with us at WAV Movement Studio located within WAV Physical Therapy located in the beautiful beach city of San Clemente and Dana Point, CA. We have clients traveling to us from Oceanside up through Long Beach. You have access here to licensed trainers offering pilates reformer classes, pilates mat, Gyrotonic Tower classes, the Gyrokinesis Method classes, yoga, Yamuna ball rolling workshops, Physical Therapy, superior Manual Therapy, and other holistic wellness services.

Our fully equipped studios with specialized equipment makes the exercise and movement experience like playing on an adult fitness playground, assisting and challenging any body from any walk of life. We will help you recover faster from injury, provide effective and enjoyable maintenance for chronic issues, improve athletic performance, and reduce the risk of future injury. Each movement system is taught methodically and mindfully, by a licensed and experienced teacher, clarifying the differences between them with care and without judgment. Come, move better, stronger, and with ease at WAV!


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