Cut to the Core: The Benefits of Gyrotonic Exercise

Gyrotonic exercise produces long, lean bodies—and may reduce the need for surgery.

gyrotonic exercise boston

Miriam Barbosa, Gyrotonic Master Trainer (Photo by Lumos Studio / Styling by Molly Shuster)

Stop by Charles River Gyrotonic, in Allston, and you might glimpse Gisele Bündchen among the participants performing circular movements on a Pulley Tower machine, which looks a bit like a medieval torture device.

Not only does this low-impact regimen strengthen spines, tone cores, and improve flexibility, but owner Veronique Breen says the repeated rotation helped fix her knee. “I had an MRI, and they realized that [the knee] had improved” with the exercises, she says.

It makes sense, then, that Gyrotonic machines are being used as part of physical-therapy programs at rehab centers around town. And in a recent study published by the New England Journal of Medicine, doctors at Brigham and Women’s Hospital found that physical therapy is just as effective for a torn meniscus as surgery.

Martha Mason, a partner at Cambridge’s Upward Spiral Studio, says she often sees clients who have disk injuries, scoliosis, hip issues, and other ailments—many of whom use Gyrotonics as a way to avoid going under the knife. “You can get a workout while you are seated,” Mason says. “It’s like physical therapy on steroids, and you feel incredible afterward.”