What’s the Difference Between Classical Pilates and the GYROTONIC® Method?

Living a healthy lifestyle is all about balance. From the foods we eat to the ways we choose to exercise our bodies. But deciding which exercises are best suited to meet our fitness goals and lifestyle isn’t always a black and white decision. 

At Mind 2 Body™ Studio, we like to highlight the benefits of a variety of total body training programs, including Classical Pilates and the GYROTONIC® method. Both techniques are aimed at improving flexibility and core strength, as well as connecting the body and mind to create a wholistic exercise experience. 

However, there are differences between the two methods. Whether you plan to use the two programs in tandem or focus on one specific technique, make sure you know the basics of each before your next workout. 

Classical Pilates

Developed more than a century ago, Classical Pilates is based on the original teachings of founder Joseph Pilates. It focuses on six traditional principles: centering, concentration, control, flow and breath. Together, these principles help strengthen core muscles, improve awareness, increase stamina and reduce tension throughout the body. 

There are more than 500 distinct exercises within the Classical Pilates methodology, which means there’s a huge opportunity to tailor your workout to accommodate individuals fitness needs while always keeping things fresh. Although many exercises use specialized equipment and apparatus to improve range of motion and build strength, you can also complete Classical Pilates workouts with little or no additional gear. This added flexibility makes it easy to maintain fitness both in-studio and at home. 


On the other hand, the GYROTONIC® exercise method was developed by Juliu Horvath in the mid-1970s. The technique focuses on improving agility and strength through circular movements that help maximize range of motion. At its core, the GYROTONIC® exercise method hinges on four key principles: intention, stabilization, decompression and coordination.

Much like Classical Pilates, the GYROTONIC® exercise method works to improve balance in a low-impact environment. The fluid, circular, spiraling, and undulating movements that are the hallmark of the discipline are primarily done using equipment, with a major emphasis on the Pulley Tower apparatus. Though the GYROTONIC® exercise method may seem overwhelming at first glance, it’s designed to accommodate individuals of all fitness levels and backgrounds. With the right instructor and studio, it’s easy to progress through the discipline and build up new skills.  

Which Exercise Program Is Right for Me?

Both Classical Pilates and the GYROTONIC® exercise method provide an exceptional platform to build fitness levels, flexibility, and core strength. In practice, you’ll likely find that experience in one only improves your understanding of the other.

Still, in many ways, deciding which program is best for you comes down to personal preference and health goals. For example, if you’re recovering from a recent knee injury or have limited range of motion, the GYROTONIC® exercise method may be a better fit. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a customizable program that you can do in the studio and on the road, Classical Pilates may the right choice. By taking the time to become familiar with both disciplines, you can be sure you’re making the fitness decision that best aligns to your lifestyle and goals. 

Interested in learning all the ins and outs of these exercise methodologies? Drop us a line at info@mind2body.net to get started. Our team of expert trainers is eager to assist new clients on their journey to total body fitness.