Health x Wellness

Exploring Pilates and GYROTONIC Workouts for seniors

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A GYROTONIC workout is a unique exercise method blending yoga, dance, gymnastics, and tai chi to provide a holistic approach to fitness and well-being.

The method was developed by Juliu Horvath – a former ballet dancer – in the 1980s. GYROTONIC focuses on fluid, circular movements targeting the entire body. By incorporating breath control, specialised equipment, and mindful exercises, GYROTONIC enhances strength, flexibility, coordination, and balance.

The benefits of GYROTONIC extend beyond physical fitness. The method improves joint mobility, flexibility, and posture while promoting spinal alignment, relieving back pain, and enhancing overall spinal health.

It is suitable for all fitness levels, and ideal for individuals recovering from injuries or managing chronic conditions.

Breathe Pilates – in Singapore – is one of the largest studios specialising in Pilates and GYROTONIC®. Founded in 2011, the studio offers a range of Pilates and GYROTONIC® classes, including postnatal, prenatal, rehabilitative exercises, across their four outlets in 6 Raffles Quay, Galaxis, Novena Medical Centre, and Parkway Centre.


We discuss about pilates and GYROTONIC workouts with a focus on seniors with Cholthicha Srivisal, Education Director of Breathe Pilates.

the Active Age (AA): What’s the background and inspiration for Breathe Pilates?

Cholthicha Srivisal (CS): The inspiration for Breathe Pilates is rooted in passion, purpose and a genuine desire to make a positive impact on people’s lives. It’s a chance to share my and our expertise, inspire others, and create a supportive community of like-minded individuals who are committed to their health and wellness.

AA: Why is there a focus on inclusiveness vs other values/qualities more common/traditional to activities such as yoga, pilates, etc?

CS: We are driven by the belief that movement does not have to be limited by age or pain, Breathe’s mission is to empower every individual to create a life of vitality and mobility. Thus, we make sure that we are able to be home to a variety of classes to cater to different groups of people with different needs.

AA: Can you share the background about setting up a specific pilates practice/classes for seniors?

CS: In recognising the unique needs and desires of our beloved seniors, we have curated a specialised Pilates class designed exclusively for them. At our studio, we understand the importance of staying active, maintaining mobility, and enhancing the overall well-being as we age.

Our Pilates classes for seniors are thoughtfully crafted to provide a gentle yet effective exercise experience that promotes strength, flexibility, and balance. With a focus on mindful movement and individualised modifications, we ensure a safe and nurturing environment for our senior participants.

Our compassionate instructors are experienced in working with seniors and possess a deep understanding of their specific physical considerations. Through tailored exercises, we aim to improve core stability, enhance joint mobility, and foster a better posture.

AA: What are the key features and benefits of pilates specifically for seniors?

CS: Pilates is an excellent exercise regimen for seniors due to its numerous key features and benefits. It is a low-impact form of exercise, making it gentle on the joints, which is especially important for older individuals. Pilates focuses on core strength, flexibility, and balance, all of which are essential for maintaining stability and preventing falls, a common concern among seniors.

The controlled movements and emphasis on proper alignment help improve posture, alleviate back pain, and enhance overall body awareness.

Pilates also promotes increased muscle strength and endurance, enhancing mobility and making daily activities easier to perform. Moreover, it can improve respiratory function and circulation, leading to better overall cardiovascular health.

Additionally, Pilates is known to reduce stress, promote relaxation, and improve mental well-being, providing seniors with a holistic approach to health and wellness.

Overall, Pilates offers seniors a safe and effective way to stay active, improve their physical function, and maintain a high quality of life as they age.

AA: How can seniors optimise these sessions, both onsite and offsite?

CS: Seniors can optimise their Pilates classes, whether on-site or offsite, by following a few key strategies. Firstly, it’s crucial to communicate with the instructor about any specific concerns or limitations to ensure modifications are made to accommodate each individual’s unique needs. This way, seniors can participate in the exercises safely and effectively. Additionally, maintaining regular attendance and consistency is important to reap the full benefits of Pilates. Consistency helps seniors build strength, flexibility, and muscle memory over time.

Outside of class, seniors can further supplement their Pilates practice by incorporating gentle stretching and mobility exercises into their daily routine to further improve flexibility and range of motion. It is also vital to listen to their bodies and avoid overexertion, taking breaks or modifying exercises as needed. Proper nutrition and hydration are important for supporting energy levels and aiding in muscle recovery. Finally, seniors can optimise their Pilates experience by embracing a positive mindset, staying engaged, and enjoying the process of improving their overall well-being through Pilates.


AA: Can you also share more about your GYROTONIC® classes?

CS: GYROTONIC® is an innovative exercise method that offers numerous benefits for seniors. Specifically designed to enhance flexibility, strength, and overall mobility, GYROTONIC® exercises are gentle on the joints, making it an ideal fitness option for older individuals.

One key feature of GYROTONIC® is its emphasis on natural, fluid movements that engage the entire body. This holistic approach helps seniors improve coordination, balance, and posture. The unique equipment used in GYROTONIC®, such as the pulley tower and specialised benches, provides support and resistance, allowing for customised exercises tailored to individual needs and abilities. GYROTONIC® exercises also promote deep breathing and relaxation, which can help reduce stress and enhance mental well-being.

The method focuses on spinal articulation and core strength aids in maintaining a healthy spine and preventing back pain.

Overall, GYROTONIC offers seniors a comprehensive workout that targets their specific physical needs, allowing them to regain vitality, increase mobility, and enjoy an active lifestyle well into their golden years.

AA: Do you see many persons with injury opting to do pilates/GYROTONIC vs traditional physiotherapy? Why do you think so?

CS: Many individuals with injuries are increasingly choosing to engage in Pilates or GYROTONIC® exercises as an alternative to traditional physiotherapy.

One reason for this shift is the emphasis on a holistic approach to healing and rehabilitation. Unlike traditional physiotherapy, Pilates and GYROTONIC® focus on the entire body rather than just the injured area. These exercise methods aim to restore balance, strength, and flexibility of the entire musculoskeletal system, promoting overall wellness and preventing future injuries.

Moreover, Pilates and GYROTONIC® exercises offer controlled and low-impact movements that are gentle on the joints, making them suitable for individuals with a wide range of injuries. The specialised equipment used in these methods provides support and resistance, allowing for targeted rehabilitation while minimising strain on vulnerable areas.

Additionally, the mind-body connection fostered through Pilates and GYROTONIC® helps individuals develop body awareness and control, which can enhance the effectiveness of their rehabilitation process.

Overall, the combination of a comprehensive approach, gentle movements, and individualised exercise regimens makes Pilates and GYROTONIC® attractive options for those seeking a more integrated and effective method of injury rehabilitation.


Pictures are provided by Breathe Pilates.