Range Pilates offers Gyrotonics training | ParkRecord.com

Range Pilates offers Gyrotonics training

Tracy Powers demonstrates the variety of exercises possible on her Gyrotonics machine to both stretch and strengthen muscles. Dancers and golfers alike are turning to the new exercise for improved range of motion. Photo by David Ryder/Park Record

Look out, Jazzercise, a new form of dance-exercise has come to Park City. It’s not actually dancing, but it looks like someone getting artistic with an exercise machine.

It’s called Gyrotonics, and it was developed by a dancer. Tracy Powers runs the only studio in Park City – in Utah, for now – and she got into it through dancing. The affinity derives from the type of motion performed.

Instead of linear movements of arms and legs going back and forth, Gyrotonics requires fluid circular motions that both stretch and strengthen muscles, Powers explained.

She refers to it as a three-dimensional workout full of bending and twisting that improves range of motion. Golfers are finding it to be a secret weapon in bettering their swing, she said.

The way Powers bends and stretches on the machine looks like she’s dancing with it. For some exercises, she hooks her hands or feet up to pulleys like a reverse marionette. The ropes, straps and levers appear to be there in spite of her movements, but they are providing resistance and balance allowing her to work parts of the body neglected by standard machines.

The ropes at times counteract gravity, allowing her to isolate muscles otherwise difficult to exercise on a machine. As a result, it can feel like swimming, she said.

And it doesn’t just look like traction, it is, she said. Users often report feeling lighter and better able to stand up straight after a session.

"There’s no compression in the joints, it’s actually a decompression," she explained.

Diana Stephens, a Park City resident, has been taking classes at Powers’ studio, Range Pilates and Gyrotonics, for three months. She started out with sessions once or twice a week and now enjoys it so much she tries to go everyday.

Stephens had surgery on her shoulder and goes to Powers for help improving the range of motion of the joint.

"She gives me one-on-one advising and makes me feel safe that I’m doing it correctly and won’t hurt myself," she said.

Her favorite thing about Powers is how she explains things in different ways until Stephens understands. Powers is also punctual and well organized, she added.

Gyrotonics is getting attention in national media for helping golfers hit balls farther. Powers’ husband, Nathan, said he’s seen improvements in his own game. He helped remodel the studio and installed bamboo flooring for the Pilates workouts.

He expects the studio and Gyrotonics to catch on this winter as people look for ways to work out indoors.

"It’s a type of exercise that appeals to people who don’t want to go to crowded gyms and be watched by other people," he said.

Powers started Range, a name she chose to evoke thoughts of the mountains as much as the flexibility gained from Pilates and Gyrotonics, from her home. She moved into the studio in Prospector in summer.

The Powers are from Boston, where she began teaching Pilates part-time while working as a dancer. She became certified in Gyrotonics at a center there that combined the two practices.

She decided to leave her life as a dancer after helping a client with back pain recover. She knew then she wanted to be an instructor. Gyrotonics requires so much fluid movement that she said she doesn’t even get urges to dance. And while performers have to wait months for recitals before their hard work pays off, a teacher gets gratification daily from students, she said.

Range Pilates and Gyrotonics


2064 Prospector Square

Powers holds individual as well as small-group sessions upon appointment.

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