Category Archives: Running

Take Your Fitness to the Next Level this Season!

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All athletes want to be injury free and enhance performance, teens are not any different. But the pressure to focus on one sport and to excel at it year-round can result in using the same muscle groups day after day. Especially during its season, there is often very little time to rest and recover, let alone to get stronger or work preventing injury. One way to address these issues is to add GYROTONIC®, GYROKINESIS®, or Pilates to your teen or teams training program.

A GYROTONIC® program can fill the gap for teenage athletes by introducing them to basic principles (the natural circular motion of the body), this can start improving alignment, conditioning body and mind, and help protect against injury.

Since the most frequently reported changes in the body include postural improvement and alignment awareness. GYROTONIC® Method offers a profound sense of stability and strength in the low back, created partially by its focus on abdominal and core strength. For most athletes the result is decreased incidence of sports related injury and better balance and coordination.Image 1

This means that you are helping teenagers to not only play better now, but to also ultimately have less injury that could haunt them in the future.
GYROTONIC®, GYROKINESIS®, and Pilates stem from natural body movements that you will feel strengthening your muscles immediately.
motionlab pdx offers private, semi-private, or group sessions and we can work with individual team members, a few team members, or the entire team. A team that does GYROTONIC® together, stays strong to defeat the competition together.

Play stronger, longer!

Schedule a time to come in and let us help you train your body and mind in time for game day!

GYROTONIC® is Like a Vitamin for My Body.”


Meet CRISTINA YEN, founder and an owner of A Yen for Chocolate.



We are very fortunate to have Cristina coming to motionlab pdx so our clients can experience Cristina’s passion for perfect chocolate.

We interviewed her on her experience at motionlab pdx and what she thinks of the GYROTONIC® Method. Check it out!


         motionlab pdx: Cristina, you decided to try the GYROTONIC® Method because you have some back problems, is this correct?

Cristina: Yes, for the longest time I can remember. I would say in my earlier teen years; I felt back pain, especially waking up in the morning. I guess when I was young, when I was a teenager, I was really scarred of my mom, so I never wanted to tell her when I was sick (She laughs. So, I never addressed this issue, until 5 years ago, when the back pain started to feel more and more unbearable.

My mom had always criticized me that I don’t have a good posture, I don’t stand up straight. I wondered if maybe this is a reason for my back pain… I noticed that whenever I woke up it took the time from getting out from my bed and walking to my bathroom, that length of time, to straighten up. In the mornings, I was hunched and my back felt stiff and typical exercise that you can get in the gym was good, from the sense of burning calories; but it wasn’t until I started to take yoga and Pilates that I felt it had helped my back to feel better.

         motionlab pdx: How did you find the GYROTONIC® Method?

Cristina: Few years ago I did a Groupon at the other place and I felt that it helped. I did enjoy it, but it was a Groupon … when the deal was gone, I just never came back. I didn’t develop a bond with the people there, even though I enjoyed the exercise.

My real journey with GYROTONIC® started here at motionlab pdx. The experience of moving in 3D as opposed to a two dimensional way of exercising really perked my interest!

        motionlab pdx: So, you have tried a few sessions…

Cristina: More than a few by now…

         motionlab pdx: Did you notice any improvements? How does your spine feel after a session?

Cristina: I found that GYROTONIC® was like a little box of surprises.

I thought that I was coming to GYROTONIC® because I could not find an answer as why my back hurts, so I wanted to give it a try. Once I started to try…  What I noticed first was how stiff and tight I was not only in my low back, everywhere. As our sessions progressed, I learned that there is a proper way to move, there is certain way to engage a proper muscle to do certain thing; Like walking, standing, sitting, how to raise your arms.

GYROTONIC® taught me to be mindful about how to move.

That to me was very very surprising. The importance not only to move to burn calories or look toned, but how to move. I never thought about it before.

I have being doing GYROTONIC® at motionlab pdx for about a year and I keep coming back for more because I keep learning things about my body. I have never ever even thought of going back to the regular gym.

What I really like about GYROTONIC® is that, GYROTONIC® is like a vitamin for my body.

Going to the gym to me is like having a power bar. You are hungry, you don’t have anything to eat, so you eat a power bar so you have enough protein, enough sugar, enough carbs to get you through next 2 or 3 hours and then you crashed again.

To me GYROTONIC® is more sustainable way of moving, it is like an investment. You are moving so you are putting back the nourishment that your body needs. So, your body can move sustainably all way to your old age. It is how I see it, it is how I feel.

5 More Reasons to try GYROTONIC®

There was an article written about GYROTONIC® work outs by Abby Lerner from Shape Magazine that I wanted to share. She tried it and here were her reasons for switching to GYROTONIC®!

Five more reasons to break out of your forward-facing routine and try GYROTONIC®:

    1. Practicing GYROTONIC® regularly can greatly improve poor posture by lengthening the spine (so you look taller!) and strengthening the core to take pressure off of the lower back, along with opening the sternum and connecting your shoulders down your back, I even have a client ”
    2. Arching, curling, spiraling, moving helps to prevent stagnation in the body by promoting Martin says.
    3. Whittle your waist. In addition to strengthening the deep abdominal muscles around your waistline, GYROTONIC® also helps slim your midsection by improving posture (so you stand taller) and eliminating fluid and bloating from your middle (and everywhere else).
    4. Sculpt long, lean muscles. The lighter weights and emphasis on extending and expanding help build longer, leaner muscle.
    5. Focus your mind. “All of the movements engage the whole body and the whole mind, as well as coordinating breath with movement,” Carlucci-Martin says. “Many of my busy city clients love it because for one hour of their day, they come in and have to stay focused. They can’t be thinking about what they have to buy at the grocery store or what’s on their schedule for work tomorrow. They always leave feeling refreshed and relaxed but also like they’ve had a workout, which is a wonderful combination.”

Want to read the rest of her article? Click Here.

Come check out motionLab pdx and find your reason for switching to GYROTONIC®!

What Work-Outs Do You Do That Help With Your Daily Activities?

Push-ups will probably make your arms big and strong; they most likely won’t help you lift your child out of their car seat. And all those crunches you do will give you more defined abs, but do they really strengthen your core?


We are conscious of preventative treatment when it comes to check-ups at the doctor and getting our teeth cleaned at the dentist. But we see the gym as something completely separate from our day to day health.  Functional fitness can be your preventative action to keep your muscles and core healthy and strong; this can help to keep you from getting hurt, or if you do get hurt, help you to heal much more quickly.


According to a recent story on CNN Health,  functional fitness ranked eighth on the American College of Sports Medicine’s list of the top 2013 fitness trends.  You may wonder why this is the case.

I believe it is because it is becoming more common knowledge that working out, just to gain muscle mass or lose weight, is not as impactful as people would like. The man that has swollen rippling biceps may not even be able to carry his son around the grocery store, because he didn’t develop his core muscles along with his biceps.


At motionlab pdx we focus on exercising to help develop muscles in a more integrated way; with a focus on stability, strength, and stretching, all personalized to meet an individual’s needs.

We inquire into your daily activities and help you to strengthen your body in normal movement and rhythms to increase your ability to do your daily tasks; and to help prevent injuries.

Why wouldn’t we use exercise as just another preventive, full body healing experience; rather than pushing our body to the limits and not seeing any daily results?

Why do we work out?

Why do we work out?

1. How many people would say to lose weight?

  • Now how many of those people, that losing weight is their sole purpose for exercise actively, are doing it on a regular basis? Or keep it up after the weight has been temporarily lost?

2. How many people say because they like it?

  • Why do they like it? It gives them a rush of endorphins, which in turn make them feel better; then by default they lose weight, are more likely to eat better, and more likely to continue to work-out regularly.

So which one do you think is more likely to teach their children healthy exercise habits and keep up exercise throughout their own life? I think we all would agree it is more likely that #2 will.


We need to change the way that we think about daily exercise! Instead of seeing it as, “I am doing this to lose weight and eventually be healthier,” we need to see it as a way to make us feel better right now!


If we feel sluggish and slow; maybe we need to up the exercise and healthy foods.Often when we judge our physical health (no matter how good our diet is or how much we exercise) on the numbers that we see on the scale, we feel guilty or ashamed. Instead of making ourselves feel guilty for the numbers we see on scale, we need to base our health on how we feel.Michelle L. Segar, a research investigator at the Institute for Research on Women and Gender at the University of Michigan, said in an interview. “Physical activity is an elixir of life, but we’re not teaching people that. We’re telling them it’s a pill to take or a punishment for bad numbers on the scale. Sustaining physical activity is a motivational and emotional issue, not a medical one.”

If we hop out of bed every morning and are ready & excited for the day ahead then we are probably in better mental and physical health than the scale every could recognize.

Change your mind-set about what working out means to you and it will probably become easier to do, more fun, and more impactful.



Finding yourself still stuck in those winter blues?

Here are 7 remedies that might help you feel better during those winter blues:


  1. Get More Light: When the sun is out, go out and take a walk, breathe the fresh air, get some exercise, and soak in some UV rays.
  2. Watch What you Eat: Try eating foods rich in tryptophan. This includes turkey, milk, and egg whites. Also try basmati rice, bouillon, cereals, and fruits.
  3. Limit Alcohol and Caffeine: These may get you a brief lift, but often you fall further down the rabbit whole than you were before you started. Herbal tea is a much better option, gives you a lift without the heavy fall.
  4. Get Moving: Get going! Try walking, biking, swimming, or running. Even better do your work-out either outside or near a sunny window.
  5. Inhale/diffuse essential oils: Try rose, lavender, wild orange, lemon, peppermint, or frankincense.
  6. Take your vitamins: Vitamin C and D, can help give you a lift and keep you from getting sick.
  7. Take a Vacation: Go someplace sunny! Even just a few days soaking in the UV rays can make a world of difference for your season. Many people can’t just pick up and take a trip; but if you are able, do it!

Obviously these aren’t coming from your doctor and you should consult them before doing anything that you are afraid might conflict with other information they have given you. But often just getting a little sun & exercise can make all the difference.

We all know that Oregon has a pretty gray winter, so if sun is nowhere in sight we would like to welcome you into our gym for the work out that can help deter the rainy day blues.

Motionlab pdx | 3829 NE Tillamook St. Portland, OR 97212

It’s the New Year! What are you going to do about it?

The New Year brings exciting changes and developments. It brings the hope of changing our jobs, health, and relationships.

Most know that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results; However how many of us still eat the same way, exercise the same, think the same way, and hope that our body will change? If we are honest probably over half would say that they do this.

Heart Healthy Food

We all have our misconceptions about health, and every person has a different belief about what being healthy really means to them; but I came across this quiz that tells you how healthy you really are (according to their understanding about what health is) by answering a few simple questions. Some of the questions may come across as a little silly, but when you finish it will clarify the questions & your answers.

At motionlab pdx we customize your work-outs and health plan according to your needs and desires. We want you to be at your best, so we work with you to reach those goals and rally around you to support your choices.

Many people find that it is easier to work out and to successfully implement a diet if they have others on their team. This can come from friends and family that are on board, but more likely it is a gym and a trainer/teacher.

We would love to be your support system, and to help you reach your goals!

Are the Weather Changes in Portland Getting You Down?

You Are Not Alone and We Are Here To Help You

rainWhether you realize it or not, the weather plays an important role in your mood each and every day.  While sunshine can boost your mood and energy; the cold, dreary, damp weather we often have in the fall and winter in Portland, Oregon can zap both and leave you feeling depressed.

Scientists have linked the depression that coincides with a dearth of sunlight to the hormone melatonin, which regulates sleep. When sunlight fades, some of us produce copious amounts of melatonin, contributing to the drowsy, out-of-sorts feeling that can plague our fall and winter days. About 20% of Americans report feeling more depressed during the chilly season. (

So, what can you do to combat this? Exercise and Nutrition are two elements you can control and both can play a huge role in improving your mood and overall health. Sure, popping a pill or laying in a tanning bed might seem easier, but both come with their own sets of side effects. Exercising can actually be fun, and enjoyable when you find the right type of exercise for you. That is where we come in to help. We offer a variety of classes and one on one or two on one personal training sessions for GYROTONIC® , GYROKINESIS® or Pilates.

Take your health into your own hands and don’t let Mother Nature get you down.


Contact us today at 503-515-1776 to schedule a consultation!

Motionlab pdx | 3829 NE Tillamook St. Portland, OR 97212

GYROTONIC® for the Active Oregonian

The Benefits of

Portland, Oregon and the Pacific Northwest are known for many things; beautiful scenery, rainy weather, exceptional food, beer and wine, and an array of outdoor activities, including cycling and running. Most avid runners know, that in order to continue to enjoy running for years to come you have to take care of your mind, body and spirit. Whether you are just starting out with a Couch to 5k, are training for a running event like Hood to Coast or the Portland Marathon, or are simply an avid runner like me, The Running is the number one participant sport in the world. The benefits or running far outweigh the risks. Warming up and stretching are essential, yet it still remains that over 60% of runners get injured each year. How can this be prevented? With proper flexibility, training and exercise.

Think of your body and the impact each step you take has on it, if you do not have a strong core, good posture and strong muscles, the impact each step makes is far more damaging than if your body was equipped to handle it. When you are running the body needs to absorb the impact you take and move fluidly through the motions, otherwise you end up with shin splints, runners knee, or worse. This is where GYROTONIC® helps you build a solid core, good posture, strong muscles and fluidity in motion to help your body absorb more of the impact while running.