Have you ever been stricken with a lower body injury that has prevented you from placing your full body weight on your legs? It’s a common injury and disability among competitive runners, older folks, and those with a weight condition.
It can sometimes prevent you from getting out of bed, let alone going for a walk or run. So what are you to do? If you’re an athlete, time is precious and you can’t afford to slowly slip out of shape.
The standard procedure is to see a physical therapist who will use a combination of stretching and strengthening exercises to slowly bring you back to your full fitness capabilities. Recently, there’s been a new product developed with the help of NASA technologies that allows a person to run/walk on a treadmill at less than your body weight. It’s called an anti-gravity treadmill, and it creates a way for you to run or walk on anywhere from 100% of your body weight all the way down to 20% of your body weight. It’s really interesting how it works.
Essentially, the treadmill consists of a standard looking treadmill with a “cockpit” that’s attached to the base and extends up to around the user’s waist. It’s basically an inflatable enclosure that you’ll step into on the treadmill. While using the treadmill you’ll wear a pair of tights which connects to the cockpit acting as a harness.
Once the treadmill calibrates your body weight, you can increase or decrease the air pressure in the chamber which gently lifts you from the ground. You can increase pressure chamber until you’re walking or running on only 20% of your body weight! The treadmill is really cool because it allows you to continue walking or running even when you have a lower leg injury.
Currently it’s being used by professional track athletes as well as other major NCAA and professional sports teams. It’s made by a company in California called AlterG, and they don’t list the cost of it on their website. I’m sure it’s really expensive, but maybe in the coming years the price will go down and we’ll all get to try it out.