The "anti-gravity treadmill" was originally invented by Robert Whalen, a biomechanics researcher at NASA Ames Research Center, in the 1990s. Whalen designed a treadmill that would let astronauts run in a more natural way. The design, patented in 1992, encloses a treadmill and the astronaut's lower body in an airtight chamber. Lowering the air pressure inside the chamber pushes the astronaut down, simulating gravity.
In 2005, the technology was licensed to a company called AlterG, which appears to have coined the term "anti-gravity treadmill." Instead of adding weight to astronauts in space, AlterG uses the technology to take the weight off of rehab patients recovering from leg and foot injuries.
The AlterG may not have skyrocketed like the original creators intended, but it has revolutionized many people's lives. Professional athletes, weekend warriors, post-surgical patients, and many others have benefited from the anti-gravity technology of the AlterG.
How it Works:
AlterG looks like an overcomplicated toy and might even feel like one when you first strap in. After all, most people haven't ever felt the weightlessness of an anti-gravity chamber. After stepping into a neoprene skirt/short combination, the skirt is zipped into the larger chamber that will allow for the gradual decrease in gravity.
Once you're zipped in, the treadmill will calibrate by measuring your weight. From there you can take the option to make yourself feel up to 80% lighter. With just the push of a button you can expedite your healing or limit the chance of injury for professional athletes.
Who is it For?
The AlterG isn't just for the pros. While the Denver Broncos and Kansas City Royals are among the list of proud AlterG users, the list of patients recovering from sports related injuries, surgeries, or chronic health disorders is even longer.
The AlterG Pro200 will revolutionize any athletes training routine and prepare even the most competitive and strong runners to surpass their prior best personal times.
With the Pro 200+, athletes can push themselves harder, for longer, with less risk of injury. The fall-safe environment and high-end performance capabilities are ideal for:
- Increasing mileage and pace without compromising recovery
- Reducing impact during plyometric and strengthening exercises
- Complete biomechanical training—lateral, backwards, and form drills
- Conducting over-speed training and promoting better leg turnover
Don't worry if you don't rub shoulders with the pros, the AlterG is also for people struggling to recover from injury. Movement will help you heal faster and will aid in your recovery by giving you the opportunity to keep up with your regular workout, giving you less to catch-up on when you're back to full mobility.
But Don't Take My Word For It:
Here's NASA's glowing review of the anti-gravity treadmill:
Professional and college sports teams across the United States feature the AlterG treadmill in their training facilities. Injured soldiers walk and run with the technology’s assistance at military hospitals and rehabilitation centers. Seniors get essential exercise using the support the machine provides, as do people with bariatric weight issues who cannot normally support their own weight. The treadmill has been a proven option for neurological uses as well, including helping patients re-learn proper balance and gait and transition to independent movement after traumatic brain injury.