Log in   •   Sign up   •   Subscribe  feed icon

Anti-Gravity Treadmill Makes Exercise Easier on the Body

Who hasn't wanted to experience the free-floating feeling of life without gravity? The Alter G Anti-Gravity Treadmill delivers that dream, albeit rolled up in the unfortunate package of mundane morning exercise.

While using such a device might make you look a bit like a partially enclosed balloon boy, you'll be able to enjoy exercise while limiting the stress on your joints.

How the hell does it work? According to Alter G, the NASA-developed treadmill creates Advanced Differential Air Pressure Technology (ADAPT), a strong lifting force that limits your effective body weight. Wearing a pair of special shorts, the runner zips into the pressurized enclosure and can control the pressure to eliminate as much as 80% of their weight. The weight can be incrementally increased to help in training and recovery.

The treadmill is designed for training and rehab applications where you need to exercise but have to be careful of straining yourself. The body condom that wraps around your torso helps keep you from slipping or falling--great for you, not so great for the world of painful treadmill slip-and-slide videos.

Perhaps they could come up with devices like this for all forms of exercise. Weight lifting would certainly be a lot easier and more motivating if you didn't have to actually feel the weight being lifted. Pull ups would also be smoother if you weighed 80% less. Heck, if they made a mobile, fully enclosed version, you wouldn't even need to exercise. Just cut your weight down to the desired number and enjoy immediate results. 

The Anti-Gravity Treadmill lugs a price tag of over $24,000, so it might be a bit more buck than bang. You can also pay for it in monthly installments of just $499--more than many car payments.

Alter G via Born Rich via Coolest Gadgets

Comments
Nov 4, 2009
by Sparrow

Interesting Device

I'm thinking this unit would be useful for those of us in wheelchairs. Being able to remove the weight off of our feet and still walk on the treadmill might make physical therapy easier.

Nov 8, 2009
by Anonymous

good thinking Sparrow

Would be nice if Alter-g could back up some of the medical claims they're making with some real science. Nothing but case studies labeled as "clinical research" all done by PT's, not MD's or IRB studies.

Nov 8, 2009
by Anonymous

AlterG thoughts

Thanks for covering the AlterG! I thought it would be helpful to answer a couple of the questions posed.

@Sparrow
You make a great point, and actually, an AlterG is currently being used by a paraplegic in Colorado, as well as people with Parkinson's and other neurological issues, where walking is either difficult or near impossible. If you, or someone you know, would like to try one, there may be a physical therapist in your area. Please email us at info@alter-g.com with your location and we'll get right back to you.

@Anonymous
Fundamentally, the AlterG is a partial weight bearing therapy device. The usefulness and medical benefits of partial weight bearing therapy are well documented, accepted and utilized by medical professionals to help patients recover from surgery or injury, or to treat neurological issues, such as Parkinson's disease. Traditionally, partial weight bearing therapy has been administered via harness systems or underwater treadmills, both of which have the major drawback that they don't allow natural range of motion for recovery and gait training. They also don't allow for "re-conditioning", where an athlete overcoming an injury can train up to full speed to maintain conditioning while healing. AlterG is unique in its ability to give a person the ability to exercise at lower body weight, with a natural range of motion and up to full speed. We are also engaged in a variety of clinical studies right now to help determine the further differences AlterG can make, beyond traditional partial weight bearing therapy.

Hope that helps!
Thanks,
Gabe
AlterG

Nov 10, 2009
by Anonymous

Prove it

quote a couple from your own web site

1. Neuromuscular and proprioceptive re-training. Any clinical research on that?
2. Lowers the risk of falling. Really? Any studies to support that claim?
3. Improves neuromuscular control and activity and promotes brain plasticity. I don’t see any studies on this claim either.

Easy, prove what you claim.