SUSPENDED ANIMATION: ALTERG ANTI-GRAVITY TREADMILL
State-of-the-art rehab tools and equipment are often found so effective they make their way into the gym for general population training. The latest piece of equipment to do so is the AlterG Anti-Gravity Treadmill, which I had the opportunity to check out last week at Body Space Fitness in NYC. Originally designed by Nasa, AlterG treadmills can unweight up to 80% of a person’s body, allowing for stable support, unencumbered movement, and continued training through injury. These treadmills are used by professional athletes such as LeBron James, Derek Jeter, Kobe Byant and Kara Goucher, and can be found in the training rooms of many NFL, MLB, and NBA teams, in addition to collegiate sports programs and Olympic Training Centers.
As Body Space Fitness owner, Kelvin Gary, told me, “running is a contact sport”, and for those with joint and mobility issues, the AlterG allows them the benefits of running without the impact to the body. Wearing neoprene shorts with a skirt that is zippered into the inflatable chamber, the treadmills use Differential Air Pressure that literally lifts you while you run. Kelvin integrates intervals on the AlterG into training sessions with his clients, and they also book time on their own on the treadmill as part of their regular cardio training regimen.
Training for the NYC Marathon myself right now, I am happily still healthy. With a few more months of training to go and bigger mileage ahead, the AlterG would be an ideal way to keep running should overuse injuries arise. I am hoping, however, not to have to put it to the test. One way or the other, see you at the starting line November 2nd!