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RUNNING ON AIR

By Matt Kraemer PT, DPT, ATC, CSCS

The Alter-G, G-Trainer, has landed at Endurance Rehabilitation in Arcadia.

Gone are the days of long recoveries, runs missed due to injury, and unachieved time splits. With the usage of the G-Trainer, athletes form all backgrounds and levels can train and compete to their full potential. This gravity altering treadmill allows the user to reduce their effective body weight (amount of weight and force they have to absorb while running) and train to their full potential without symptoms.

Designed and produced by Alter G, in Menlo Park California, this futuristic treadmill uses air pressure to lift the user and therefore unweight them allowing for greater ease with walking and running. A surprisingly quiet airflow system continually adds and removes air in the see through bubble that surrounds the user from the waist down. This change in pressure is determined by a force plate in the treadmill platform that is constantly analyzing the forces produced. The Woodway treadmill sports a touch screen interface allowing for speeds up to 18 MPH forwards or backwards, 25% incline, and a reduction in body weight of up to 80%.

Patients and non-athletes agree, the G Trainer is a remarkable machine. By unloading a post-operative knee patient, they are able to begin gait training at a much earlier time, and therefore reduce the amount of compensation and strength loss. This allows for faster progressions in their rehab, and a quicker return to their sport. "The G-Trainer allowed me to walk normal without pain or crutches 4 weeks following ACL reconstruction", said Jerame Powell.

Athletes are also benefiting from the lack of gravity in their training with or without injuries. "Before the G Trainer I could not run past 9 miles without pain, but since using the G Trainer, I was able to increase my training mileage to 14 miles without any symptoms, in addition to reducing my pace from 9:00 min/mile to an 8:00 min/mile," said Darlene McClellan-Brosamer, recreational marathoner.

Other athletes from all walks of light are taking advantage of the unweighting properties to continue to train through injuries without symptoms and to improve their speed. By decreasing the amount of force the body has to absorb, the user is able to recruit his or her muscles faster and more rapidly, allowing for greater foot and step turnover. When utilizing this learned response by the body with normal outdoor running, speed is increased.

So whether you are recovering from an injury, trying to avoid one, or just trying to become a better athlete, the G Trainer may be your ticket to the next level.

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