Tried and tested: Anti-gravity treadmill

Premier League clubs use anti-gravity treadmills to help their players recover from injury - FFT finds out what all the fuss is about

What is it? 

A rehab machine developed using NASA technology to help athletes recover from lower body injuries, train at a lower intensity, and reduce the risk of recurring stress-related knocks.

More after the break

 

How does it work?

The user dons some rubber shorts that zip into an airtight enclosure on the treadmill. Pushing a button changes the air pressure so you can either walk or run using between 20 and 100 per cent of your bodyweight. 

Who uses it?

Who doesn’t use it, more like. The England team, most Premier League clubs, half of the Championship, Team GB athletes and several rugby union sides all own this hi-tech machine.

 

Why are they using it?

It allows injured footballers to begin their recoveries sooner, slowly increase the training intensity to reduce the chances of any setbacks, and recover from their problems much faster.

How much does it cost?

At £27.50 for a single session – which normally lasts for up to 45 minutes – it is affordable even for non-athletes. There are 45 AlterG anti-gravity treadmills across the UK; find your nearest one at www.alterg.com.

Does it work?

Slipping into a pair of skintight rubber shorts at a private hospital didn’t do much to alleviate FFT’s Monday blues, but we were assured it was for our own good.

 

The unsightly leg wear locked us into an airtight vacuum, which enabled a generator to pump out air and prevent us from running on our full weight.

 

The treadmill’s dashboard allowed us to literally defy the laws of gravity by reducing our running weight in 1 per cent increments to as low as 20%.

This function gave FFT the feeling of running on air as our feet briefly touched the rubber belt while we jogged along at a leisurely pace.

 

Another button adjusted incline and speed just like a normal treadmill at your gym, meaning we could quickly get a sweat on without any wear and tear on our limbs.

 

After a 20-minute session we were given permission to climb out of our rubber attire and come back down to earth. 

 

Our verdict? If you want to accelerate your recovery from injury, find out where your nearest centre is and you could be back on the pitch quicker than you thought and without breaking the bank. 

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