A few weeks ago, the PR company for AlterG contacted me about trying their Anit-Gravity Treadmill. Of course, I was immediately intrigued.
As you probably remember, I’ve suffered a number of running-related injuries in the past, so I know that the recovery process can often be long and frustrating, especially when the doctors tell you not to run, which is the one thing you want to do so badly.
I can only imagine how helpful an Anti-Gravity Treadmill would have been when I was struggling with my injuries. With this type of treadmill, I probably could have run without pain, and I bet it would have bettered the outcome of my physical therapy treatments.
Originally created for NASA’s astronauts, the AlterG Anti-Gravity Treadmill is used for:
- Rehabilitation of lower extremity injuries
- Treatment of neurological conditions
- Weight reduction
- Aerobic conditioning
- General training to combat the diseases of aging
AlterG takes pressure off the joints by using a pressure-controlled chamber to gently lift the user, which helps to normalize the gait (i.e. no limping) while still protecting healing tissue, which leads to a quicker recovery from injuries. Additionally, using AlterG can improve aerobic conditioning without increasing the risk of stress-related injury, so users can return to activities like walking and running sooner.
We are keeping our runners running (most of them) while rehabilitating them, we are getting them better faster, we are allowing them to return after injury at the levels they were before injury (no loss in fitness), we are increasing strength and tolerance to activity in a quantifiable way”¦
Mike Silva, PT, President & Founder
In order to try the AlterG treadmill myself, I put on a pair of funky shorts with a hoop and a zipper around them. The shorts create a seal that is necessary to maintain the pressure in the AlterG.
The pressure-controlled chamber then filled with air, and I was gently lifted”” enough to take pressure off of my joints, but my feet still touched the treadmill, so I could run normally. It was so cool! I can definitely see how this type of treadmill would be perfect for injured runners or those coming back from surgery. You can still run without hindering your recovery.
There are only three AlterG treadmills in Massachusetts. I tried this one at the Life Care Center in West Bridgewater, where they use it mainly for the rehabilitation of their aging population.
I know how frustrating injuries can be, especially for normally active folks, so I just wanted to let you guys know that this option is out there. It seems like anti-gravity treadmills are becoming more and more popular, so, hopefully, people will have access to them in the future. As a runner, I would definitely seek this out if I were to get injured again.
When I got home from testing out the anti-gravity treadmill, I was more than ready for lunch. Thankfully, we have a refrigerator full of leftovers, so I made myself a plate with sausage, potato salad, and watermelon.
After lunch, Mal and I had some errands to run at the Derby Street Shoppes, so once we finished them, we popped into Pinkberry for a quick snack. We shared a small Salted Caramel with yogurt chips, nuts, and Health Bar pieces on top. It was heavenly. Salted Caramel is now my new favorite Pinkberry flavor.
Is it dinnertime yet? I’m hungry!
I saw Kara Goucher using that when she was pregnant… I think she had one in her house??
That’s so cool that you got to try out that treadmill! Even though I don’t need it, I would love to see what it feels like!
What a cool thing to get to try. I’m so curious, especially because of my foot injury right now. Salted caramel is one of my faves too. Just had it the other night for the first time – what a treat!
This is extremely cool! Need to find one in New York.
@jenny: Try Equilibrium Therapy at e 77 st NYC
What a fun experience! I would kill to use that if I was injured. And I love those leftover lunches! YUM!
What an awesome experience for you to try the treadmill! It’s amazing how far technology has come! This is a perfect example of how positive it can be! 😀
Salted caramel froyo sounds heavenly. I will need to request this at my local froyo shop! They usually take customer’s suggestions & work it into their froyo rotation.
That treadmill looks intense!!
Wow. The future is now! What a fun gadget to try out 🙂 Did running feel easier with that little lift?
So glad you enjoyed your run on the AlterG! And I am really impressed with your wonderful community of readers. As I was reading the comments it occurred to me that it might be helpful to answer a couple of (unspoken) questions. First, if anyone wants to try an AlterG near them, it’s entirely possible as we now have several hundred of units throughout the U.S.. Just go to our home page and use the zip code locator to find a facility near you. Many places will even let you come in and give it a free test drive. Second, the AlterG is used by many runners as an additional training tool as well as an injury recovery device. This is because you can include it in (or add to) your mileage without adding the stress and pounding on your joints, and if you want to get an equivalent workout as you would outside you simply increase your speed and/or the incline on the AlterG and you’ll achieve the same (or even better) level of cardio workout. There is actually a biomechanics study, with elite runners at Stanford, that showed that they were able to maintain their VO2Max for longer than on a regular treadmill, by running at reduced body weights, with less impact on their joints. Very cool stuff.
Anyway, I hope that’s helpful for everyone.
I keep reading about this, I’d love to try it!
This is so interesting, I am surprised I’ve never heard of it before!!
Was the running any easier (as in did you feel like you could go longer?) I saw on Gabe’s comment that runners use it to amp up their mileage as well…. Hm, something worth noting I guess.
Any time you’ve been writing sausage lately, I can’t help but think of that little kid on the Tyson’s chicken nugget commercials who complains “I don’t like saw-sage.” Poor little guy, doesn’t know what he’s missing.
salted caramel anything is my favorite 🙂
That treadmill looks so awesome, I have never heard of something like that!
Maybe I could actually run and not hurt myself on the anti-gravity treadmill…
ahhh pinkberry! I absolutely love pinkberry. Their mango flavor is just to die for!
Oh WOW! That is super neat. I have seen the yoga where you are “floating” but never a treadmill! I am sure it is ridiculously expensive, but I suppose it might be something we’ll be seeing at gyms (especially gyms with rehab facilities!) in the future!
Thanks for sharing.
OMG….I SOOOOOO need this treadmill. 🙁
Pinkberry has salted caramel fro-yo?! Oyy vey. I need some of that ASAP 🙂
Yes, you can find AlterG’s in some gyms, although the most common place to find them is in Physical Therapy clinics. These PT clinics offer the use of their AlterG to anyone, not just patients, so you don’t need a prescription. And many of the PT clinics let you demo the machine for free. And then if you like running in the AlterG and want to continue to use it as a training tool, most PT clinics sell a day pass or a monthly membership, like a gym. AlterG’s are actually more available to public than you might think.
Hope this helps!
This anti-gravity running machine is great! I wish we had one near me. I absolutely love running and I’d love to test it out! Love from runningwithmascara.com
That treadmill looks crazy and fun all at the same time!
I have to try this anti gravity treadmill. When I came across this article I now have to find one close to me so I can try it out. Keep these findings coming.