The Anti-Gravity Treadmill, also known as the Alter G, is not your average treadmill. It uses NASA technology, meaning athletes can choose to run between 100 percent or just 20 percent of their body weight. Defying gravity's natural impact.
"It fills with air to allow the person to run with less weight on their body. So, it's similar to running or being in water. It's going to take a lot of the loading off of the joints but you don't have the resistance of water so you can walk in a natural pattern. You can run in a natural pattern," says Sanford POWER Physical Therapist Scott Brown.
Sanford POWER says the Alter G has become a "game changer" in both training and physical therapy.
"Somebody that's maybe coming off of an injury like a tendinitis or a fracture or also a surgery. If they have an ankle, knee, hip surgery and we need to gradually work them back into normal walking. An injured athlete, their loading is going to be a lot less. The treadmill allows them to complete distances and times that they want to complete at lower intensity levels," says Brown.
Around the Alter G, cameras are set up, which is beneficial for both the therapist and patient.
Brown says, "As a runner, seeing yourself run is a very valuable form of feedback. That visual feedback to change your stride length or to see if you're compensating if you have an injured knee or ankle. A lot of the times you don't realize it until you actually see yourself."
Brown says the Alter G is a way to bridge patients back to using a normal treadmill. With the goal always being to get athletes back into the game and patients back to their normal routine.
While the Alter G is used for injured athletes or Physical Therapy patients, healthy runners can also hop on. Brown says this can be beneficial for someone who needs to take a day off from the impact of the treadmill, but still wants to get their miles in.