Why is Aaron Judge running on an anti-gravity treadmill and what is it?

Anti-gravity treadmill that Aaron Judge use for faster and better recovery.

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According to Aaron Boone, Aaron Judge has begun using an anti-gravity treadmill called the “AlterG” for running and has also started hitting off overhand tosses. Boone mentioned that Aaron Judge is currently running at approximately 80% capacity after previously using tee and soft-tossing methods. These activities mark another step in Aaron Judge’s recovery from a sprained right big toe that kept him out of action for over a month.

For a common baseball fan, it is worth contemplating what is the purpose of the anti-gravity treadmill that Aaron Judge is using in his rehabilitation, and how does it work?

An anti-gravity treadmill is a specialized piece of equipment commonly utilized in physiotherapy settings for therapeutic purposes. The device is specifically engineered to enable individuals to engage in exercise while minimizing stress on their joints and muscles. Its mechanism involves utilizing air pressure to simulate a lighter body weight, effectively offsetting the effects of gravity.

A complex arrangement of pulleys and motors, which will be further explored later, generates this sensation as the user applies pressure against the conveyor belt. By incorporating springs, the user experiences the feeling of running or walking on varying air pressure, allowing them to control the desired level of elevation. As a result, the user can adjust their movement to range from 20% to 100% of their body weight when engaging in walking or running exercises.

Due to their advanced nature, antigravity treadmills feature a comprehensive console that offers detailed functionality beyond what is typically found on traditional treadmills. Aaron Judge, a 270-pound giant Yankee, can have an idea of how to adjust to the pain caused in the toe during his baseball activity. Metrics such as strike force, cadence, stance duration, stride-length symmetry, and other intricate statistics related to the impact of the antigravity effect can all be tracked and monitored.

The technology behind Aron Judge’s anti-gravity treadmill

The ability of anti-gravity treadmills to alter the perception of gravity stems from the revolutionary “Differential Air Pressure” (DAP) technology, which counteracts gravitational forces. Anti-gravity treadmills incorporate an air-filled bubble that envelops the lower body of the user, creating a gentle lift that effectively decreases pressure on the lower extremities.

By utilizing the anti-gravity treadmill at 50% of its maximum setting, individuals can simulate the experience of walking or running with reduced weight, allowing them to feel as if they weigh only half of their actual body weight. For instance, someone weighing 180 pounds would feel as though they weigh just 90 pounds while using the treadmill.

This may allow Aaron Judge to strengthen his muscles and ligaments without any pressure on the injured toe.

Curious about the sensation of shedding 30 pounds? Simply engage the anti-gravity treadmill at the 84 percent setting while lifting 150 pounds, and you’ll experience a similar feeling as if you had lost that weight.

How does Aaron Judge operate the anti-gravity treadmill

To operate the machine, Aaron Judge has to wear specialized neoprene shorts with a waist skirt. Then, a pressurized and airtight bubble is suspended over the surface of the treadmill. Aaron Judge is zipped inside this bubble, creating a vacuum-like environment for his workout.

Once the treadmill is activated, the air inside the casing gradually fills up, forming a bubble that reaches waist height. This bubble surrounds both the treadmill and Aaron Judge’s legs, creating a unique environment for exercise.

After turning on the treadmill, it initiates a calibration process to determine the suitable pressure based on Aaron Judge’s body weight. This enables Aaron Judge to be lifted to a higher position relative to the applied pressure.

By adjusting the pressure within the bubble, Aaron Judge has the ability to control his perceived weight on the anti-gravity treadmill. This allows for precise modifications in weight, with the option to decrease it by up to 80% in precise one-percent increments.

As Aaron Judge starts walking on the anti-gravity treadmill, he notices a remarkable difference in his legs, which feel lighter and experience reduced strain on his joints. Even when increasing his pace or incline, the sensation of running or walking gives Aaron Judge the impression of weightlessness.

Once Aaron Judge is accustomed to the anti-gravity effect, the treadmill operates just like a regular treadmill. The Yankees slugger has the freedom to engage in interval training, maintaining a pace of up to 15 mph, and adjusting the incline as desired. Additionally, he can incorporate weight-bearing exercises into his workout routine, taking advantage of the low-gravity environment provided by the treadmill.

aaron-judge-new-york-yankees
(AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

How does an anti-gravity treadmill help in injury recovery

Irrespective of one’s age or fitness level, individuals undergoing injury recovery with or without surgeries, particularly orthopedic procedures, often require an extensive recovery period. During this time, different parts of the body recover at varying rates, making it challenging to regain mobility and confidence in movement.

For example, after undergoing an ACL surgery, it is common to experience altered walking mechanics for a period of approximately one month during the recovery process.

Utilizing an anti-gravity treadmill during the recovery phase offers patients the ability to increase their walking distance while minimizing strain on their lower body joints and muscles. This progressive approach gradually enhances their neuromuscular control and prevents a completely sedentary lifestyle.

Naturally, it’s important to approach these claims with skepticism, considering the multitude of studies conducted in recent years that have explored the benefits of anti-gravity treadmills.

One such study focused on investigating how antigravity treadmills impact balance in individuals undergoing post-surgery knee rehabilitation. The study involved 49 patients who had undergone knee surgery, each undergoing an evaluation of their ability to maintain a single leg stance on the injured knee on a standard floor surface during the initial week following the surgery.

Following the evaluation, the participants were randomly assigned to either a control group or an AlterG group. The participants in the AlterG group underwent balance exercises using an antigravity treadmill, with the resistance set to a minimal or pain-free level, once a day for five days per week.

Meanwhile, the other group performed similar balance exercises on the floor. After a minimum of two weeks post-surgery, all subjects underwent reassessment. Additionally, the device has the potential to assist in balance and strength training for elderly individuals and improve coordination and motor skills in patients with neurological conditions or disorders like Parkinson’s disease.

How much the Aaron Judge’s ant-gravity treadmill cost

Anti-gravity treadmills distinguish themselves from conventional home or gym treadmills due to their notable price tag. With costs ranging from $35,000 to $75,000, they stand as some of the most expensive training machines available in the market.

Typically, one can find anti-gravity treadmills in university athletic facilities and physical therapy clinics. These establishments often offer the option to rent the treadmill for a single session, with hourly rates typically falling within the range of $50 to $80.

Why does Aaron Judge need it?

Research indicates that training on an antigravity treadmill, which modifies the effects of gravity, is comparatively easier than using a standard treadmill. It is logical to expect that when running at the same pace but experiencing a lower apparent body weight, the metabolic cost of running decreases. This reduction can be attributed to the diminished impact absorption and gravitational resistance, which are primary contributors to forward propulsion.

Several studies have demonstrated a significant decline in metabolic cost as the level of support is increased. Essentially, unloading body weight during exercise leads to a simplified training experience.

In an experiment, scientists investigated the physiological adaptations resulting from an 8-week training program on an anti-gravity treadmill. The program involved three different levels of body weight support: 50 percent, 75 percent, and 100 percent, with participation from healthy individuals.

Findings from the study indicated that training at 50 percent body weight led to a slight decrease in aerobic capacity compared to training at 100 percent body weight. However, no significant changes were observed following training at 75 percent body weight.

Therefore, if Aaron Judge’s objective is to maintain gains rather than focusing solely on recovery, it is recommended to train at a moderate intensity with at least 75 percent or more of your body weight.

Additionally, one simple approach to further enhance Aaron Judge’s training is to increase the incline. Indeed, studies have discovered that elite runners can achieve their maximum oxygen uptake (VO2 max) while running at high speeds by increasing the incline and reducing body weight.

Aaron Judge is currently facing injuries and surgery is not an option. Anti-gravity treadmill provides an opportunity to train within a controlled environment, offering benefits such as reduced impact and customized support.

Aaron Judge was seen minutes before he was injured at Dodger Stadium on June 3, 2023.

What benefits Aaron Judge will have with the anti-gravity treadmill training

  • Continue training or recover from surgery without experiencing discomfort while his body is healing.
  • By incorporating innovative unweighting technology, the impact of walking or running is significantly reduced on this treadmill.
  • Have the flexibility to adjust the level of support and walk or run at any percentage between 20 and 100 percent of your body weight.
  • Effortlessly choose the desired level of reduced body weight, allowing for pain-free movement.
  • Provide himself with the chance to smoothly progress toward complete recovery.
  • Minimize the strain on Aaron Judge’s joints, muscles, and injured ligament while engaging in physical activity.
  • Experience the sensation of running or walking as if you were on the moon, making it an enjoyable and user-friendly experience.
  • Continue training despite being injured.
  • Envision the feeling of running as if you were 50 pounds lighter.
  • Strengthening lower extremities
  • Getting the body conditioned and gradually scaling training
  • Assisted gait training

Numerous professional teams from around the globe, including iconic franchises like the Los Angeles Lakers and Manchester United, have incorporated anti-gravity treadmills into their training routines. Basketball standout Gilbert Arenas, marathon runners Dathan Ritzenhein and Shannon Rowbury, and many others have used it for quick injury recovery.

Aaron Judge can optimize muscle strength and coordination while minimizing physical strain to make his return possible soon.

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