News & Updates

Low-Tech Alternative to AlterG on Market

By Michelle Hamilton

Minnesota physical therapist has invented a treadmill device that reduces a runner’s body weight by 20 to 30 pounds, decreasing the impact on the body and enabling faster workouts.

LightSpeed is a low-tech simulation of the AlterG treadmill, used by a wide range of athletes, from Alberto Salazar’s squad  in Oregon to NFL players. The purported benefits of these reduced-body-weight systems include less injury risk (because of a lower amount of repetitive stress), speedier recovery from injury, and faster times. LightSpeed’s price—$1,800 to the AlterG’s minimum of $25,000—should make it available to a wider audience than that of the AlterG.

Unlike the AlterG, which uses a high-tech air pressure-controlled chamber to lift runners, LightSpeed looks like a relic of the 1970s (remember the shaker?). A metal frame fits around a treadmill, and bike shorts are attached by Velcro to bungee cords clipped to the frame. The shorts act like a harness, suspending the runner over the treadmill. Adjusting the frame height lets you control how much weight is eased off your stride.

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Duluth physical therapist develops running aid

By Kevin Pates

The lighter you are the faster you can run. That’s the enticing premise for a piece of equipment developed by Duluth physical therapist Malcolm Macaulay as an aid to treadmill exercise.

The LightSpeed Body Weight Support System lifts approximately 15 percent of a runner’s body weight off the ground, producing a less-impactful and speedier workout.

Nine pieces weighing a total of 75 pounds bolt together and fit around a treadmill. Two 30-inch bungee cords are attached by Velcro to compression shorts and clip to uprights as the suspension system elevates from mid-hip. It went on the market this year and costs $1,800.

Running never felt so easy.

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Running On Air

By Robert Lillegard

When you step into the LightSpeed Body Weight Support System and get on the treadmill, you will feel like you’re running on air. This ingenious device, which features bungee cords attached to a metal frame, takes twenty pounds of weight off your feet. The benefits are simple: it reduces pounding, lets you sprint faster and further, and generally keeps you feeling great. It’s good for athletes, who use it to train themselves to sprint faster. It’s good for those nursing an injury, because it lets them run without pain. And finally, it’s good for people like me.

Have you ever looked at yourself in the mirror—or worse, looked down at the scale—and thought “I’m heavier than I used to be”? I have. I’ve put on about twenty pounds since my last marathon, and I can definitely feel it in my bones when I go out for a jog. That pounding, jolting feeling when I start to run makes it hard to keep going. Malcolm Macaulay, the Duluth-based physical therapist who invented the device, says that’s a common complaint.

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