The Benefits of the Anti-gravity Treadmill


Robert Whalen was a biomechanics researcher at NASA in the 90s. He came up with the idea of the anti-gravity treadmill when the space crew members began suffering from muscle and bone wasting. They needed to exercise to reverse their situation, but whenever they tried, they could not remain on the ground due to near zero gravity.

The first anti-gravity treadmill had straps for the hips and shoulders. Those who have used it claim it was the most uncomfortable thing and it could never work on earth. Over the years alterations have been made to the treadmill to allow everyday people to use it for exercise.

Why should you use an anti-gravity treadmill?

When using a regular treadmill, you have to carry your whole body weight. It, therefore, goes without saying that should you lose balance or something else goes wrong you are likely to injure yourself.

An anti-gravity treadmill helps you “shed” a fraction of your weight which prevents injuries that result from working out such as muscle tears.

How does the anti-gravity treadmill work?

When the anti-gravity treadmill was invented, it was supposed to keep people down. However, the current version aims to do the opposite. It had been designed to help the user “float” When you use the treadmill, you get into shorts, and there is a bag of sorts at your feet. As you begin to work out, the bag that reaches your waist fills up with air which is what lifts you up.

The bottom bag uses the pressure above. The more pressure you get, the higher you can be lifted. The pressure work as if you are in water. You don’t need much pressure, and that is why this treadmill is ideal for rehabilitation.

Who can use the anti-gravity treadmill?

The anti-gravity treadmill is ideal for people with lower extremity injuries. It assists them to strengthen the injured area and regain their use. Apart from victims of injuries, the treadmill can be used for people with onset degenerative lower extremity disorders. People who have had the following surgeries are good candidates for the “floating workout.”

This machine is ideal for rehabilitation as it allows the therapists to adjust settings to cater for each patient’s physical ability. It can be used in conjunction with physiotherapy. As the patients get stronger, they can have their settings changed for more endurance. It also provides a situation where there are no chances of injury or reinjury.

  • Lumbar herniated disc
  • Hip arthroscopy
  • Anterior cruciate ligament reconstructive surgery
  • Ankle and knee replacements
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Achilles tendinitis
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Muscle strains
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Cerebral parsley
  • Parkinson’s
  • Strokes

Another group of people who can benefit from this machine is athletes. Many of the lower extremity injuries reported are on athletes. The body can only take so much and sometimes in a bid to build endurance, the athletes can sometimes push too hard and end up with injuries.

The anti-gravity treadmill is a haven for athletes. The same way it can help patients build strength, it also comes in handy for athletes. They can work on their endurance without running the risk of injuring themselves. It can also work well with physiotherapy for the athletes.

Final thoughts

Lower extremity injuries can put a dent in your healthy life. They can cause pain, and the rehabilitation process can be gruesome. It takes a while to get back on your feet as you used to before the injury and sometimes you will have to re-learn how to use your limbs.

But the anti-gravity treadmill can help with that. By removing or lessening the pressure on the injured area, you can prevent further injury and in some cases even speed up the healing process.


In this instance, an athlete was originally diagnosed with minor quadriceps muscle strain and was treated for four weeks, with unsatisfactory results. When he came to our clinic, the muscle was not healing, and the patients’ muscle tissue had already begun to atrophy.

Upon examination using MSUS, we discovered that he had a full muscle thickness tear that had been overlooked by his previous provider. To mitigate damage and promote healing, surgery should have been performed immediately after the injury occurred. Because of misdiagnosis and inappropriate treatment, the patient now has permanent damage that cannot be corrected.

The most important advantage of Ultrasound over MRI imaging is its ability to zero in on the symptomatic region and obtain imaging, with active participation and feedback from the patient. Using dynamic MSUS, we can see what happens when patients contract their muscles, something that cannot be done with MRI. From a diagnostic perspective, this interaction is invaluable.

Dynamic ultrasonography examination demonstrating
the full thickness tear and already occurring muscle atrophy
due to misdiagnosis and not referring the patient
to proper diagnostic workup

Demonstration of how very small muscle defect is made and revealed
to be a complete tear with muscle contraction
under diagnostic sonography (not possible with MRI)


Complete tear of rectus femoris
with large hematoma (blood)


Separation of muscle ends due to tear elicited
on dynamic sonography examination

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