Aqua running suit brings new twist to athlete rehab
Tuesday, May 14, 2013 - 02:16
May 14 - New Manchester United manager David Moyes is regarded as an innovative coach, eager to try any new technology to help improve his team's performance. His new club have recently become the first British team to use an innovative aqua running suit which its creators say greatly reduces rehabilitation time for injured athletes. Jim Drury went to see the TNAR suit being demonstrated.
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Aqua running suits can help recovering athletes regain their fitness and strength after injury. For professional sports teams, they've become standard equipment.
Former soccer player Terry Nelson's TNAR is the latest version. It's a suit with a twist - allowing athletes to spin and turn in a pool, mimicking movements used on the field.
Nelson says the suit's strategically placed padding acts an extension of the body's muscle groups.
SOUNDBITE (English) TERRY NELSON, TNAR AQUA SUIT CREATOR, SAYING:
"These pads are supposed to be like a six-pack in your body, okay. This increases resistance here in your arms. Also your legs.....here again the pads wrap right around your leg so when you're running in the pool it just adds resistance....we've added a flotation collar and shoulder pads that just hold the head high above the water, so the water isn't affecting your workout comfort."
The foam padding helps wearers stay in the right biomechanical running position, allowing them to change direction as if running on land.
English team Derby County are the latest to trial the suits, with defender Luke Adams leading a test group of four young professionals.
SOUNDBITE (English) LUKE ADAMS, DERBY COUNTY SOCCER PLAYER, SAYING:
"It was quite hard work and obviously in the water running against resistance and stuff, especially good for injuries and stuff coming back, you can't work on impact and stuff like that. Yeah, it was good."
Steve Kemp, a physiotherapist with fitness consultant group, Perform, works with the England national team, and says the suit is no gimmick.
SOUNDBITE (English) STEVE KEMP, ELITE PHYSIOTHERAPIST FOR PERFORM AT ST GEORGE'S PARK, SAYING:
"The TNAR suit is a very good suit, they allow you to function, to work in a very functional position. You can get straight into that kind of running position, they support you in the correct manner and allow you to go through normal gait patterns without getting forced into sort of flex position, so you know it's a good design, it's been thought out carefully and allows normal movement to occur as early as possible really."
The TNAR is being used by two of the world's biggest soccer clubs - Manchester United and Real Madrid - along with leading boxers, basketball, and rugby teams.
The suits cost around 150 dollars each. Nelson says his goal is to make the TNAR the preferred aqua suit for all athletes returning from injury - whether they be professional sports stars or weekend warriors keen to get back to the game.
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