We designed the Boost ONE to be user-friendly and easy for clinicians and athletes alike. That being said, there are a few tips that people often overlook and prevent them from getting the maximum benefit out of the technology. When using air pressure technology make sure you keep an eye out for these common mistakes:
1. Individuals will sit back/lean back instead of running forward on the treadmill. You will often see this when an athlete is walking or jogging during their workout, but it can occur during a running session as well. The individual will “sit back” and lean against the bag and rack and the user is essentially “riding the treadmill”. Watch for slight visual keys and remind users to focus on running forward and upright. By being mindful of the correct form you can avoid this mistake and allow for more appropriate mechanics while in the machine.
2. They set the rack too high. This is an extremely common error and again impedes proper mechanics through not allowing natural arm swing. To prevent this mistake, make sure the rack is around the height of the greater trochanter. One of the Boost ONES’ key design features is that the rack is designed to sit lower and the bag will fill inside the rack to create room for proper arm swing while on the unit.
3. The improper percentage of body mass (BM) for the protocol is used. This may not be as simple as the first two issues to see or correct. There is a lot of information and a number of individuals that will be involved in designing and executing a protocol. When starting an individual on air pressure technology it is often best to start getting the person comfortable on the unit and then make adjustments to the pressure based on the restrictions the individual has. Some examples are an elite runner using the technology as for a recovery workout, but not reducing the percentage of BM they are bearing. On the flip side, someone that is walking or jogging for the first time following an injury are usually placed at a much lower percentage of BM then need.
4. Leaving shoes on when putting on/taking off shorts. This may seem simple but it does affect the longevity and functionality of the shorts. It only takes a minute, but removing shoes before putting on the shorts is key. Shoes can cause damage to the shorts resulting in a tear or hole. Shoes can also stretch the material and cause a poor seal between the individual and the shorts. This is very important, as a poor seal causes a number of issues for the function and performance of the air pressure treadmill.
5. Don’t take into account the effect of air pressure in two ways. 1) Adjusting incline and speed to hit the desired workload/heart rate, and 2) adjusting air pressure steadily at the beginning and end of the workout for a warm-up/cool-down. When using an air pressure treadmill, you are reducing the load that the body is bearing. This reduces the amount of energy and work needed to perform the desired task for this individual. You may not be able to alter the percentage of body mass (BM) due to pain or physician orders, but you can alter incline and speed to reach your proper workload. Speed is simple, you move faster the more work you have to do, but a lot of people do not think about adding an incline to increase workload while on an air pressure treadmill. This is an incredibly effective method to add intensity to any workout. The other is the effect of the reduced load on the body as a whole. Some people may not adjust well to the increased pressure at the beginning of a session, or to the return to 100% of body mass (BM) at the end of a workout. Instead of going straight to a set percentage, allow for a person to slowly adjust to the pressure at the start. They will get more comfortable with this over time. A bigger one is when an athlete has been on the unit for a long workout, and quickly goes to 100% BM and tries to get out of the unit. The increased load being out of the treadmill can be uncomfortable at times and can be enough that an individual may fall. I like to do a 3-5 minute cool down/depressurize session to get them used to 100% BM. So take the time at both ends of a session to allow the individual to adjust to the new environment.
Some of these things may seem to be minor in nature, but they all can have larger impacts on the athlete/patient experience around an air pressure treadmill.