Alter G: Athletes & Coaches Guide

Alter G: Athletes & Coaches Guide


• The Alter-G also known as a lower positive pressure treadmill (LBPP) is an enclosed treadmill bodyweight-support system.

• It uses a small increase of air pressure around the user’s lower body to create a lifting force approximately at the person’s centre of mass.

• The most common running injuries are all “overuse injuries”. These can also be termed as “training load error injuries” • The Alter-G can be used a training tool to control impact forces to prevent “overuse/training load error injuries”

• The Alter-G should not be prescribed for an injured athlete unless medically assessed as it can potentially further load some injuries at reduced body weights due to altering running mechanics.

• Foot loading patterns are preserved at 80%-100% bodyweight, but patterns shift towards the forefoot when running lesser bodyweight percentages.

• Along with reduced impact forces, metabolic demand decreases with increased body weight support. • Kline et al. (2015) recorded and matched metabolic outputs between the regular and Alter-G treadmills and have published conversion table for speeds from 6.4-16.1km/h.

• Coaches and athletes completing Alter-G workouts should be aware of biomechanical and metabolic differences to outdoor running.

• Applying a 1-2% incline and increasing speed 2sec per/km for every 1% bodyweight reduction is a simple way to approximate relative outdoor running efforts.

• The Alter-G is used by many of the world’s top athletes as part of their training regime (averaging 10% weekly mileage). • The Alter-G is best for athletes who require reduced impact load for steady state work (i.e. thresholds/tempos/long intervals) or as safer way to increase weekly mileage (i.e. extending long runs/introducing doubles).

• The Alter-G can be used as progression from or in conjunction with other cross training interventions such as aqua jogging, cycling, elliptical, Hydroworx.

• The greatest benefit of the Alter-G compared to these other interventions is that it is the most specific to running and it provides the most precise partial weightbearing system available.

For further information on incorporating the Alter-G into an athlete’s training contact Dean Huffer – email: [email protected]

Kline, J., Raab, S., Coast, J., Bounds, R., McNeill, D., & de Heer, H. (2015). Conversion table for running on lower body positive pressure treadmills. Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, 29(3), 854-862.


SYSSM Physiotherapist

Dean Huffer is a graduate of the Doctor of Physiotherapy program at Bond University, and also holds a Master’s degree in Exercise Science from Adams State University in Colorado, U.S.A. Dean comes from an athletics background, and was an Australian youth champion and Victorian All Schools champion over middle distance events before going onto compete collegiately in the US.     FULL PROFILE