February 8, 2016

Technological Advances in Sports and Fitness Gear

The way we exercise, work out and play sports has changed significantly over the last few decades with the advent of technology. Although many people would probably think of computers and that kind of thing when you mention technology, there is a lot more to it. Remember when tennis used to be played with wooden rackets, and soccer used heavy leather balls? Material technology development often shapes the way that sport ends up being played, and can have a significant impact on how we do things.

Of course, that is not to say that computer technology these days does not have a serious influence. Wearable technology is gaining traction, with more and more opting for this sort of innovative design to track their running, measure times, check how much energy has been expended and so forth.

A lot of items we wear for sports have implemented technology that we may not even be aware of. From soccer kits fitted with the kinds of materials that don’t hold water or sweat to make it lighter to run, especially in the rain, to running shoes designed to let your feet breathe and not end up with unpleasant, sweaty toes while running. Nowadays when walking down the street you will often see people kitted out in yoga pants, or those that hug the skin tight to allow for exercises that require stretching without tearing an embarrassing hole in the fabric. As these ideas become more prevalent, manufacturers are working hard on improving our fitness gear year on year and if you look back over the last few decades in terms of the clothing used by sports teams and the like, you can see very noticeable changes.

Technology can also really help with injury prevention. For example TommieCopper.com, a brand site that offers safety equipment such as back braces to keep that pesky recurrent injury at bay.

A lot of sports stars you see on televised games all seem to swear by the magic tape as well as an invaluable source of reducing injury impacts. Compression wear is particularly innovative as it comes in all sorts of designs specifically targeting certain muscles that can cause serious problems for some people when trying to work out. Every body is different, so it is important to be able to find sportswear that can alleviate your particular problem without having to fork out loads for a tailor made product.

So this is where we are up to currently, with wearable technologies no longer just a fledgling industry. As development continues on this front, where are we headed to in the future in terms of sportswear and fitness innovation?

There are a lot of designs out there that go for a multi-faceted approach, and try to cover as many bases as possible with what they offer and how many measurements they can provide to the user. However, some are aiming straight for the niche category, such as one invention that focuses solely on jumping, which is necessary for all basketball and volleyball enthusiasts. As is the case with this feature and many others, most new designs are connected to software and applications, so the data collected from your workout is sent straight to your phone, tablet device or computer. This really helps you analyze in detail exactly how you can use this information to improve your techniques.

For tennis lovers, there are now rackets with sensors that can display a whole host of interesting data to your computer based device. You can receive information such as shot power, exactly where you are hitting the ball and how much spin is placed on the ball. Top players around the world are picking up this kind of exciting new development.

You can even get clothes that look ordinary but in fact are able to transmit 3D biomechanical data for the user to analyze. This kind of forward thinking means that you can be wearing technology that tells you everything you want to know about posture, movement and performance and not have to worry about looking silly, or feel like you’re showing off if you aren’t that type of individual. Real-time feedback is available through the developer’s app and this feels like a really exciting breakthrough for wearable technology – to be able to apply it to the everyday and not stand out.

With the impressive lists of innovations that have been coming out in the last few years to rave reviews, it is definitely worth watching to see what types of wearable technology can really make a difference to your workout.

About the author 

Imran Uddin

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