Next-Generation Fitness Gear

  • Athos men's shirt in action
  • Athos women's shirt
<< Back to Health & Wellness, April 2014
  • Janice O'Leary

Any number of wearable technologies exists to measure calories burned, steps taken, and the rate at which a heart beats during exercise. More elusive, however, is the ability to monitor whether the intended muscles are engaged during a workout. “No matter what type of aerobic workout or strength-training exercise you do, using correct body mechanics will increase the effectiveness of the workout and reduce the risk of injury,” says Lauren Harning, an exercise physiologist at UCLA Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Program.

Launching this month, smart performance attire from newcomer Athos could meet that need with base-layer shirts, shorts, and capris that measure breath, heartbeat, and muscle exertion and communicate those data to a smartphone. “You can glance at the screen and make a difference right then,” says founder Dhananja Jayalath. “It’s helping you improve.”

The science behind Athoscalled Electromyographystudies the electrical pulses that occur when muscles are activated. It has been used in the medical realm for rehabilitation and physiotherapy for athletes as well as those suffering from degenerative muscular diseases. The Athos shirts have 14 muscle sensors, breathing- and heart-rate sensors, an accelerometer, and a magnetometer to track shifts in position, number of reps, and balance, among other factors. The lower-body attire has eight sensors that measure heart rate and muscle usage. These sensors relay information to the Core, a device that inserts into a slot on any of the garments and connects wirelessly to a smartphone via Bluetooth. 

The benefits are real-time feedback on form—such as whether both quadriceps are pedaling evenly uphill—so training adjustments can be made immediately, leading to improved performance and faster results. “The first time I put on one of the shirts and started doing biceps curls, the data showed that I was using my left arm more than my right,” says Jayalath. “Once I  focused on using both muscles evenly, I got feedback on my phone that I was doing the exercise correctly.” All the gear is water- and sweat-resistant as well as washable. ($298 includes a Core and one piece of apparel.) Buy now at www.liveathos.com.

 

From Around the Web...
The popular buzz is that meditation is good for you. But science tells us that it is great for you...
Photo by Annabelle Breakey
This next-generation health exam unites genetics, high-tech imaging, and cellular data so we can...
Illustration by Alex Williamson
These three key questions can transform healthcare decisions. When one needs a serious medical...
Photo by StockLite/Shutterstock
Good news for the time crunched: Just 10 minutes of interval training can have the same metabolic...
Perched on a hilltop overlooking the Pacific Ocean and the canyons and peaks of the Santa Monica...
Photo by Abraksis/Shutterstock
While the blighted potato became a scourge across northern Europe in the 19th century, the popular...
The latest fitness tracker to wrap the wrist is also the first to measure body composition. The...
Do not be fooled by the seemingly low-tech aspect of Technogym’s new nonmotorized treadmill, the...
Sun care gets a boost from technology this summer at the Four Seasons Los Angeles at Beverly...
The Sisley-Paris Spa opened its first stateside location in the glamorous Carlyle hotel, a...