Effective athletic training requires more technology than most may consider. From the undergarments athletes wear to the shoes they wear, researchers have worked hard to develop the best apparel for maximum performance. Injuries at all sport levels have led to modified development of baseball bats, helmets and other protective gear.
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Shoe technology is vital to athletic training. The correct shoe can make a difference in how far a long jumper can jump and how fast a runner runs. Shoe makers have used sports technology to design shoes specific to each sport. The design of the shoe’s sole, the materials used on the side and the location of the laces all help to increase athletic performance. For example, Asics designs running shoes for each type of runner. Its shoe design is based on frequency of training, the natural movement of your foot and performance level.
Athletic training takes place all year long, inside and out. Clothing must therefore keep athletes warm in the cold and cool in the heat without altering movement. Technology in athletic clothing has made performing in all weather possible. Some companies take it one step further with innovative designs to keep you comfortable and dry. Athletic clothing company Under Armour began by developing a t-shirt that wicks sweat from the body rather than absorbs it. It implements the same technology into every piece of training apparel an athlete wears. It has also developed LockerTags which comfortably replaced traditional clothing tabs that display jersey numbers with imprints within the garment.
Technology in tracking athletic performances includes pedometers, sports watches, scales, body fat calculators and heart rate monitors. Tracking helps athletes monitor their success in achieving specific goals such as weight loss or weight gain. Heart rate monitors allow athletes to track their fitness levels based on their heart rates. It also allows individuals to accurately calculate the amount of calories burned. Sports watches with advance technology have the capabilities to tell time, record laps and even control portable music devices.
The age of broom stick baseball bats and leather football helmets are long gone. Today every piece of equipment for every sport has undergone technological advancements. Baseball bats, hockey sticks and lacrosse sticks are designed to maximize power, movement and comfort. Most notably to sport spectators, protective gear has seen an technology overhaul. Helmets and pads that were once almost non-existent are continually being revamped based on the latest technology and injury prevention research. The 2010 “USA Today” article Progressions: Evolution of the football helmet since 1946, by Joan Murphy and Sean Dougherty documents the evolution of the simple plastic football helmet in the 1950s to the electronically equipped helmets with breathability and appropriate padding worn in 2010. The current advancements even allow researchers and medical personal to record the impact of hits.
Athletic training programs have evolved with the advancement in technology. The inventions of DVDs, the internet and portable devices have all made training at home more efficient. Thanks to technology, many homes are now equipped with compact home gyms and workout DVDs. Famous personal trainers are delivering every kind of workout imaginable in living rooms around the world. Websites and DVD programs offer exercise videos, tracking tools, email support and nutrition plans that were once only taught in person or by reading books.