How to work out like an Olympian

Team GB is gearing up for Rio with state-of-the-art training tech. Helen Croydon reveals their secrets

Anti-gravity running

Fans: Mo Farah and Paula Radcliffe.

How it works: The AlterG anti-gravity treadmill uses Nasa technology to reduce the weight-bearing force of running, allowing athletes to train harder but with less impact on their joints. Zipped into an inflatable chamber, users programme in their weight and the chamber inflates to lighten you while you run on the treadmill.

Test it: Life Leisure (, a chain of centres in the North West, introduced the treadmill this year. Gyms and physiotherapy practices across the UK also use them. Tap in your postcode to find your nearest host.

Life Leisure, from £5 (15min),

Body movement sensors

Fans: British Gymnastics and GB Rowing.

How it works: ViMove uses wireless motion sensors strapped to key points on your body, such as your lower spine, knees, shins and shoulders over 24 hours to assess your movement, posture and injury potential. The software identifies muscle weaknesses, asymmetry and problems with flexibility. A trained physio then prescribes exercises for you.

Test it: launched the service to the public last year. Check the website to find your nearest centre.

Physio plans from £60 per month

Light therapy

Fans: The British Swimming team, including paralympic champion Jessica-Jane Applegate.

How it works: A special lamp emits a light of a similar frequency to UV rays to regulate the wake/sleep cycle and has been used to help treat seasonal affective disorder. Research has shown that sleep helps improve fitness, so the lamp is used by athletes to induce a post-afternoon nap to maximise recovery between training sessions.

Test it: Olympians use LumieZest. Other brands make similar devices. Look for the strength of the lumens and try to get one with an exposure of 10,000 lux of light or more.


Altitude training

Fans: 10k runner Julia Bleasdale and gold medalist triathlete Alistair Brownlee, who sleeps in an altitude tent.

How it works: At altitude, the air is thinner so your body has to work harder to deliver oxygen to muscles. The extra effort stimulates production of red blood cells and therefore a greater capacity to carry oxygen around the body. The result is better performance when back at sea level.

Test it: Try The Altitude Centres in London or Limerick, which replicate high-altitude air, or even travel to Ethiopia — organises a tour to Sululta in Ethiopia (from £1,200, including flights).

From £29 (30min),