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Performance-enhancing gym clothes

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Slip into a garment by Move and the clothes will help you improve your Pilates technique.

I like Pilates. But I’m inflexible and have bad balance so I usually spend the hour trying to get as close to the actual pose as possible without falling over. Instructors do their best to reposition me, but I might be a lost cause.

Thankfully now there’s another way to get that nudge of encouragement and proper realignment directly from my gym clothes.

Move is a new project by designer Jennifer Darmour that uses a wearable technology garment to let exercisers know when their position is off.

New Scientist reports:

"Each garment contains four stretch-and-flex sensors woven out of conductive fibres embedded in the front, back and sides. Darmour worked with a Pilates instructor to learn where mistakes are commonly made during class: backs collapse, hips jut at the wrong angle and stomach muscles 'dome.'

"If your left hip pops up when it should be down, the stretch sensors detect the misalignment and small vibrating motors respond with gentle buzzes in the offending area. When the movement is corrected, the same hip receives three approving buzzes."

Along with real-time feedback, the Move system sends data from the garment to a mobile app so a user can view the details later. Exercisers can track their performance over time to see where they are improving and set goals for themselves. The system even allows users to customize moves to fit their personal needs.

Darmour says she would like to make Move available for use with other sports, too. She says the system could help golfers with their swing or baseball pitchers with their throw. The garment “is designed to help measure the precision in very specialized moves that derive from many different sports, fitness and physical therapy situations," the Move project website states.

The garment was designed with fashion and comfort in mind. The electronic sensors are made of soft and bendable eTextiles that are hidden and placed in areas that won't get in the way of any workout. So the system is functional and looks good.

via New Scientist

Photo via Move

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Amy Kraft

Weekend Editor

Contributing Editor Amy Kraft is a freelance writer based in New York. She has written for New Scientist and DNAinfo and has produced podcasts for Scientific American's 60-Second-Science. She holds degrees from CUNY Graduate School of Journalism and the University of Illinois at Chicago. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure