Fact Sheet 2006
The Exer-Genie® Exerciser was developed in 1962 and has become a staple for physical fitness, rehabilitation & functional training programs for over 40 years. Featured in the Smithsonian Institute, displayed at NASA and in the Astronaut Hall of Fame the Exer-Genie® Exerciser was the first device that allowed the application of multiple concepts of exercise.
Isometrics (static contraction), isokinetics (range of motion exerciser at controlled speed), Variable Resistance, Variable Isotonics and Resistive Aerobics®.
While these methods have been known to exercise professionals for decades, extensive research was not undertaken on either method until the early 1960’s. Then, based on preliminary findings, Isometrics became quite popular, not only among coaches, trainers and athletes, but with the general public looking for an efficient way to get and stay fit.
Isometrics was the simple and quick approach to strength that made this training concept attractive. It was soon discovered, that while rapid strength gains could be made, little was accomplished in the area of endurance and range of motion flexibility.
Isometrics soon took its place in the training room as coaches, trainers and athletes used it with more systems. Isometrics also found its place in the general public as one part of a total fitness program.
More hope was held for ISOKINETICS as the because it allowed for controlled resistance through a specified range of motion. The method maintained a low profile for a number of years because there was not an economical way to implement it. Machines which could provide full range of motion and controlled speed of movement, at the same time, were too expensive for the general public and many institutions to own.
Then, about the time the American Space Program was experimenting with Fitness in Space, a variable resistance rope friction device, originally designed to lower people from a burning building(Sky-Genie® Controlled Descent Device), was adapted to a small exercise machine and named the Exer-Genie® Exerciser.
It was discovered that friction was generated by winding a specially woven nylon rope around a smooth chrome plated metal shaft and pulling on it not only controlled the speed at which the rope moved, but also provided resistance that was proportional to the speed.
The Exer-Genie® provided an economical and efficient way to perform a variety of exercise and training methods.
One of the hybrid methods of isokinetic exercise, is known today as Variable Isokinetic exercise. In addition, by grasping the trailing end of the line, preventing movement of the rope through the Exer-Genie® Exerciser, one could also implement variable isometric training.
At the time the Exer-Genie® Exerciser was developing, experiments were being conducted by many exercise physiologists throughout the United States and Canada on the application of the Exer-Genie® Exerciser for injury prevention, functional training and functional performance enhancement.
NASA was attracted by the lightweight and small size of the Exer-Genie® Exerciser and decided to put the exercise concept to the test to see if it could provide a valid method for exercising astronauts in micro gravity.