Sport: Exercise: Equipment: Treadmill
Turntable Treadmill   (+1)  [vote for, against]
An electric motor, a circular platform.

A rotating circular platform with a diameter of approximately two meters.

Beneath the platform, in the dead centre, is an electric motor to cause rotation. Around the platform's under cicumference are wheels and a track to keep the platform stable, balanced and turning.

Upon the platform is a circular on/off button, large enough to be activated by stepping. And a considerable running surface with arrows to help a disoriented runner.

This design dosn't need speed settings because a runner can run to the inside for a slower speed and to the outside for an increased one. Once a runner can run the circumference of the platform while in motion, they can make adjustments to the speed control on the motor.

Running in a circle places stresses on the inside leg, similar to track running. To balance out the stresses on the leg the exerciser can regement for alternating directions.

This is superior to the conventional treadmill because it is a simple design, gives the runner control over speed, and is also flat against the ground so can be stored away under a bed.

Post-script: The latter feature, I always found interesting in exercise equipment. I know it is convenient to be able to store things, but it seems like the suggestion of this quaility in advertisement, is almost an implication that the buyer won't use it often.
-- ImBack, Dec 23 2002

CENTRIFUGAL TRAINING TRACK http://www.kidsrunn...s0312centtrack.html
Hardly relevant, but weird [XSarenkaX, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 21 2004]

Iliotibial Band Syndrome
Circular track running may also contribute to ITB.... [XSarenkaX, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 21 2004]

It's a neat idea, but have you ever tried walking/running on a rotating platform? If you don't match the movement of the platform exactly (v. difficult), Coriolis forces tend to pull you in all sorts of unexpected directions, as your body tries to move backwards in a straight line and your brain tells your feet to follow the platform.
-- egbert, Dec 23 2002

If you have ever ran in a circle before, waugsqueke, you would have noticed that your outside leg moves a lot more than your inside one. Your gait wouldn't be uneven at all, when running in a circle you also lean to the inside. And the stresses on the inside leg would be the same as running track. The coach always tells you to run in different directions every training session, or every so often, so the strength of your legs don't get uneven. The inside leg gets slower but stronger.

Superior- because a straight-forward treadmill only exercises the front and rear of the leg (quadracept and the hamstring). The inside of the leg is neglected. When running for exercise turns are required. If you balance out the running by alternating directions it is superior.
-- ImBack, Dec 23 2002

Do you feel that running in two different directions during two different running sessions is so terribly inconvenient?

I'm saying your assertion that the two legs moving at different speeds would not be balanced is incorrect. Because as the platform get's further from the centre it get faster. The closer, the slower it get. Thus, a leg closer to the center would not have to move as fast as a leg that is further out.

I'm saying that it is necessery to place stresses on your legs. Especially if one is training for track.

There is also another factor. Centrifugal force. When the platform is spinning it will be forcing your entire body to the outside- releving some stress from the inner leg.
-- ImBack, Dec 23 2002

How so? The speed of the legs are relative to the platform not eachother.
-- ImBack, Dec 23 2002

-- ImBack, Dec 23 2002

I like this. If it was large enough it would not be so hard to work with. I *have* ran on a circular platform (we use them in theatre) it's not that hard.
-- futurebird, Dec 23 2002

[ImBack] and [waugs], it seems to me that you agree to disagree on the benefit vs. detriment of putting uneven stresses on one's legs during a running exercise. This may be a matter of preference or comfort. [futurebird] has actually tried it and doesn't seem to have a problem with the challenge. As long as this doesn't have any increased risk of injury as compared to the run-of-the-mill treadmill, I would give it a shot, just for diversion.

Either of you tried looking for evidence (links) of injury/benefit with regard to running on a circular track to support your case?
-- XSarenkaX, Dec 23 2002

[futurebird], was it a small platform and/or did you have to run at a spot near the centre? Or even the center?

And [Imback], centrifugal momentum doesn't come into play unless the body in question is moving in a circle. I thought the idea of this was to permit running on the spot, no?
-- egbert, Dec 23 2002

It was about 25 feet wide, and you could run/walk up to 3 feet from the rim with ease... It was like running in a circle. Most of the time I'd like to run *with* the motion of the spin since it made you feel like you were "flash" or something. You could get to the center, but there it was not moving fast enough to run-- also it you stood over the center with a leg on each side you'd just spin around like a top...

The more I think about the more I think you could just run in a circle for the same effect...
-- futurebird, Dec 23 2002

[waugs]: Although it's possible that running on such a device could lead to horrible injuries, I think perhaps the word "stress" is used differently by you two.

You are saying that stress is what precedes likely injuries - that it's bad because it does not follow ergonomics.

[ImBack] may be using the same word to describe selective use of particular muscles - as in stressing biceps when lifting weights. In this case, "stress" may be good, as you can't build muscle without pushing a muscle's limitations.

If I'm correct, and [ImBack] is using this word as mentioned above, I can see why one might say that a device which causes "stress" on one leg at a time may be superior, as it may allow the user to build strength or develop balance or whatever. However, if this "stress" turns out to be an unnatural way for the body to move, as I suspect it may be, a device such as this one may lead to increased injury, which would lead me to say that this device would be inferior to a standard treadmill.
-- XSarenkaX, Dec 23 2002

I suspect that the diameter of this device is so small that it would be impossible to run on it. The circumference is a little over 6m, so even a walking stride would cover approx 1/6 of the diameter with each step, roughly an angle of 60 degrees. Running involves a longer stride and would therefore result in an unnatural sideways gait more akin to trying to run sideways down a steep slope than to using a treadmill.

And where do you hold on? Most treadmills I have seen have a handle for maintaining balance. I think this device needs one even more, as any innacuracy in following the exact circular path with the feet will quickly result in an unexpected excursion into the tyrewall and some stress of a different kind (not the good sort).

Which is a shame, because I like the lateral (no pun intended) thinking behind this idea. A larger version for gym use might work better.
-- egbert, Dec 23 2002

We need conic sections, three dimensions and little strips to run on so both legs are even.

No - I'm thinking parabola, wall of death and tilted footpaths.
-- DenholmRicshaw, Dec 23 2002

I don't think I contradicted myself. I think everything I said made sense. I never once denied the treadmill would cuase stress on the inner-leg. Perhaps you misread my statements.
-- ImBack, Dec 23 2002

Have the edges banked, it's more fun that way. And instead of a motor turning the thing, put a generator and hook it up to your eletricity supply. Kinda like those bikes that you pedal to keep your TV playing.
-- flyfast, May 16 2003

random, halfbakery