The Beginning:
Necessity is the mother of all invention

EXOGEN’s patented Exoskeleton Technology was born from necessity. The need to improve the way we move. The question is - can we? Is movement still improving or is it capable of improving further? One look at Usain Bolt a man tall enough to be a starting forward in the NBA, who rewrote everything we know about the concept of speed, tells us we can and we will.

One day a human will run the 100m dash below 9 seconds. It’s not a question of if, but how? 25 years ago a torn ACL was a career ending injury. Today it’s a 6-8 month delay. A hip fracture in the elderly was confinement to a wheelchair. Now, hip replacements are as common as root-canals and the 1:59:58 marathon is just around the corner.

So how will movement improve? How will we continue to go faster, higher, stronger? The answer is (and has always been) - resistance.

Resistance to movement is the single greatest stimulus for adaptation and improvement. It doesn’t matter what ‘movement’ is for you. Whether training to reduce your 40 yard time, add distance to your golf drive or 3-point range, are returning to fitness after pregnancy, recovering from a back injury or serving your community in the police or military. Some form of resistance training will help to improve that effort. The questions are how much and in what form?

We’ve gotten about as far as we can go with traditional exercise equipment. Current modalities share one common feature. The equipment defines the movement, not the user.

The simple truth is if you are attached to a piece of equipment and that equipment is attached or connected to something else, the floor, a wall, a tree, your hand or foot then the equipment defines how you move. Try to jog or sprint with free-weights, perform a full-contact takedown holding a cable or kick a ball with a strap attached to your foot - it’s just not ideal. While these methods equipment are great for general training and will continue to serve a purpose, that purpose is just limited.

This limitation is what drove us on a decade long search to create a technology solution that answers the question - what would 100% user-defined resistance training for movement really look like? This would be the future.

The Challenge:
Improve the way we apply resistance

Challenge #1:

In the world of high performance sport user-defined training is called - specificity. Training that matches the actual physiological and psychological demands of your event or activity. For example a squat will make your legs strong but it won’t necessarily improve your directional speed reaction to an opponent or reduce your 10k run time. The movements, speeds and energy demands are simply too different.

Solution: The technology must be useable during both training and competition at real movements and speeds - it must be relevant.

Challenge #2:

There are some great specialised pieces of equipment designed to load specific movements or particular skills. All have merit but almost all are limited to a niche activity or partial movement pattern. Few if any can be adapted very well.

Solution: The technology must be organic like the human body and applicable across all sports and activities – it must be adaptable.

Challenge #3:

Without the ability to progress, resistance training won’t help for very long. Progressive overload is the foundation of periodization. Existing specialised resistance training equipment allows progression but often in increments outside the range required for real-life movement. And in some cases progressions are hard to quantify.

Solution: It must allow - measureable progression.

Challenge #4:

During movement, concentration is everything. Current resistance training with the load or resistance concentrated at a focal point such as the hand, foot or one a part of the body often feels heavy and is perceived by the user as external. This disrupts the skill and concentration.

Solution: To reduce the disruption on concentration and proprioception the loading must be dispersed around and over the body– it must feel internal.

Challenge #5:

A baseball throw maxes out at about 100 mph, a tennis serve over 200 km/hr, golf-club head speed approaches 130+ and a trained punch maybe 40 km/hr plus. If you wanted to train resistance to improve velocity, power and technique at these speeds what percentage load could you realistically use and progress by and not get injured). We can tell you already it’s not measured in kilograms or pounds.

Solution: The loading must be light – it must be safe.

Challenge #6:

Next, it had to do something resistance training had never done before. Not only should it improve physiological function (strength, speed, power, endurance) but also actual movement skills. No two people move the same, everyone’s needs are individual. Imagine two golfers training with resistance to improve their drive power while simultaneously improving their swing mechanics to reduce a slice or hook. New training technologies need to connect the user to the movement and not simply load the body like traditional training, which often negatively affects proprioception and skill.

Solution: The technology had to focus on improving actual movement not just muscle mechanics – it had to be intuitive.

Challenge #7:

Finally it had to be cool and to feel great – we hope we’ve achieved that, let us know. Our story is the story of these challenges and the journey to meet, understand and overcome them. EXOGEN™ our signature product line was developed to meet these challenges and to help us achieve our company mission - to improve the way you move.

LILA? We often get asked about our name. Perhaps it is the best part of us.

An ancient Sanskrit word that literally translates to “pastime, sport and play”. In Arabic it is the name for dark beauty and night. In Hinduism the concept of LILA is associated with the movement and activities of the Supreme Being, who is free by nature and not subject to laws. The LILA legend tells of the Supreme Being changing into human form to experience movement, play and sport.

This is our story, rooted in a divine purpose to move and it’s just beginning.