Frequently Asked Questions about Galileo® Training

What does side-alternating movement mean?

Galileo’s side-alternating movement resembles that of a seesaw: while one side of the training platform is moving up, the other side is moving down. This results in a movement similar to walking, during which the left and right legs alternatively touch the ground or are in the swing phase respectively. This physiological type of movement ensures that even the back muscles are effectively involved in the workout, like during walking and running. The amplitude, and thus, the body forces and accelerations can be controlled on the Galileo by altering foot position. Even at larger amplitudes vibration of the head is insignificant because the pelvis and trunk muscles – like during walking – prevent this.

Which muscles are trained with Galileo®?

In principle, during Galileo Training all the muscles of the legs and right up into the trunk are trained. Isolating and training individual muscle groups can be done by altering body posture and position, joint angles and body tension.

The more upright the posture and the stiffer the legs during training on the Galileo, the more work the gluteal, abdominal and back muscles will do.  The less stiff the legs are, the more the training effect is focused on the lower extremities.

Are “Vibrations” Harmful?

One often hears that vibrations, as they occur, for example in truck driving and when working with a jackhammer, are harmful. These types of vibrations are in no way comparable to those of Galileo, as different vibration frequencies, amplitudes and vibration sequences are used. Furthermore they do not correspond to physiologic movement patterns. For example, while sitting on a vibrating surface (as in a vehicle), the forces are directly transmitted into the spine, which is not the case with Galileo.

The movement during Galileo Training is an am-bilateral synchronized up and down movement, but because of the tilting function (side alternation), a partial circular movement, which train the left or right side of the body alternately and in opposite directions with respect to the flexor and extensor muscles. This form of motion is the same as in human locomotion – right and left leg and trunk muscles are always alternately actuated (opposite-phased).

Compared to truck driving and using heavy work tools no high or harmful frequency domains (pulses, beats) are encountered on Galileo. The complex mechanical design of Galileo always guarantees a purely sinusoidal (harmonic) force is introduced into the body, and only the selected frequency level affects the body. Galileo’s frequencies are derived from muscle physiology (muscle function) and Galileo Training is sensitively and individually tailored with regard to amplitude and frequency selection.

What is the Stretch Reflex?

A stretch reflex is triggered in the muscle when the muscle, from a relaxed state, is contracted in a very short period of time. For example, going from a standing position into a squat. The stretch reflex is manifested by a rapid shortening of the stretched muscle and carried out independently by the spinal cord.

A common example of the stretch reflex is the spontaneous ‘kick-out’ of the leg when the doctor taps the patellar tendon (tendon below the kneecap) with a hammer. This is the same reflex that Galileo Training induces alternately in the left and right leg at frequencies from and above 12 Hz.