With a unique concept in mind the project moved into design & development mode. Enlisting the help of textile design consultancy Thread Design to prototype, test, we worked to make our idea a reality.
Once the internal structure and layout had been perfected, the first sets of prototypes were developed. As you can imagine, they were pretty different to the product we have now. However, through a time-consuming process of iteration & plenty of testing, the design was refined and functionality improved.
Given the functional aims of Exosuit to support & stabilise around the shoulder joint, the first issue to tackle was the placement of a flexible tape structure. This was designed to cover the most relevant areas of weakness & instability experienced by athletes.
After detailed consultation with two elite sports physios, a placement strategy was developed centred around shoulder & upper back support.
The tape structure would interact with the body at the major muscles surrounding the shoulder, namely the pectorals, deltoid, and trapezius, while running over the shoulder joint itself to add support alongside the rotator cuff muscles.
As well as providing joint stability, we wanted to gently support athletic posture during exercise. We achieved this through both a unique cut of the garment to support the shoulders, and the interaction of our flexible internal structure with the body. This combination effectively pulls the shoulders back to create more joint space, less pressure on the shoulder & back muscles, and acts as a gentle reminder to the muscles to maintain this healthy shoulder & spine position.
A patent was obtained relatively quickly for the concept and design, after which manufacture on a larger scale could begin.
You can find more information on our technology and the benefits it provides you on our Features Page.
Read on to discover how we began testing and refining the EXO1 with athletes.