Innovative advancements in fabrics have spurred an evolution in fitness gear and sportswear to enhance athletes’ performance and even to create spacesuits for Virgin Galactic pilots and astronauts.
The technological leap in fitness clothing evolved from a plan formulated in 1996 by former football player for Maryland University Kevin Plank to create a T-shirt that squeezes out the perspiration off your skin rather than absorbing it.
The Under Armor sportswear is a winner with the world’s top athletes – impressed by the fitness clothing’s performance in regulating body temperature and enhancing performance while keeping the wearer cool and dry in any conditions, even in space.
Eco Sportswear from Space Age Materials
Another favourable feature of Under Amor’s advanced manufacturing methods using a combination of natural and synthetic materials is that they are environmentally friendly, creating zero waste during the manufacturing process.
The leaps and bounds in fitness fabric tech advancements comes hot on the heels of the new textiles made from natural materials, such as wood fibre, as well as high-tech spinning and weaving processes to manufacture strong, long-lasting garments which can breathe and react to heat and cold.
Here are some of the materials used by Under Armor to manufacture fashionable sportswear which allows athletes to exercise and even sweat comfortably – and even improve performance.
Naturally comfortable and highly durable, Tencel Lyocell fibres are derived from wood, making them highly efficient at absorbing moisture (sweat). The flexible fibres can be combined with a wide variety of other natural and synthetic fibers including cotton, polyester, acrylic, wool, and silk.
A strong, flame-resistant synthetic fibre related to Kevlar which also provides chemical and radiation resistance. The material also offers electric arc protection, durability and comfort, so it’s commonly used to make protective clothing for industrial workers, firefighters; military pilots and racing drivers.
A revolutionary circular knitting and spinning method using advanced machine technology to weave a variety of fabrics with futuristic qualities. The machines used for this process work extremely quickly, producing up to 12,672,000 stitches per minute, or 380 T-shirts per hour.
Wearing UA Intelliknit means they’ll never know you broke a sweat
The space age sportswear clothing innovations branded by Under Armor as UA Rush and UA Intelliknit are said to enhance performance and blood flow for athletes pounding the ground as well as astronauts doing mid-air somersaults in zero G.
UA Rush technology makes use of mineral-infused fabric which reflects energy expired by the athlete to promote increased blood flow and recovery from exertion.
UA Intelliknit technology prevents overheating and chilling by managing sweat, which is drawn away from the skin and expelled by the fabric but without leaving unsightly stains and wet patches on the outside on the chest, back and underarms.
Fashionably disguised as smart casual wear, you can wear the tops as you run to work or do laps around the park on lunch break and get straight back to your desk or into a meeting without having to change.
Under Armor Space Suit Features
The space suits created for Virgin Galactic crew and passengers are designed to preserve body temperature in extreme heat of desert-like conditions and the cold of ‘space’, as well as padding over body parts to protect them in zero-g environments. Here are some of the special design features:
Invisible neck seam with Innovative high stretch collar integrated into the body.
Integrated seamless mesh venting for optimal cooling or warmth with varying knit density mapped to specific body areas.
Communication system integrated into a sleeve of each suit with a talk button, which allows for the crew to talk with the pilots.
Intelligent design: A push to talk button woven into the advanced Kevlar-like fabric used for Virgin Galactic’s pilots and astronauts.
Moisture-managing panel manufactured from a proprietary mesh-like fabric in the center back of the spacesuit for optimum breathability and maximum cooling.
UA HOVR foam shoulder and collar padding for added comfort when strapped into the seat harness during take off and re-entry.
Under Armor CEO, Kevin Plank (left), and Virgin Galactic Founder, Sir Richard Branson.
Athletes and designers teamed up with Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic as exclusive technical spacewear partner to engineer the “first space suit for the masses” in January 2019.
The new generation of space apparel and footwear is being used in conjunction with Virgin Galactic’s astronaut performance training program.
“Working with Sir Richard and Virgin Galactic is an opportunity of a lifetime, one that has the entire Under Armour team across the world excited,” said Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank.
“This is a great opportunity to test our innovation at the highest level and continue to push the limits of human performance,” he added.
Space Age Sportswear for Average Athletes
So what’s in all this for the average fitness fanatic that probably isn’t going to buy a $250,000 ticket to fly 110 km above the earth and free fall back down at speeds in excess of 200 mph?
Under Armor’s range of sportswear and footwear for men, women and kids is aimed at serious health and fitness practitioners with a desire for functional fashionwear.
Down to Earth Prices
Popular lines for female fitness fanatics this summer are women’s sports bras plus a range of running shoes in ultra-modern unisex styles as well as for kids. This month you can get your own outdoor shoes with up to 40% off, plus other generous discounts on hoodies and accessories with this Under Armour promo code.
What are people saying about Under Armor?
As with any clothing products bought online there are mixed reviews. UnderArmor seems to please those who insist on comfort and are prepared to pay a little more for garments that last a long time.
Here are a few customer comments from the UA website:
“His particular favorites are the cold gear products, because he loves to golf regardless of the weather, and nothing beats their cold gear.”
“Whether it is their shoes, clothing, or accessories they have great quality and their products are always up to date with the latest fashions.”
“The workout clothes are of the highest quality. They use the best technology to give you the greatest comfort when you work out.”
“I am a runner and the socks never slip down into my shoe, and their sports bras provide great support for fuller cups.”
Backed By Professional Athletes
The winning streak in Under Armor sportswear designs is the research and development involving world-class athletes. Professional NBA basketball player for the Golden State Warriors Stephen Curry, American soccer player for the Utah Royals FC of the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) Kelley O’Hara, and British pro boxing heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua OBE give credence to the brand.
The Project Rock Collection ambassador, former professional wrestler and football player Dwayne (The Rock) Johnson.
UA’s Project Rock Collection of mens womens and kids sportswear fronted by celebrity muscleman Dwayne (The Rock) Johnson includes a range of striking tops, bottoms and running shoes emblazoned with slogans such as “Hardest Worker in The Room”.
Running Shoes That Map Your Run
HOVR running shoes talk to fitness apps such as MapMyRun to help athletes track their progress and share it online.
HOVR Infinate 2 shoes connect wirelessly to the app MapMyRun to help you track progress in real time. The app uses GPS tracking and the data fed to it from the shoes so you can customize and improve your training program.
You can log more than 600 activities with the app and shoes, including running, cycling, walking, gym workouts, cross training and yoga. Plus you can see your calorie intake and burn.
Using the shoes and app is a convenient way to stay inspired by sharing your routes and progress online with millions of other athletes, who will also support you with personalized coaching tips.
You can also sync with the latest apps and most wearables, including Google Fit, Android Wear, Garmin, Fitbit and Jawbone.
Designed with the help of pro distance runners, UA HOVR running shoes offer cushion, bounce, durability and efficiency – making them ideal for long runs.
And if going outdoors to exercise isn’t an option, you can follow Under Armor’s indoor fitness advice using household items as weights.
Missing the gym? Grab some old paint cans or a couple of gallons of milk and do your reps at home. Source: Under Armor.