How Exosuit is reinventing functional sports apparel design through the science of proprioception
Consumers are spoilt for choice when it comes to sports apparel, with a multitude of brands occupying the space. But with more athletes seeking support and performance through taping, strapping, and braces, existing sportswear just doesn’t offer enough functionality for the modern-day customer.
Exosuit is a young UK company based on a simple idea; garments that interact with the body to stabilise and power sports performance. But rather than going down the wearable tech route, founders Jamas and Chris have instead explored the science of proprioception and integrated support within sports apparel.
From an early stage in development, they rejected the idea of wearable technology. Jamas Hodivala, the CEO and co-founder of Exosuit, explained:
“It struck me that wearable tech was providing a solution before there was really a problem. Analysis of the wealth of data generated can be interesting, but athletes are forced to work out how to implement any changes and ultimately improve performance themselves. We thought that athletes would prefer something that could provide immediate tactile feedback during performance while also supporting their bodies, so went down a different route.”
Exosuit’s first product, the EXO1 short-sleeve top, combines active compression with patented flexible structures that gently adhere to the skin. This helps stabilise key muscles & joints and support an athletic posture, ultimately giving the wearer confidence and a feeling of increased power.
One of the key design features is a series of special silicone panels located at key anatomical locations across the upper body. These panels subtly interact with receptors found in the skin to enhance the wearers awareness of their body position and movement; a kind of sixth sense called proprioception.
Exosuit’s CInO and co-founder, Dr. Chris Peploe, explained:
“In essence proprioception is your innate awareness of the position and movement of your own body. Our muscles, tendons, and skin contain proprioceptors that provide feedback to the brain about how the body is moving, allowing us to adapt and adjust to ever-changing environments and stimuli in the world around us. Skilled proprioception is everywhere in sport, helping explain how the best gymnasts confidently and powerfully traverse a beam, and how the best rugby players are able to accelerate, decelerate, and cut efficiently.”
In some respects, the concept is so simple it’s surprising no one has really explored it before. Skilled proprioception is inherently linked to both improved sports performance and reduced injury rates, and Exosuit’s design interacts with the skin to increase awareness of body position and movement. Really, it’s a no-brainer.
The Exosuit concept has been in development for over seven years and is now patented and available to buy via the EXO1 short-sleeved top. Co-founders Jamas and Chris are confident that Exosuit marks the dawn of an exciting new era in performance sports clothing, and are currently working on expanding their range throughout 2020. Learn more and explore the EXO1 top at https://www.exosuit.co.uk.