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Innovative Garments Help Wearers Exercise (December 7, 2006)

The Shoulder Balance Up-Under by Asics (ASICS Corporation)
Consumers are giving a big thumbs-up to new types of clothing that can tighten muscles and change the shape of a person's body just by wearing them, all while that person goes about his or her daily routine. This kind of apparel focuses on the body's core muscles, which are difficult to train through normal exercise. Against the backdrop of a wider health and beauty boom, more and more people are trying to shape up through simple stretching exercises, walking, and yoga. Keeping up these activities every day, however, is difficult, so exercising just by wearing clothes is an attractive option.

Strengthening the Lower Back and Shoulders
One example of these innovative garments is the Psoas Strengthening Spats, made by Asics, which improves the wearer's posture and is proving popular with men and women of all ages. The psoas is an abdominal muscle that is key to maintaining good posture. It essentially connects the upper and lower halves of the body, so weakness can result in a hunched back or a misaligned pelvis.

The Psoas Strengthening Spats by Asics (ASICS Corporation)

As the psoas is a core muscle deep within the body, it is ordinarily difficult to exercise. A person can solve this dilemma, however, just by wearing Psoas Strengthening Spats. By covering the psoas with a material that applies tension to the active part of the muscle, a load can be placed on it efficiently. These spats allow the wearer to effectively train his or her body not just when exercising but also when doing things like working in the office or at home.

Meanwhile, Shoulder Balance Up-Under has been a hit with women concerned about stiff shoulders and a slumping posture. The aim of Shoulder Balance Up-Under is to eliminate the stiff shoulders that plague many people. Zooming in on the misaligned shoulder blades that can cause shoulder stiffness, this product eliminates the problem by returning them to their original position, increasing the range of motion, and stimulating the use of surrounding muscles.

When wearing the product, a highly elastic material called "diamondback" covers part of the wearer's upper back. When he or she tries to bend that part of the body forward, the product naturally pulls the shoulder blades back into their correct position. It is also said to improve one's ability to play sports that require the use of the shoulder, such as baseball and tennis.

The Hip Walker by Wacoal (Wacoal Corp.)

Walking Workout
There is also a product that helps women firm their buttocks. Hip Walker, which was released by Wacoal last year, gives the wearer a wider stride by stimulating the insides of the thighs, thus giving the buttocks more work in the process of walking. This product has proven to be a huge hit, selling some 2 million units in one year. This summer also saw the appearance of a kind of underwear that tightens the abdominal muscles. Sales of 1.7 million units are expected in the product's first six months.

The clothing maker Descente, meanwhile, plans to release both the Power Inner Shirt, which corrects posture, and Total Fit Socks, which make the wearer's legs feel less tired. With the boom in health and fitness showing no sign of abating, the market for fitness-oriented clothing is sure to keep on growing.

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Copyright (c) 2006 Web Japan. Edited by Japan Echo Inc. based on domestic Japanese news sources. Articles presented here are offered for reference purposes and do not necessarily represent the policy or views of the Japanese Government.

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