The Boost Microgravity treadmill is available to all Rec Well members through our reservation system for free. Microgravity treadmills are used to train at a decreased body weight that reduces stresses on the body that may otherwise result in injury or pain. See below for policies and information on use.


Bakke Recreation & Wellbeing Center
1976 Observatory Drive
Madison, WI 53706
(608) 262 - 8244



  • Users must wear spandex, leggings, or other shorts underneath the Boost shorts used in the machine.
  • Users must put shorts on without shoes. Put shoes on after shorts.
  • Proper footwear is required to use the machine. No sandals or barefoot running.
  • The microgravity treadmill may be used only by reserving an appointment.
  • Reservations can be made on the Rec Well website or the Bakke Member Services desk. Online reservations can be scheduled up to one week in advance.
  • Reservations that arrive 15 minutes or later after their scheduled time will lose their priority over drop-in users (who still must create a reservation with Bakke Member Services).
  • Boost shorts are available to rent at the Member Services desk and must be returned following treadmill use.
  • If shorts are returned damaged (aside from normal wear and tear) the user will be charged a replacement fee of $50. If individuals do not return the shorts after use, they will be charged $100.
  • Any damage to the Boost microgravity treadmill should be immediately reported to Rec Well Staff so the machine can be serviced.
  • No gum while using the treadmill.
  • Only one user may be on the treadmill at a time.
  • No sitting, kneeling, or jumping on the treadmill belt.
  • Only use closed water bottles that fit in the designated holder while using the treadmill to avoid machine damage.
  • Users must completely exit the machine and the machine must be cleaned by the end of the 60-min. appointment reservation so the next user has their entire appointment time.
  • Youth members are not allowed to use the Boost microgravity treadmill.


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What is a microgravity treadmill?

The Boost microgravity treadmill allows you to run or walk at anywhere from 100% to as low as 20% of your bodyweight, in 1% increments.

How does a microgravity treadmill work?

This reduction in effective body weight is achieved by creating a higher pressure around your lower body. Because this pressure is greater than the pressure outside the enclosure, it creates a lifting force which counteracts gravity. The lifting force is dispersed across your entire lower body, which makes it incredibly comfortable. This gives you a sense of walking or running in a totally normal way, while at the same time feeling incredibly fast, strong, and pain-free.

Who would use a microgravity treadmill?

  • Runners who want to decrease stress on the body while running additional mileage.
  • Active individuals looking to add a recovery or cross training day into their routine.
  • Those who have sustained or are returning from an injury.
    • *Consult your athletic trainer by making an appointment to discuss using the Boost microgravity treadmill as a supplement to your recovery by clicking here to make an appointment.
  • Individuals looking to try something new for a workout!

How can I make a reservation?

Members can reserve a 60 min time slot by visiting the Rec Well Athletic Training home page.

  1. Click on “Reserve a spot” and follow sign in prompts
  2. Choose a day & time you’d like to reserve
  3. Shortly before your reservation time, visit the Equipment desk at the Bakke to check out a pair of specific Boost microgravity treadmill shorts (sizes XS-XXXL)

How do I use the microgravity treadmill?

  1. Turn on the power located on the front of the treadmill.
  2. Take off shoes, put on shorts, put shoes on.
  3. Step into the machine. You may gentle step on enclosure to position yourself onto the treadmill.
  4. Press “Get Started” and follow on screen instructions.
  5. The bag will inflate automatically. During inflation the bag will lower slightly and it may feel like your shorts will slide down, but it will rise back once calibrated
  6. Control your workout by turning the speed, incline & body weight knobs.
  7. Once you’re finished, press “STOP”.
  8. Clean treadmill & shorts using standard Bakke cleaning spray. Avoid spraying directly on machine. Wipe with Bakke cleaning towels.
  9. Return shorts to the Bakke Equipment desk.

Am I working out as hard as on a standard treadmill?

For every 10% weight reduction, you’ll need to increase your speed by 0.6mph to match exertion.

Are there any individuals who should NOT use a microgravity treadmill?

Just like with a standard treadmill there are those that should use caution and those that should not use the microgravity treadmill. See below for specific populations that should use caution or not use a microgravity treadmill.  If you have any questions about if using a microgravity treadmill is for you, please consult Rec Well Athletic Training.

If you have any of the health conditions below, consult with a medical professional prior to exercise & use:

  • Pregnancy
  • History of heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Chronic respiratory illness
  • Elevated cholesterol
  • Current or history of smoking
  • Other chronic illness or physical impairments

Should any of the following symptoms arise during exercise, please discontinue use immediately and consult a physician prior to return.

  • Dizziness
  • Chest pain
  • Nausea
A photo of a student using the Boost Microgravity treadmill.
A photo of a student using the Boost microgravity treadmill.

Those that should not use the Boost microgravity treadmill:

  • Individuals with a fracture
  • Individuals with any acute injury (i.e. recent ankle sprain, patellar dislocation, etc.)
  • Users with an electrical heart pacemaker should NOT operate the heart rate monitor transmitter as it may cause electrical disturbances.

For more information on the Boost, please visit the Boost website.