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Solving Space: Weightlifting in space

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This summer, we are exploring how we push human extremes in order to survive and thrive in the harsh environments of space. Exercise can be extreme on Earth, but astronauts take it to the next level in zero gravity.

Could you imagine weightlifting in the weightless environment of space? For astronauts onboard the International Space Station (ISS) it’s part of their daily routine.

NASA astronauts use the Advanced Resistive Exercise Device (ARED) to maintain their fitness and mitigate bone and muscle loss while in space. According to NASA, ARED provides a resistive workout for ISS crew members by simulating free weights. This weight training helps maintain astronauts’ physical conditioning during their long duration spaceflights.

More on the ARED from NASA:

  • The maximum load is 600 lbs. for bar exercises and 150 lbs. for cable exercises in a 1g environment (Earth).
  • Astronauts can do dead lifts, squats, and even bench press using the ARED.
  • A Vibration Isolation System was installed to absorb the shock of the ARED and limit its impact on the ISS.

Watch astronaut Doug Wheelock as he demonstrates how to use the ARED in the NASA clip below.

Click here to read about running in space.

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