Being an athlete doesn’t end at the finish line. It takes hours of training off the playing field as well for each person to perform up to their potential. But oftentimes, when doing lunges, squats or deadlifts, athletes unwittingly use poor form, which can eventually lead to injuries.
Under Armour set out to address this problem by creating a line of apparel that will help guide the muscles through the proper motions to remedy this training deficiency.
Called Powerprint, the small collection of tight-fitting men’s and women’s wear features strategically placed tape that supports and guides muscles through movements.
The technology was created at Under Armour’s innovation center in Portland, Ore., where the company’s designers worked hand-in-hand with the company’s elite athletes as they went through a series of workouts and determined the areas of the body where support and guidance were needed the most.
“It was imperative that our designers understood which muscle groups are in need of extra support,” said Paul Winsper, vice president of athlete performance at Under Armour. “We teamed up and went through the motions of exercises where stability is often compromised.”
He said that while it was created working with elite athletes, Powerprint is intended to help the everyday athlete who doesn’t have a coach watching his or her every move to ensure the exercises are being done properly. “This is built for regular people to need a little help and want to get better,” he said.
Winsper said the technology is not to be confused with kinesiology tape, which athletes often use to treat pain or provide support. “That actually pulls the skin away,” he said. “We took a different view and used the tape to guide anatomical movement, so if I’m working my glutes or IT band in a lunge or squat, I feel supported.”
The collection will consist of leggings and long- or short-sleeve shirts for men and women as well as sports bras. It will retail for $55 to $130.
In addition to the taping technology, the line features Under Armour’s HeatGear fabric, which wicks sweat, dries quickly and is breathable.
Powerprint will be available starting today on the Under Armour web site, in its Brand House retail stores as well as other select retailers in the U.S., China, Europe and emerging markets. It will be promoted on the company’s digital and social media channels.
Under Armour, which had been flying high for many years, has been struggling of late. In February, it revealed a plan to retool the company that will lead to pretax charges of around $200 million.
In July, the company reported wider losses in the second quarter of $95.5 million, from $12.3 million, a year earlier. Excluding the financial impact of the company’s restructuring efforts, losses tallied $34 million. Sales rose 8 percent to $1.2 billion with a boost from apparel, which was up 10 percent to $747 million.