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31 March 2015

PflexxSports Les & Tricia

A County Down based company which has invented and manufactured a revolutionary wearable exercise product is delighted to announce a major distribution deal in Germany. Pflexx Sports run by husband and wife team Les Pape and Tricia Russell was set up just under 3 years ago, and is now selling its revolutionary knee exerciser in 39 countries. The German distribution deal with IT’S RUNNING will now see the product sold across Germany, moving sales there alone to over £200,000 a year.

The company, which is also in negotiations with a US based company aiming to license the product there, began life when Les Pape, an engineer by trade damaged his knee and wasn’t happy with other products on the market.

“I wanted a product which would help to exercise my injured knee, to aid its recovery from a serious injury. I didn’t have time to spend endless hours in the gym, so I wanted something which would support my knee, but also exercise the muscles around the knee. That’s how I came up with Pflexx, which is a wearable product, designed and developed for physiotherapy exercise, general fitness and sports performance. We are delighted with the success to date, but also extremely keen to take it to the next level”.

The product can be worn on the move, or used in training programmes to strengthen the target muscle groups around the joint. It can be used to strengthen the knee joint prior to surgery or help rebuild strength after surgery. It can help patients with arthritis and those gently returning to exercise after taking time out from sport to have children or through illness. There are specific settings for children and older people, for physiotherapy, or even elite sports performance.

The product has been the subject of studies by the University of Ulster, Newcastle University and Northumbria University. Newcastle University said in its early report on the product,

“The duration of the extensor muscle activation significantly increased during walking and running. No changes were seen in the leg not wearing the device. It can therefore be concluded that the Knee Exerciser selectively increased the level of exercise being performed during both walking and running.”

The University of Ulster Sports Academy also said in its 2012 report,

“Offers a comfortable and user friendly adjunct to lower body strength training…provides additional support, compression and neuromuscular feedback during training”

Les Pape says the company intends to grow substantially in the coming year, and plans to extend its reach throughout Europe and into the United States.

“The deal we have just done in Germany will see the product on sale in hundreds of stores across Germany, as well as being in the top three best sellers in a well-established sports product catalogue. We are also very excited about the prospect of a new licensing deal to take the product to a wider audience across the United States, which we will hopefully be in a position to announce later this year. We are also in the process of meeting with the governing bodies of a range of local sports, including Rugby, Hockey, and Football, as well as being in discussions with representatives of UK athletics.”