My new favorite piece of equipment for fitness, flexibility, whole body circulation, muscle strengthening, conditioning and recovery is the Power Plate. Okay, maybe I am so attracted to this doctor’s scale looking vibrating machine because it started out so foreign to me, and it promised the world, and would reduce cellulite? The Power Plate company uses the ideology and science of accelerated training (vibration plate technology) to naturally stimulate the body’s reaction to vibration (in as little as 15 minutes, three times a week). It is not just a fad, however. In Europe, acceleration training has been scientifically proven to help people of all ages, genders, and professions recover, and has also been approved by the EEC in Europe (which holds the highest standards in rehabilitation medical devices).
There are so many ways you can use the Power Plate. You can stretch (like you would normally)–even go through an entire yoga routine, but the vibrations (measured by G Factor, or the up/down and side to side movement of the vibrating plates) would enhance the stretch many times over, so you would get a deeper and more effective stretch. Oxygen would reach every muscle fiber, and the instability in which the vibrations cause would allow blood flow and oxygen to relieved a more effective stretch. The richly oxygenated blood helps speed up recovery time (especially if you are an elite athlete, up to 57%). Vibrating also helps the body to shell out the toxins (especially those caused by exercise and physical stress on the body).
The Power Plate Pro7 is the one I utilize regularly. It has a series of exercises built into the color interactive screen. You can follow along a very detailed workout that targets each part of the body for body fat loss, for flexibility, balance or rehabilitation. Once used only by astronauts training for muscle strengthening to combat muscle and bone loss in zero gravity conditions, its effectiveness and popularity spread like wild fire to elite athletes. Now more than 100 global offices are open to deliver this technology to anyone who has the ability for access. It is quite incredible.
It does get some getting used to. The vibrations are caused by vertical displacement and also side to side dissipation. The Power Plate technology works because of the tension it creates. Tonic Vibration Reflex (TVR) allows our bodies to maximize benefits by our bodies’ reaction to the vertical and side to side movements.
All this vibrating may be a little too strong for some, so I suggest first timers to start light (beginner) and chose a low G Factor (1 or 30 Hz) and ask a fitness professional for tips and oversight the first few times. Keeping soft knees if standing will mitigate the vibrations traveling too strongly into the head (which make many people feel uncomfortable). Your body does eventually get accustomed to the feeling, very much like people become used to the sonicare toothbrush after using it a few times (but remember the first time you used it?)
For more information, check out www.powerplate.com and view some of their Power TV exercises and explanations of how this unique power plate works and the great benefits that can be gained.
Sources and Photo Credits: PowerPlate.com