Benefits of Power Plate: Are Whole Body Vibrations Good For You?

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What is Power Plate?
Power Plate is a whole body vibration training machine that uses the principles of Acceleration Training to stimulate your body’s natural response to vibration. These vibrations trigger muscle contractions between 25-50 times per second.

How Does Power Plate Work?
The way Power Plate works is defined by Sir Issac Newton’s second Law of Motion:

Force (f) = Mass (m) x Acceleration (a)

Force is equal to mass times acceleration. During a workout, you increase force by increasing either or both of the variables (mass and acceleration).

1. In conventional exercise such as strength training, force is utilised and produced when lifting weights. As it takes more force to move larger mass (ie, heavier weights), this puts more strain on the muscles and makes them stronger.

However, changes in force  involves changes in the mass only.

2. Acceleration Training with Power Plate machine increases acceleration through vibration. Each vibration forces the body to perform reflexive muscle actions 25-50 times per second. This means that your body adjusts to the vibration either by contracting or relaxing muscles 25-50 times a second. By stimulating your nerves and muscles this way, you generate much force so your body performs a lot of work or exercise.

There is also greater recruitment of muscles when your body responds to Power Plate’s vibrations. As much as 95% of muscle fibers are activated compared to 40% or less with conventional exercise.

Power Plate machine vibrates in 3 planes (3-D): vertical, horizontal and sagittal (front/back).
Up and down vibrations ==> improve muscle strength
Left and right, front and back vibrations ==> improve balance and coordination

Power Plate Technology – Discovered by Russians for Astronauts
Power Plate is developed based on a technology that Russians discovered in the 1960s. Astronauts suffered from severe muscle atrophy (muscle wasting) after spending long periods of time in space.

Gravity is a force and signal to tell the body how to act. The body builds muscles and bones by adapting to gravity. When there is zero gravity,  muscles and bones atrophy quickly as there is no signal for your body to respond to.

Since the Russians were not able to increase force by adding weight or increasing mass, they experimented by increasing acceleration through vibration. The discovery of vibrational or acceleration training enabled their cosmonauts to stay in space an average of 400 days while US astronauts stayed an average of 130 days only.

The effectiveness of this technology spread quickly to Europe. After innovation and improvement, it was used to train Olympic athletes and professional sports teams.

Benefits of Power Plate
1. improve blood circulation
2. increase muscle strength
3. increase flexibility
4. improve range of motion
5. reduce appearance of cellulite
6. increase bone mineral density
7. reduce pain and soreness
8. speed up recovery from strains and injuries

Advantages of Power Plate
1. Full body workout in less than 30 minutes
Since Acceleration Training on Power Plate recruits 95% of your musles fibers, it increases the effectiveness and efficiency of your workout. The full body workout incorporates warm up, stretch, balance, coordination, core conditioning, stength and massage.

2. Easy and safe workout
There is no high impact and load, so no stress is placed on your joints.

3. No weight lifting
With Acceleration Training, you can enjoy the benefits of strength training with ease without lifting weights. The muscles contract and relax so quickly that you don’t even feel it. Yet, it is these relexive muscle actions that build muscle strength.
There is no lactic acid build-up and soreness after the workout.

4. Suitable for people of all ages and fitness levels
Since there is no load and impact, Acceleration Training with Power Plate can easily be performed by elderly people who have never exercised. It is also currently used by to elite professional athletes to improve their performance.

Not All Vibration is Equal
Power Plate produces harmonious vibrational wave. This type of vibration puts the body in sync when the muscles contract and relax so you can benefit from it.

Beware of cheap whole body vibration machines that have not been properly reseached and developed. A whole body vibration machine that does not produce harmonious vibrational wave can cause harm to the body of the user. This is because the body is not responding in sync and gets confused. Before you buy a whole body vibration machine, test it first. If you don’t feel good after getting off the machine, the vibrations may not be in sync with your body’s natural vibrations.

“You can what you pay for” definitely applies here.

Power Plate machines are available for personal and commercial uses.

If you haven’t used Power Plate before, you may want try it out at local fitness clubs, studios and spas that have these machines.

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