The Power Plate has been around for 15 years and the concept of whole body vibration goes back even farther. PlateFit, a gym designed entirely around Power Plate workouts, recently opened in LA and it’s reignited the whole body vibration craze. So what exactly is it? PlateFit owner Rachel Blumberg explains, “The machine is actually moving up and down, front to back, and right to left. You’re having to stabilize every muscle in your body in order to stay on the machine.”
There are several varieties of whole body vibration machines but the two basics are a standing machine with handles for gyms and a simpler platform for home use. Most have adjustable speeds and the pricier ones allow you to really fine tune the speed and G-force. There are also lots of different ways to use it ranging from simple standing on the platform to holding poses while maintaining stability to weightlifting and squats. The idea is that the vibrations cause your muscles to contract, which is a workout in itself, but you really feel the burn when you amp up your regular routine by doing it on the platform.
So does it live up to the hype? There are plenty of die-hard fans who say it does. The research is somewhat mixed but the general consensus is that the Power Plate does increase the intensity of your workout which means you can get more accomplished in less time. Set the machine between 25 and 50 Hz for the best results. You probably never even realized it but chances are your gym has at least one Power Plate machine hidden away in a corner so why not give it a whirl?
Other benefits include improved cardiovascular fitness, preventing osteoporosis, easing fibromyalgia pain and lymphatic drainage. One study even found that it gave non-ambulatory children greater range of motion.
Some people should avoid whole body vibration including: pregnant women, people with cardiovascular issues or have had a stroke, those with advanced diabetes or compromised circulation, those with head injuries and people who have recently had any plates or pins put in their bodies.