A vibration plate is a training device that vibrates at multiple speeds. Used by athletes and fitness enthusiasts alike, the plate increases the effectiveness of exercises performed on it by adding the additional challenge of stability training.
Standing on a vibrating surface tricks the brain into thinking it is falling. Once that alert signal reaches the brain, muscles begin to contract to stabilize the body. Since the vibration machine is vibrating continuously, muscles contract continuously causing an increase in work output.
Benefits of Using Vibration Machines
A major benefit of using a vibration machine is increased muscle contractions. More contractions mean more micro trauma (microscopic tears in muscle fibers) and an increased metabolic rate.
Following trauma, the body is signaled to repair post workout which is why protein is an essential macronutrient.
Proteins, also called amino acids, are required during the healing and recovery phase. When complete, the tiny tears not only heal but muscles become bigger, stronger and more resilient.
Since vibration machines throw stability training into the mix, balance and coordination improve as a result. When standing and performing exercises on a vibrating platform the body must work to stay upright. The core, as well as the hip flexors, do a large portion of the work thus improving balance and coordination over time.
Another benefit is convenience. With a vibration machine, all you need is the device and your body weight to get a great workout. Additionally, most vibration plate models require little space which adds to its convenience. Since they have such a small footprint, vibration machines can be used anywhere whether in front of your television or a corner in your home gym.
How to Use a Vibration Plate
Using a vibration plate is pretty straightforward. You stand on the platform and perform your exercises as it vibrates, right?
It is a bit more complicated than that. You use the plate and perform any exercise desired but additional effort is required to maintain proper form and technique. Since the plate adds an additional variable, you have to make that variable work for you, not against you. Otherwise, the chance of an exercise related injury increases considerably.
The best place to begin is simply standing on the vibration plate set on the lowest speed to give the body a chance to adjust. From there, get a feel for all the speeds before trying some basic exercises like pushups, planks, and squats.
Approach exercise on a vibration plate as you would any other new workout or training method – with caution. The body needs time to get used to the moving surface. Below are four tips to keep in mind:
Stance is everything on a vibration plate. In addition to keeping the body stable, standing correctly will put adequate tension on muscles to build strength and mass.
When performing exercises on a vibration machine that involves standing, always maintain a slight bend in the knees. This prevents the vibrations and muscle contractions from impacting the joints.
Start by working out with a vibration plate 1-2 times per week on the lowest setting and gradually increase from there.
Since vibration plates increase the intensity of a number of exercises, workout time can and should be reduced considerably. Spend no more than 30-60 seconds on each exercise.
Vibration Plate Exercises
Now that you know how to use the plate, let’s go over the exercises you can do with a vibration plate. In addition to providing detailed instructions on how to do the exercises, we will discuss how each one impacts the body.
Planks on a vibration machine will whip your core into shape while adding a fun variable to this already challenging static move.
Core muscles are located deep within the abdomen making them difficult to target. By increasing muscle contractions with vibrations, they are targeted more effectively.
As a result, you reap the benefits of a strong core which include improved athletic performance, balance, and posture.
To do planks on a vibration plate:
- Place your forearms on the vibration machine with toes on the ground.
- Create a straight line with your body and tighten your midsection. Do not curve your back.
- Hold for at least 30 seconds.
- Repeat 2-3 more times. Try to increase your max time.
Performing squats on a vibration machine drastically boosts their effectiveness. Since the plate is sending vibrations through the muscles, the glutes, quads, and calves are contracting 30-50 times per second!
To perform them correctly:
- Stand on the vibration plate with feet shoulder width apart.
- Get your footing, support the body by stabilizing with your core, and maintain a slight bend in the knees to protect the joints.
- Slowly lower into a squat while ensuring that the knees do not pass the toes (the movement is similar to sitting in a chair).
- Pause briefly when thighs are parallel to the floor before coming back up.
You can up the intensity of squats further by adding overhead presses to the concentric phase of the exercise with a set of dumbbells or a kettlebell.
Vibration plate push-ups will exhaust your chest, arms, and shoulders in the best way possible. They will improve strength, definition, and muscular endurance. Rather than focusing on reps, aim for three 30 seconds sets. Here’s how to do them:
- Firmly place your hands on the vibration machine and enter a high plank position. Hands must be directly under the shoulders.
- Bend your elbows to lower the body until your chest grazes the plate. Keep your back straight and your neck neutral as you do this.
- Pause for a second before pushing back up.
Calves are an area of difficulty. Many turn to calf raises to build mass and strength but sometimes they don’t seem very effective. When done on a vibration plate, they are transformed into an intense isolation sure to improve calf strength and help achieve that ideal shape. As a plus, vibrating calf raises increase ankle plantar flexion.
- Stand on the platform with your feet shoulder width apart.
- Stabilize yourself before lifting your heels off the plate and contracting the calf muscles.
- Hold for 5-10 seconds before returning to the starting position.
Short bridges do an excellent job at working muscles in the back as well as the glutes and hamstrings. The best part is, anyone can do them.
- Lie on an exercise mat facing the vibration plate.
- Place your feet on the plate and rest your arms at your sides. Your body should be straight.
- Lift your hips off the floor as you keep your feet flat.
- Lower the body until it touches the floor.
Overall, vibration plates are awesome but they have their drawbacks. The main one is the fact that they are not a solution that will fulfill all fitness needs. For example, vibration machines deliver few cardiovascular benefits. That being said, you can use some creativity to get your heart rate up but the options are limited which is why a plate is best used with other forms of exercise. Additionally, you have to avoid overuse at all costs. There are dangers associated with prolonged exposure to vibrations. Despite the minor drawbacks, vibration plates are highly recommended for everyone’s home gym. It’s time to shake up your routine!
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