Working out on a vibration plate is supposed to melt pounds, make dents in the skin disappear and create new muscles in no time at all. Power Plate Fitness is still not a workout for the lazy.
Fight cellulite and build muscles without much effort and time? With vibration plates allegedly no problem. How training on the Power Plate works and what it does.
Because they promise an effective workout with little effort and great time savings, vibration plates, also called "power plates", are becoming increasingly popular. In addition, the training method is also said to have medical benefits. It is not for nothing that it is used in competitive sports and as part of rehabilitation measures after strokes and injuries. How exactly training with the vibration plate works, what it does and what you should pay attention to as a beginner, you can read in our fitness guidebook.
Function and effect of Power Plates
In vibration training (Whole Body Vibration), you train with and on a plate that vibrates in a frequency range of about five to 60 hertz. The vibrations trigger muscle stretch reflexes. To balance them and bring the body back into equilibrium, the muscles contract and relax in rapid succession. This high level of activity and exertion leads to increased blood circulation, activation of lymphatic vessels, increased energy consumption and muscle growth.
However, it is not enough to simply stand on the vibration plate and let it shake you through. You have to move the body in a controlled way. Performing active exercises. This could be squats, lunges, push-ups or crunches for example. The individual exercises all last between 30 and 60 seconds. In most cases, the workout is very functional and involves different muscle groups in order to challenge the body as comprehensively as possible. Compared to a traditional workout, the stimulation provided by the vibration plate is much greater, so a 20-minute vibration workout can have the same effect as an extensive classic workout in the gym.
Is vibration training more effective than a "normal" workout??
The answer is yes. The muscles must respond to the vibration. The stronger the vibration, the more intense is the reaction and the associated tension in the muscles. The increased response in the muscle makes conventional exercises more challenging and training on the Power Plate more effective. If, on the other hand, the exercises are performed incorrectly, unfortunately even the strongest vibration does not help.
However, it is clear that the vibration plate works over 90 percent of all muscles simultaneously, which makes it the perfect whole-body workout. In comparison: we can only actively move 60 percent of our muscles ourselves. The rest – the deep muscles, which make up about 40 percent of the total muscle mass – cannot be consciously controlled. It is responsible for stability, coordination and balance and gives our body posture. Vibration training, on the other hand, also targets these deeper muscles so that the entire skeleton can be stabilized and strengthened. This makes a workout on the Power Plate more effective overall than a normal muscle workout.
Positive effects on health through Power Plate training
The fact that vibration training can build up the muscles and make them more resistant has already been proven with numerous scientific studies. In addition, the workout on the vibration plate also has a positive effect on other health areas or disease states. These include:
Strengthening of existing muscles and supporting apparatus (ligaments and tendons)
Increasing bone density
The muscle contractions caused by the vibrations not only increase the performance of the muscles, but can even counteract bone loss. In a study of bedridden patients, as little as five minutes a day was enough to reduce bone and muscle loss. The vibrations are supposed to cause slight elastic deformations on the bone, stimulating its growth. Because they have a positive effect on bone strength, exercises with the Power Plate can even reduce the risk of bone fractures and thus protect against osteoporosis.
Prevent back pain
In addition, vibration plate training can be used to improve coordination, stability and balance. 140 muscles alone stabilize the back. If you train on it, you prevent slipped discs and back pain.
Vibration training also promotes the release of myokines from the muscle cells. These hormone-like messengers are said to protect against diabetes and have a positive influence on the cardiovascular system, fat metabolism, the brain and the vascular walls.
Lose weight by building muscle
Weight loss during power plate training is achieved mainly by strengthening the muscle fibers. Since muscles generally burn more energy than fat, higher muscle mass also increases energy consumption. Even at rest, the body then burns more calories. The lower the body fat percentage and the higher the muscle mass, the greater the calorie consumption and therefore the weight loss.
In addition, vibration trainers can also be used as a relaxation and massage device, for example by placing a pillow and then the legs on it. Vibration loosens the muscles and improves blood circulation. The wellness effect often sets in after just a few minutes. Standing on the vibration plate and making light bouncing movements even has a neuronal stimulating effect and you feel pleasantly exhilarated.
Can training on the Power Plate fight cellulite? Orange peel skin on thighs. Buttocks are 60 to 80 percent genetically determined. Vibration stimulates blood circulation and tightens ties, resulting in healthier and smoother skin overall. Regular vibration training can also prevent the dents on the thighs and buttocks from spreading further. However, existing cellulite cannot be magicked away even with the power plate.
Can vibration training be dangerous?
For healthy people vibration training is as "dangerous" as any other workout. The risk of injury is given, but not higher than with other fitness equipment. However, one should always make sure that the vibrations do not penetrate to the head, but are cushioned beforehand. If the vibration acts unchecked on the brain, it can trigger headaches and even a mini whiplash with dizziness and nausea.
Beginners should start with strength exercises on solid ground to bring their muscles to a minimum level and to get a feeling for their body. The strong vibrations could otherwise overstrain the too weak muscles. If the vibration forces are not well cushioned, the risk of injury increases.
Great care should be taken if your body is weakened due to illness. In the case of advanced osteoporosis, training on the vibration plate can even be dangerous, as bone fractures can occur more quickly. The training method is also not suitable for pregnant women, epileptics, people with artificial joints or pacemakers. If in doubt, ask a doctor for advice.
What are the types of vibration equipment?
There are two types of vibration plates: those with a fixed column and those without a column. The differences between the two device variants are mainly in the maximum load capacity and the device size. Vibration plates with a column are larger, but more stable and can withstand a body weight of 150 kilograms without any problems. Vibration devices without a column are more compact, but are usually only designed for a maximum weight of around 100 kilograms.
From a technical point of view, a distinction is made between vertically vibrating plates (the entire, rigid tread surface moves from bottom to top), side-alternating plates (one side of the tread surface moves up, the other down) and 3D systems (vibrations from top to bottom and from front to back).
Power Plates for home: Do they have to be high-priced devices??
It all depends on how heavy you are and how you want to use the vibration plate. Smaller and cheaper vibration plates are usually not suitable for jumps or squats with additional load. In this case, the weight of the device is too great and the vibration function may fail. With the larger (and usually more expensive) exercise machines, the vibration ability is maintained even under high loads. So if you want to train properly, you should choose a professional machine. If you only want to use it for massage and relaxation, a small, inexpensive vibration plate is sufficient.
Basics: 7 tips for your first vibration training session
Whether you're a sports novice or a fitness junkie, here are some basic rules to keep in mind when you first start working out on a vibration plate (and beyond):
True to the motto "From light to heavy, from simple to complex, and from the known to the unknown," you should start your vibration training with light, simple, and familiar exercises such as squats to familiarize yourself with the form of exercise and get your body used to the vibrations.
Train under professional supervision – especially in the beginning. The exercises are more strenuous than on a solid surface and should be performed correctly to avoid damaging joints and internal organs. During vibration training the legs should be slightly bent. The weight must always be shifted to the ball of the foot. This makes vibration feel much smoother and more comfortable right away.
Keep the vibrations away from your head to avoid dizziness and nausea.
As with any other sporting activity, you should also drink enough during vibration training. Get to know your body. Consciously tense your muscles strongly. This significantly increases the effectiveness of vibration training.
If you don't feel comfortable with one exercise or have difficulties, rather skip it and try another one.
Conclusion: Is power plate training the right workout for me??
If you think the vibration plate is a piece of sports equipment for lazy people, from which you get off after 20 minutes slim and toned without having done anything for it, you are unfortunately wrong. Sport remains sport. The workout is just as strenuous as any other workout.
The good thing about the vibration plate, however, is that it can accommodate any fitness level. There are an unlimited number of positions and exercises that can be tried according to your physical conditions. Compact training on the Power Plate is a good alternative, especially for people who don't have time for elaborate workouts. Because vibration training is particularly useful for stretching and warming up, it's also a useful complement to other endurance sports.