You may have noticed a new machine take up residence on your gym's floor. If it has a wide oval base supporting a five-foot silver column with handle bars, it is the Power Plate. This machine belongs to the newest category of training equipment called whole-body vibration training. While this machine may look intimidating, WBV training offers several benefits that might just give you a push towards reaching your weight loss goals.
Weight Reduction Capabilities
The vibrations of the Power Plate platform can provide the stimulus necessary to initiate reductions in weight and increases in lean body mass. Research published in the European Journal of Obesity found that after six months of WBV training, participants maintained weight loss of five to 10 percent. More research is needed, but this study suggested that WBV training may be more effective at reducing fat than aerobic exercise. Another study, conducted in Italy and published in the Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness, indicated WBV is effective for increasing muscular flexibility. Increased flexibility and range of motion will allow you to progress to more challenging exercises that will further contribute to weight loss.
Beginner Weight Loss Exercises
Most body weight movements are appropriate to perform on the Power Plate. Performing the step-up to balance exercise, planks or push-ups on the platform are all good options. For an added challenge, hold the hand straps taut during exercise, or use the proMOTION cables that are very similar to resistance tubing. Either of these attachments could be used in the squat with bicep curl exercise. As you squat down on the platform, grip the hand straps and maintain constant tension in the straps for the duration of the exercise. Alternatively, perform curls with the proMOTION cables.
Weight Loss for the Advanced
Once you are comfortable stretching and holding static positions on the Power Plate, you can introduce other equipment into your workouts. Dumbbells, medicine balls and physio balls are all appropriate accessories. For example, you could perform squats while holding a medicine ball. You can also lay on a physio ball in front of the machine and use the Power Plate's proMOTION cables to do the chest fly exercise. This additional stimulus will require your body to work harder to adapt to your training, which is a factor that increases the rate of weight loss.
You may have heard that exposure to vibrations causes tissue damage. Research has found that with WBV training, this concern is likely negligible. Since you will be using this equipment in a controlled environment with your muscles in contracted tense positions, your body can absorb the vibrations better than a person experiencing constant vibration in an occupational setting. Researchers suggest use of WBV training for a maximum of 30 minutes, three times a week. Approach WBV training as you would any exercise. Paying attention to proper form and beginning gradually will further reduce your risk of injury.
- Essentials for Personal Fitness Training, 4th Edition; National Academy of Sports Medicine
- Power Plate: Exercise Guide
- Journal of Sports Medicine Physical Fitness: Effects of Individualized Whole-body Vibration on Muscle Flexibility and Mechanical Power
- Journal of Sports Science: Effect of Vibratory Stimulation Training on Maximal Force and Flexibility
- Obesity Facts: Effect of Long-term Whole Body Vibration Training on Visceral Adipose Tissue: A Preliminary Report
- Current Sports Medicine Report: Whole Body Vibration Exercise: Training and Benefits