The Power Plate is a brand of machine offering whole-body vibration training. The unit consists of a platform upon which you sit or stand. You adjust the frequency and amplitude of the vibration to create instability in your body. The theory is that your muscles benefit because they must activate reflexively in response to the vibration.
Certain populations who find traditional strength training nearly impossible benefit from Power Plate exercises. The de-conditioned elderly and those with Parkinson's disease, as noted by the American Council on Exercise, may receive positive benefits in terms of strength and stability by participating in vibration training.
Performing strength exercises isometrically, such as a squat, lunge, pushup or triceps dip, on a Power Plate helps build muscle in a short period of time. According to Idea Health & Fitness Association, studies support the training modality as an effective way to create gains in muscular strength and power. Performing each exercise for 30 to 90 seconds once a day, three times a week induces results.
A study published by the "Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise" journal found that whole-body vibration training, such as that on a Power Plate, is effective for reducing the risk of osteoporosis in postmenopausal women by increasing lumbar bone mineral density and leg strength. Keeping adequate bone density helps stave off osteoporosis and the associated degeneration of body function.
Whole-body vibration training improves flexibility, even in elite athletes. A study in the April 2006 issue of the journal "Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise" conducted by the U.S. Olympic Committee found that vibration training increased range of motion beyond what was attained with static stretching in highly trained male gymnasts. Perform traditional hip, leg and shoulder stretches on the Power Plate to achieve greater flexibility.
- Idea Health & Fitness Association: Whole-Body Vibration Training
- Power Plate: What Is Power Plate?
- Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise; Flexibility Enhancement with Vibration: Acute and Long-Term; William A. Sands, et.al.; April 2006
- Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise; Effects of whole-body Vibration Training on Different Devices on Bone Mineral Density; Von Stengel S, Kemmler W, Bebenek M, Engelke K, Kalender WA
- American Council on Exercise: Whole-Body Vibration Training