A vibration plate is a machine offering whole-body vibration, a training methodology that helps increase bone density and build strength. The plate vibrates according to specific frequencies and amplitudes, set by the user, for 30 to 90 seconds at a time. Standing on the moving plate causes you to tense and relax your muscles to maintain your balance. Doing so results in greater muscle activation than you achieve when standing or exercising on solid ground. An exercise session on a vibration plate takes much less time than traditional weight-based exercises.
Traditional Strength Moves
To achieve results training with a vibration plate, you have to do more than simply stand still. According to Time Magazine reporter Catherine Sharick in September 2006, you can perform the same types of un-weighted body exercises you do on the floor. Try push-ups and triceps dips for the upper body.
Chantal A. Vella, PhD, recommends a number of exercises for the lower body in the January 2005 issue of the Idea Fitness Journal. Standing with a very slight bend in the knee, regular squats, wide stance squats, single-legged squats and lunges can all be done on the vibration plate to enhance muscular strength and power.
Vibration plates can help to improve flexibility, even in trained athletes. A study published in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise in 2006 tested the effects of vibration on static stretching. In 10 gymnasts, researchers found that vibration training increased range of motion beyond that achieved with static stretching alone.
Stretch your hamstrings with a simple forward bend in which you stand on the plate and hang forward from the hips. Or open up your upper body and arms by kneeling on the ground and reaching your arms onto the plate. To open up your hip flexors, get into a lunge position with your front foot on the floor and your back toes on the plate.
The hips, abdomen and back make up the muscles of the core. These muscles produce much of your athletic power and daily functionality. The vibration plate can help you train these muscles by creating instability that forces your core to compensate and help you balance.
To train your internal abdominal muscles in a plank position, put your forearms on the plate and your toes on the floor, forming a straight line. Or to address the internal obliques, balance on just one forearm with the sides of your feet on the floor. Also try standing on the plate with your hands behind your head and rotating side-to-side from your waist to improve spinal mobility.