How To Use Vibration Plate
So you've heard the buzz, gone down to the gym or bought a vibration plate for the home - now what do you do with it? Can it really shed pounds and inches in just 10 minutes a day?
Yes ...and no. It really depends on how you use it, and also the quality of the machine you're using. Yes, budget plates can deliver results - see our reviews on the left - but also the type of vibration can make a difference.
So what about the exercises?
Some brands will supply a DVD or exerise chart, but even these often have only the basic beginners workouts and little on the settings on your machine such as frequency and amplitude.
These days, most plates come with a selection of pre-set programmes, but you may soon want to use your own (again, some give the option of programming pre-sets) or need more than the options available.
This page describes how to get started with your plate in relation to timer settings, frequency settings, amplitude (where appropriate) and how often you should train.
If you're looking for examples of exercise positions, please click here. I'll make some more recommendations for DVDs and exercise charts further down this page.
It's Science Jim... but not as we know it.
You may be forgiven for being a little daunted by the control panel on your machine, but once you know what the terms mean, it's really not difficult - please see our guide for help on the technical stuff.
So let's get started. I'll take it for granted you've read the instruction leaftlet that came with your machine, and that you don't suffer from any condition that exclude you from vibration training.
Let's look at the settings. Some plates may differ, but the basic principles remain the same. The four variables for each exercise are:-
BEFORE YOU START: If you experience discomfort, dizziness or nausea, please stop straight away. When you're feeling better, come back and lower the settings further until you're comfortable using the machine. If these symptoms continue, stop altogether until you have consulted your doctor.
If you're a beginner to vibration training, it's important to start at the lower levels initially. Of course it's tempting to ramp up the settings and go for the burn - but it's not big, and it's not clever to injure yourself over-doing it.
NOTE: Limit your sessions to 15 to 20 minutes per day. Too much vibration can give you symptoms of concussion - simply because your brain is being rattle too much! If you're used to long, vigorous sessions this may seem like no time at all - but believe me, 20 minutes is more than enough for most.
1) Time / Duration
Many models have specific timer buttons, such as 30,60,120 secoonds. These can be pressed to vibration the plate for the specified period. Start with the lowest, but if this is too challenging, use the manual option for just 10 seconds. As you become more experienced, you can lengthen the time for each exercise. If using lower frequency and amplitude settings for massage and relaxtion purposes (see below), the time will be longer.
2) Frequency (HZ)
This is the 'speed' of the platform. For example, a setting of 40HZ will mean the platform vibrates up and down 40 times in a second. The higher the setting, the more vigorous the workout. Some plates will go as high as 60, but this really is quite challenging and many users will find it unpleasant. The lower settings of around 10 - 20 are good for beginners, or massage/ relaxation. Most models step up in 5 HZ intervals which is quite sufficient for finding an appropriate rate for your workout.
Note - note all plates will give you this option. But if you have a choice, amplitude can mean slightly different things depending on whether you have an oscillating or vertical vibration plate - see our definition here. But basically, the amplitude on a vertical plate is the difference measured in millimetres, between the plate at the top of the vibration cycle, and the bottom. So for example, a high amplitude (usually 3mm) means the plate will travel up 3mm before dropping back down. If you own an oscillating plate, it's the maximum distance between the outside edges at the top and bottom - think of a see-saw and the distance between the ground and the seat at its highest point, and you'll get the idea.
Regardless of your type of plate, the high amplitude setting delivers the most punch and work your muscles harder. As a beginner start at the lower settings first.
4) Your Position
The position you take on the plate will work different muscle groups. You have the option of standing, squatting, sitting, using press-up positions, using the column (or straps if provided). You can see examples of positions here. Variation is the key, and better results can be gained from using different positions for each session.
As yet, there are only a few DVD's and charts available. Some I've looked at are pretty bad, but the following are quite informative and have some exercises.
The Pocket PT Vibration Plate DVD
Good quality DVD from Powerhouse Fitness - available from Amazon.co.uk
Beginner's and Advanced Vibration Plate Wall Chart
Two charts from Powrx, this combined programme is good value - also available from Amazon.co.uk
ANYTHING YOU'D LIKE TO ADD?