Vibration plate workout -What are the Interests, limits & the Best Exercises?

The technology was originally developed in Russia in the 1960s to allow cosmonauts to quickly restore their depleted muscle and bone density during zero-gravity missions. Later, it was taken up by trainers of top-level athletes, then exported to be studied by researchers such as Bosco in Italy, creating for that the “Bosco plateau” (Cardinale & Bosco, 2003). In France, the paramedical professions have seized on it to use it as a treatment for balance disorders, back pain and neurological disorders (Grandemange, 2017). This technique has also entered the field of fitness (Jourdan, 2015) and then sports training. What can we expect from vibration plate workout ?

Vibration training

The term “vibrations” here refers to brief and frequent linear accelerations alternating in the opposite direction.

The vibrations imposed on the body cause “a slow and reflex contraction of the vibrated muscle which is called the” vibratory tonic reflex “” (Eklund & Hagbarth, 1966; de Andrade Melo, 2010). This reflex should not be confused with the myotatic reflex (reflex contraction following a sudden muscle stretch) which in this case would be inhibited.

According to Sordello (2016), the muscle contractions induced in this way are more intense and more frequent than voluntary muscle contractions:

They simultaneously involve 95 to 97% of muscle fibers against 30 to 40% by voluntary contraction for untrained people.
They could reach a frequency of 30 to 50 per second.

To subject the body to such vibrations, which are believed to induce beneficial effects, specific machines are used.

The platform vibrates up and down over a distance of 2 to 6 millimeters according to a sinusoidal signal.

Sports training

The vibrating platforms used for this have frequencies of 25 to 60 Hz on average. The lower the frequency, the more time the muscles have to contract. Low frequencies are thus used for muscle strengthening work.

Higher frequencies are used to produce other effects, including:

  • a toning effect after a long time
  • interruption in order to resume an activity
  • a relaxing effect after a weight training session
  • a massaging and anti-stress effect
  • an anti-cellulite effect
  • a draining effect, to fight against the feeling of heavy legs.

The use of vibrating platforms would not disturb the blood circulation (Kershan-Schindl & al. 2001). On the contrary, from a vibration frequency of 25 Hz, standing exercises promote venous return by micro-pressures of the arch of the foot.

Targeted effects and actual effects

More and more studies are focusing on the beneficial effects on osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, pubalgia, low back pain, muscle fibrosis and various tendinopathies:

  • On low back pain
    By stretching the posterior chains by inhibiting the myotatic reflex, “mechanization of degenerative disc disease” and postural muscular work in the context of micro-destabilizations.
  • On tendinopathies and muscular fibrosis
    By mechanization of fibrous connective tissue and progressive plyometric rehabilitation.
  • On the pubalgia
    By stretching the tendon and muscle chains and by postural muscular work in the context of micro-destabilizations.

Thus, “[…] the progression of the ability to maintain an immobile position associated with a“ micro-plyometric ”contraction […] could […] benefit the strengthening of the postural muscles, in particular the paravertebral and abdominal muscles in the context of back pain or pain. pubalgies ”Cascua (2008). However, the discourse remains speculative (dixit Jourdan, 2015) for lack of tangible elements. 2 to 3 sessions per week for 4 to 6 weeks would then be necessary to see progress.

However, as Bacquaert (2013) points out, there is a paradox: “The companies which market these devices evoke the positive effects of vibrations on improving performance and“ well-being ”, whereas for several years, everything has been done to limit the deleterious effects on the athlete […] cushioned soles […] prevention of Achilles tendonitis and plantar fasciitis in particular ”.

This same author recalls more precisely the effects induced by vibrations:

  • “Tendino-muscular effects”: vibrations promote the appearance of aponeurosis, tendonitis, periostitis, stretching or even muscle tears
  • “Osteo-articular effects”: the vibratory effect stimulates osteoclasts (destruction of cartilage) and accelerates cartilage renewal
  • “Vascular effects”: alteration of the elasticity of the walls of the vessels of the microcirculation, facilitates the appearance of varicose veins
  • “Nerve structures”: neuralgia, appearance of neuromas “

Results obtained with training on the vibration plate

Several results can be obtained by training on a vibration plate:

▹ Increase metabolism and help in weight loss

The vibrating platform is one of the most calorie and fat burning fitness equipment. Activities on a platform increase your metabolism. As you build muscle, your blood circulation improves and your energy increases. The vibrations generated by a vibrating platform create a movement comparable to that of massage, helping to melt fat and improve lymphatic and venous circulation.

▹ Strengthens bones and muscles

During your exercises, your muscles contract 30 to 50 times per second. Training on the vibrating platform works on at least 90% of the muscle fibers to help you strengthen your muscles and build more muscle tissue.

▹ Stimulates the production of useful hormones

Training encourages your body to produce a large amount of human growth hormone, which helps repair and regenerate damaged muscles, bones, and other tissue. Your body will also produce more serotonin and less cortisol.

▹ Strengthens joints and relieves pain

Vibration helps strengthen muscles which stabilize joints to improve flexibility and joint function. When you exercise on a vibrating platform, blood flow to all of your joints increases to flush out toxins and reduce joint and spinal pain.

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The main exercises to do on a vibration plate

Before starting any activity on the vibrating platform, consult your doctor to be notified of contraindications because several joints and muscle groups are involved. Also, stretching before and after a workout helps prevent tension. The main activities you can do on a platform are: planks, squats, push-ups and short bridges.

▹ The boards

Doing the planks on a vibrating platform will shape your core. The core muscles are located in the abdomen, which makes them difficult to target. By increasing muscle contractions with vibrations, they are achieved effectively.

To do plank exercises on the platform,

Rest the arms on the vibration machine with the toes on the ground;
Standing upright, contract your abdomen. Above all, avoid bending over.
Hold this position for at least half a minute;
Repeat 2-3 times then try to increase the time;

▹ Squats

Performing squats on a vibrating platform works a large part of the body. Because the plate sends vibrations through the muscles, glutes, quads and calves which contract 30 to 50 times per second.

To do them correctly:

Stand on the platform with your feet shoulder-width apart;
Look straight ahead, slowly lower your arms straight forward until the thighs are parallel to the arm;
Maintain a slight bend in the knees to protect the joints;
Breathe a little. When the thighs are parallel to the arm and go up;
Then Repeat;

▹ Pumps

Push-ups work your chest, arms, and shoulders. They improve muscle strength, definition and endurance. Rather than focusing on reps, aim for three 30-second sets. Here’s how to do it:

Place your hands firmly on the vibrating platform, feet outstretched, take a high position. Your back should stay straight during the exercise.
Bend your elbows to lower the body until your chest rubs the plate. Keep your back straight and your neck neutral while doing this;
Pause for a second before pushing back;
Repeat ;

Exercises to lose weight

Whoever talks about muscle toning talks about weight loss. If you perform more gymnastic exercises while on a vibrating platform, your potential for weight loss will increase dramatically.

For your training to be effective, make sure you are in the best possible condition. Start with stretching and warm-ups. Then do 40 second sessions and breathe deeply. Rest for a few moments and resume the exercise. For quick results, apply a little rigor and do 3 to 4 sessions in a week.

If you want to have a flat stomach for example, do the ventral or lateral abdominal sheathing.

▹ The ventral abdominal sheathing:

Put your arms on the platform of the platform, and lean on it.
Hold onto the edges of the device with your back horizontally.
Slowly raise your bottom as if you want to bring the machine towards you.
Do the same, but on your knees.

After this workout, you will experience muscle compression in your abdominals.

Likewise, if it is the buttocks that interests you, perform the semi deep and deep squats

▹ Semi-deep and deep squats

Stand on the platform with your feet a little apart and adjust the frequency to 12-15Hz. Lower the buttocks to form a 90 degree angle between the knees and thighs, and hold for 3-4 seconds. Return to the starting position, pushing the pelvis forward and squeezing the glutes, then do another squat. Repeat for a minute.

If you are not flexible enough for the deep squat position, do a semi-squat, but be sure to maintain the correct posture during the exercise. Your back should be straight to avoid injury.

Limits

Commercial speeches full of promise should be put into perspective, in particular: “more muscles, less fat in 10 minutes [per session]”.

In addition, if any sporting activity causes vibrations and oscillations by damping the various tissues of the human body, the limits in terms of optimizing sports performance cannot escape the coaches:

  • Due to the lack of specificity, this tool cannot improve gestural efficiency
  • Static stimulation is not in favor of improving cardiovascular condition
  • Proprioceptive and balance work would be almost nonexistent
  • Stimulation of the tonic vibratory reflex would lead to “positional illusions”.

Indeed, “the specificity of muscular work (modality of contraction: static, concentric, eccentric, plyometric, speed of contraction, angular sector, position and fixed points) is known to be essential for improving performance under similar conditions. Also, the progression of the ability to maintain a still position associated with a “micro-plyometric” contraction seems to be hardly transferable in the context of dynamic daily activities or sports. »Cascua.

An exception would concern the work of articular and spinal balance to the supposed benefit of the practice of sport with vibrations, thus: “[…] beneficial in a specific way in the rehabilitation to static sports imposing vibrations: skiing, skating, mountain biking, motocross, karting, rally, etc. ”Cascua .

Be careful to keep a classic physical activity on the side

Although the platform has all these benefits, you should not neglect regular physical activities. Vibrating platforms should appear as a complement because several activities are involved in protecting the body, such as: eating healthy, drinking water regularly, walking, doing gymnastics, swimming, etc.

Take for example the case of swimming and walking. Walking in addition to combining almost the same benefits as the vibrating platform, reduces the risk of hypertension, prevents diabetes and helps fight against cholesterol. Swimming, on the other hand, lowers the risk of type 2 diabetes, maintains and develops joint mobility.

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