I also had my doubts about this question before I begun using a vibration plate. I had seen them at the gym before but I had never approached them because I had no idea what they did or how they worked. They were a mystery.
Now and then I would see someone using them standing in different positions, or like they were doing press ups with them. There looked like a lot of buttons.
This was until the day I mustered the courage to ask one of the personal trainers who hang around the gym about using these machines. My first question was “err do vibration plates work?”
He said ‘yes they’re good for toning up and you don’t need to spend long on one to start seeing results’. I next asked okay, and how do I use one then?
Within a few minutes he had me up and running, and showed me a few positions to hold on the machine. There and then I was suddenly in love with these buzzing, vibrating, shaking machines. I knew I had to get myself one. I would get a lot of benefit from having one of these at home, without needing to go to the gym to use it.
So to answer your question also.
Do vibration plates work and how?
Just 10 minutes a day gives you the calorie equivalent of jogging for 5 miles, helping you drop inches and weight. They also let you quickly sculpt and tone muscle. They even (apparently) help balance out hormones and reduce the stress hormone.
I can’t speak for hormone levels, but I can comment on the physical results that I actually CAN SEE.
The plate itself
The vibration plate has a surface on it that moves up and down with different speeds. Each machine has it’s own range of speeds, they are all slightly different. When you are on the machine, your body just has to react to this movement.
For example if someone is pushing you from left to right, if you don’t react, you would just fall down. You end up doing a lot of work, without even knowing it or feeling it. It’s all about your body’s automatic reactions to the movement.
Secondly, the acceleration also naturally makes your body heavier. Because it is heavier on the plate, it is like lifting weights. Without getting too technical, it’s a bit like how G-force in a jet works. When something is moving faster, it weighs more.
And because your body weighs more on a moving vibration plate, it gives you more of a work out, as if you were lifting weights.
The vibration plate oscillates oxygen through the body and triggers the muscles 25-50 times per second and this is how you burn calories so quickly. The more you squeeze your muscles whilst on the machine, the more toned they become, and more energy (calories) they burn.
For toning the arms, a lot of vibration plates come with arm straps which you can hold and squeeze whilst you’re standing. These work the biceps and triceps. It’s a good idea to check in advance before you buy if your machine comes with arm straps included. I would recommend you get one that does.
You can even hold dumb bells whilst on the machine.
A University study provides support
In 2009, the University of Antwerp, Belgium and Artesis University College studied obese women who were following a healthy diet and exercising with a vibration plate, compared to similar women also following a healthy diet but exercising using ‘conventional’ exercise.
The group who were using the vibration plates for exercise lost more weight.
Not only this, the vibration plates group lost on average 11% body weight, compared to 7% in the normal exercise group, and they also lost the most belly fat. The vibration plates group also maintained their weight loss 6 months later.
(Featured vibration plate – the Gadget Fit Power Vibration Plate)
Vibration plates are just so convenient for me. I love that I can still hold a conversation whilst using one, or listen to an audio book or music. They don’t take up very much room and I can jump on and off for 10 minutes a day whenever I feel like it. Are they easy to use? Yes I think they are easy and simple to use. Some are more complicated than others, but usually the instructions cover whatever you need to know.
I am a bit naughty and like using trial and error to suss stuff out but I do recommend you always read the manual for safety reasons. You also need to put in some effort on your machine. You can watch tons of different positions to hold on YouTube to get a full body work out. No just standing still holding the bars because that won’t do a lot.
Vibration plates are something most of us can afford to have in the privacy of our own homes. I say most of us, because I know they do take an initial investment but you can get a great machine for less than £100, or you could even buy a great second hand one. Having your vibration plate in a corner of your own home somewhere saves you the time of having to go the gym to use one, and even can mean you can cancel your gym membership altogether if you’re happy just using your own machine.
Do vibration plates work? Yes they definitely give results used correctly. That means ensuring you hold a variety of positions on the machine to give you the widest muscle work out. Don’t just stand there holding the sides and expect to see results. Pose in different positions, and hold for a minute. Don’t do more than 10 minutes at a time. The vibrations are intense, and you can do yourself damage or an injury if you go too crazy. Little and often is the key here. Slow and steady wins the race.
Most gyms have vibration plates if you are feeling sceptical and wanted to try one out for yourself. There are many different brands, fitness videos, accessories and books on them.
The three main principles of vibration plates:
- Movement of the body
- The muscle reaction to the movement
- The acceleration effect which makes you heavier and work harder
Of course you also do need a healthy diet to get results too. Please don’t expect to lose weight and get toned if you are regularly overeating or eating a junk food diet. I know this is common sense but it has to be pointed out. I have seen people who work out at the gym three times a week, stuff themselves regularly and go out boozing downing pints every weekend and they never look any different and wonder why when they are at the gym a lot.
What’s your experience of using a vibration plate? Do they work for you? Leave a comment and share your story!