Vibrational technology is starting to catch waves, or more aptly vibrations, all across the country. This particular piece of exercise equipment is characterised by a large oval-shaped plate that sends vibrations and works the body through isometric contractions. You can either stand on it or use it in different seated positions to target every muscle group. This vibrating plate comes equipped with a digital screen, a pad for seated exercises and a hand-held on-and-off switch.
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Find out the contraindications. Before you use a vibration plate, familiarise yourself with the contraindications. It is not recommended for use if you are pregnant, have a pacemaker, have high blood pressure, had recent surgery or have any type of tumours. See the resources section for more information.
Figure out the correct body alignment. There are a few checkpoints that need to be taken into consideration when you use a vibration plate. Whenever you are in a standing position, always have your knees slightly bent and your heels slightly raised. They don't need to be way up in the air, just make sure that your weight is on your toes.
Adjust the time, frequency and amplitude. The time is self-explanatory. The frequency is how many times it vibrates per second. The lower the frequency, the lower the intensity will be. The amplitude is the depth that the plate vibrates. The higher the amplitude is set, the more intense it will be.
Improve your balance. You can improve your balance by just simply standing on the plate. You can do this with one foot or two. When first starting out, hold onto the safety rails for added balance.
Work your upper body. The vibration plate comes with adjustable straps that hook into various locations around the base of the plate. They are held in different positions to work different muscle groups. For example, to do a bicep curl, you stand on the plate and hold the straps in an isometric contraction the same way you would do a regular curl. Turn it on, and pull up as hard as you can. The vibration then courses through the straps, stimulating the muscle fibres.
Work the lower body. To work the quads, stand on the plate with your feet about shoulder-width apart. Come into a squat position with the heels slightly lifted. Turn the machine on and hold the rails for better balance. You can also stand in different stances to add variation such as a sumo stance with the feet wide apart and turned outwards.
Work the core. You can work the abs by placing the pad on the plate. Sit on the top of it in an upward crunch position. Turn it on and hold the contraction. Another ab exercise you can do is a plank. Place your forearms on the pad with your feet on the floor about shoulder-width apart. Turn the machine on and hold.
Improve your flexibility. To increase the flexibility in your hamstrings, stand on the plate with your feet together. Take a forward bend and hug your chest to your knees. Grab your ankles, turn on the machine and slowly straighten your legs. Maintain your forward fold throughout the exercise and keep your knees slightly flexed at the top of the movement.
Relax your muscles. If you have sore muscles, the vibration plate can also be used for relaxation. If your calves are sore for example, lie on the floor in front of the plate and drape the back of your legs across it. Turn it on and just relax.
Tips and warnings
- You can also do other parts of the upper body. Adjust the length and location of the straps to do other exercises such as shoulder presses, triceps extensions and back rows.
- You can work your hamstrings by lying on the floor in front of the plate. Place your feet flat on the centre of the plate in a little wider than shoulder-width stance. Lift your hips up in the air and turn on the machine.
- There are some risks of using a vibration plate that include low back pain, blurred vision and cartilage damage. Make sure to follow recommended usage.
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