Power plate oscillators use varying rates of vibration to burn muscle fat and build muscle tone. Some manufactures claim they offer the physical benefits of a complete gym work out in a fraction of the time. Manufacturers also claim that the power plates can provide health benefits ranging from improved blood circulation, a faster metabolic rate and enhanced bone density.
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Power plate oscillation differs to linear and piston-based vibration in that one legs moves in an upwards direction as the other one moves down. This causes a greatly reduced impact on the spine as the compression force moving up one leg is balanced from the downward force of the other leg. Piston and linear oscillation, due to the increased pressure on the spine, can lead to pain and discomfort.
Normal training methods enhance muscle tone as your body is forced to react to the lifted weights, which create an extra gravitational force on the body. In contrast, power plate oscillation causes the body to react through the accelerated force of the plates. The oscillation occurs at such an enhanced rate, the muscles are shocked into growing faster. This also means that power plate sessions are typically much briefer in duration than gym workouts.
There are a range of exercises that can be performed on oscillating power plates. Movements can be static, such as simply standing on the vibrating plate or placing your hands on it. They can also be dynamic, which typically involves movements such kneeling or stepping as the plate oscillates. Most gym workouts can be replicated to work the desired muscle groups using power plates.
Elderly people who find the strenuous movements required by gym workouts difficult to execute benefit from using vibrating power plates. The plates create less impact than walking. The increased blood flow caused by plate oscillations helps improve circulation in the elderly and strengthen bone tissue.
Power plates also help people who suffer from back, joint and arthritic problems. The plates are typically safe to use for those recovering from knee and hip replacement operations, due to the low impact of the oscillation. Repeated use of the power plates may aid healing by strengthening muscle tone and supporting the recovering joints. However, a medical consultation should be undertaken as an added precaution before committing to any exercise program.
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