The Power Plate is a machine designed for therapy and weight loss, and is spreading in popularity around the world. According to Lerien van Zyl, a physiotherapist in South Africa, the machine works to increase the acceleration in your muscles during a workout. This has a number of benefits, including allowing for fast warm-ups and therapeutic massage exercises that can decrease muscle pain and weakness and also reduce pain. With proper care, these machines can be used with children as well.
Children can use the Power Plate exercise machine in the same way that adults can. The machine is designed to accommodate a wide range of positions, from just sitting or standing to a push-up position, and it is not limited by height or weight.
As with all technology and machinery, children of a certain age should be supervised when using the Power Plate. Maria Righetti, a personal trainer from Glasgow who uses the Power Plate system with her clients, advises that children as young as 10 years old can use the Power Plate machine, with proper adult supervision. She advises that children always be supervised when using the Power Plate machine, up to age 16.
In terms of workout intensity, this will always vary by individual, depending on the person's goals, strengths and weaknesses. Righetti suggests that all exercises for children (again defined between the ages of 10 and 16) be on the "low" setting for the machine, unless otherwise recommended by a doctor or trainer. If the child is no longer benefiting from a regular training on the "low" setting, adapt the frequency or repetition of the exercise; for instance, maybe he should start using the Power Plate one more day per week, or perform 10 more repetitions of each exercise per day.
Any questions regarding your child's use of the Power Plate should be directed to his doctor or a professional personal trainer, as benefits and needs will vary by person.
Research has supported numerous benefits for children using the Power Plate system or other similar vibration exercises. A report published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research in January 2004 indicated that this type of therapy could help promote bone growth and repair in children with disabling bone conditions, including those suffering from low bone mass readings. If untreated, low bone mass can lead to osteoporosis, arthritis and easily broken or fracture bones.
Along these same lines, vibration therapy can help children with other types of disabilities. Lerien van Zyl indicates that this type of therapy can help children who suffer from bad coordination or posture, because the vibrations will teach their bodies to adapt to conditions that require extra coordination and good posture to remain on the machine.
The machine can also be used in children in the same ways it is for adults: rehabilitation of sports injuries, massages for back and neck pain and even treatments for excess cellulite.