Staying trendy doesn't always mean having a pair of $200 jeans. It can also mean trying out different exercise technologies. A vibration plate often looks like a short treadmill, with handles on the sides, a control station in front and a plate to stand on. However, you don't walk on the plate. Instead, you set the vibration speed and perform standard exercises while your muscles work overtime relaxing and contracting with the vibration.
It's a no-brainer to work your lower body on a vibration plate; simply standing on it with your knees slightly bent and holding that position can be challenging for beginners. Once you've gotten used to maintaining your balance on the plate, get the real workout started. Perform squats, lunges off the back of the machine or a variety of leg lifts, such as lifting back or to each side. Keep the repetitions in the medium range, doing 10 in each set. Start with one set of each exercise and work your way up to three sets. For a more intense workout, use the vibration plate for box jumps. Stand behind it and jump up with both feet, landing in a shallow squat that you hold for four to five seconds. Do 10 of these.
Getting your arms into the vibration plate workout isn't quite as intuitive as working your legs, but it's still possible. Turn around so that your back is to the machine and sit down with your knees bent at 45 degrees in front of you and your feet flat on the floor. With the plate behind you, place your hands on it with your fingers facing forward and your elbows facing backward. Push up, lifting your tush off the floor, then lower without letting your body touch the floor again. These triceps dips work the backs of your arms, so stick to low reps -- try two sets of five or six. Many vibration plate machines are equipped for resistance bands as well. Attach the bands to the plate clips and stand on the plate while you perform various arm exercises with the bands, such as an upright row or biceps curls. These might feel awkward at first because you can't achieve the fluid movement you're used to, but you'll get the hang of it quickly. Do two sets of 10 repetitions with each resistance band exercise.
Balancing your body on the plate works your core throughout your exercise regimen, helping stabilize your movement. But you can target your core with exercises such as a standard plank. Put your hands or forearms on the plate with your toes on the floor. Your body should be extended, making a straight line from your neck to your toes. Hold that position for 30 seconds to start, increasing the duration gradually. Or, do the same type of plank but with your toes on the plate instead of your hands. When you're ready for the next challenge, but your hand on the plate and perform T-planks by turning to the side and extending your upper arm into the air, keeping your body straight.
The jury is still out on whether vibration plate workouts are any better than standard workouts. There hasn't been a significant number of studies on vibration plates for healthy adults, but the American Council on Exercise says that using the plates as part of your workout routine can help increase your balance and possibly develop muscle tone.
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