The Power Plate whole body vibration platform is a great tool for warmups. Most people advise you to stretch before exercise. They also usually tell you to stretch after doing some light exercise so that you aren’t trying to stretch a “cold” muscle. Whole body vibration platforms are a new way to stretch before exercise and a great tool to increase your flexibility. WBV platforms cause reflex muscle contractions to occur. These contractions happen between 25-50 times per second – a whole lot of contraction. So how does this increase your flexibility? Simple, after all those contractions the muscle has to relax before contracting again. All of that contract and relax activity makes a change in your nervous system, allowing your muscles to stretch further. Physical therapists have been using similar methods for years. Secondly, all those contractions create heat in the muscle and connective tissues. Obviously, a warm muscle is easier to stretch. The contractions also increase circulation to the muscles and joints, again aiding in your warmup.
By increasing the movement of fluid around the joint, the joint becomes lubricated and is easier to move. You can use many of the typical stretches you are familiar with as you hold the stretch for about 30 seconds. You can move slightly in different directions, finding specific areas of tension and then staying in that position. This adds more of a three dimensional aspect to your stretches. You can also use it prior to stretching to massage tight muscles. When you use it for massage you relax the muscles and then you can follow up with stretching. A relaxed muscle will stretch easier than a tense one. After the stretching you are now ready for movement. Go through various dynamic stretches which will prepare you to participate in your sport or exercise. WBV platforms allow you to get a more efficient warmup in a shorter period of time.
Athletes Performance, an athlete training center with 4 different locations, uses the Power Plate this way to enhance the training of their athletes. WBV stimulates the nervous system and turns on muscles that may have been “asleep” due to past injury. This also applies to those who have been sedentary for a long time. Sometimes a muscle is tight due to overuse, but sometimes they are tight due to under use – not enough activity. If this is the case, along with some Power Plate stretching you need some strengthening. You always need a balance between being flexible and strong, especially if you want to avoid injury and feel youthful and energetic. I’ve had injuries with both of my shoulders and had a lot of tightness with my right one. I tried various stretching methods and some helped, but using the Power Plate to massage the front of my shoulder and chest has made a huge difference in a short time. I also followed this up with stretching for better results. Add in some joint mobility movements and you might see even better results than doing either one on their own.