You may have seen these futuristic machines at the gym and been, quite rightly, a little scared! But these machines are perfect for those who like a quick and speedy work out, with great results. Despite the hefty price tag of $10 000 a machine, Madonna is such a fan, she has a few hanging 'round her home gym. These are called a 'Power Plate' and essentially use high-speed vibrations to concentrate muscle toning. If you only have 20 minutes to do strength training at the gym, it is worth jumping on one of these machines to triple your results.
The Power Plate's secret is that it helps to tone your body's muscles effectively and efficiently using vibration technology, essentially meaning 10 minutes on the Power Plate can have the same result as 60 minutes of conventional training. Using high-speed vibrations to stimulate muscles to contract and relax at 30 to 50 times per second as opposed to a regular 2 to 3 times per second.
Here are eight tips to help you use the fantastic Power Plate:
- Read the instructions: Your gym professionals can give you an introduction to using the machine, including how to adjust vibrations, stand on the machine using it to tone and stretch, and to ensure you avoid injuries.
- Check your exercise chart: Next to the Power Plate should be a comprehensive list of suggested exercises and stretches to be used on the machine.
- Start short and sweet: Beginners are advised to start with nine minutes of the resistance program, followed by nine minutes of the stretch, massage and relaxation program, both on the lower frequency and amplitude settings.
- Keep in good form: To develop muscle tone and definition, it is essential to adopt a position that puts tension on the muscles. For example, if you're doing the squat exercise, have your knees bent and lean from the hips, holding a low position.
- Keep your workout short: Although everyone is different, it's usually enough to start with no more than 30 seconds on each exercise. You may not feel the burn immediately, but you will the next day!
- Combine your exercises: Try to choose a combination of compound exercises (such as squats and push-ups, which use more than one muscle group) and isolation exercises (biceps curls and front raises). You'll get a better training response, as well as increasing potential calorie burn.
- Keep your knees bent: Vibration training stimulates the contraction of the muscle spindles, so it's important to keep your knees slightly bent to avoid jarring through the joints.
- Drink enough water: Your muscles will be contracting 30 to 50 times more quickly than in a regular environment, thereby generating a lot of internal heat, making it crucial to keep up your water intake.