Vibration training or Whole Vibration Training (WBV) as it is better known has not been out that long. It jumped into the fitness scene around 2010 and has grown to be ever more popular. That seems to be especially true for the ladies rather than for men, though some guys and even some professional athletes do use this.
Mainly this is used to tone or shape the body and also is used frequently as part of a weight loss program. Many of you may remember the machines, where you fastened a belt around your waist, or hips and then it shook your entire body to help tone it into shape. Well the principle with these vibration toner plates is similar except it has become a lot more refined.
With these vibrating platforms, your body is quite literally pushed into making small adjustments to help you keep your balance on the platform. These small changes in your body are often termed rapid muscle contractions. Depending on the speed the platform is moving the faster the muscles have to contract and release. This is what helps create shape and toning to the body.
Is a Vibration Toner Plate Right for You?
If you plan on buying and using a vibration plate in your home, then you should know that this is a full body workout. Primarily it increases circulation and then over a short period of time you can build up strength and great toning.
For those who want to lose weight then this does offer a good solution. With this you can do just 10-minute sessions two to three times a day.
What Are Your Expectations from Using the Vibration Fitness Method?
As with any piece of fitness equipment it is always advised to get a check up with your GP before starting. This is especially true for anyone who has not exercised in a long time and wants to try and change that lifestyle. The benefits of using a vibration toner I have listed below:
- A vibration plate takes a little getting used to when first used
- You do a range of exercises all of which tone and do most of the work for you
- Is a good piece of equipment to use as it requires minimum effort on your part
- Great for toning and weight loss
- Great for improving the circulation
- Good for people recovering from an injury
- They do not take up much room
Disadvantages of a Vibration System
It is always worth pointing out the disadvantages of using this method
- When first used they can impact on the joints
- You do need to learn how to use these and which exercises work best
- It is a little lazy exercise (still tough) but no running or great movement required
The video below gives you a very good overview of the features to look for if you are considering buying a plate for your own home use.
You can see that by changing positions and increasing the platform speed, then you can work on different parts of the body, and to get different fitness results such as toning vs strengthening. It is fair to say that if you just used this to lose weight or get into really good shape that it will help a little. If you want this to be highly effective you do need to improve the diet, and in my opinion take on some other type of cardio-vascular training such as walking or jogging.
These are pretty new to the market and the price variation for the different models of machines is pretty insane. They vary from about £100 and all the way up to a few thousand pounds. For home us there is no need to go crazy and one at around £100 is perfect.
It is pretty obvious that the more you can afford to spend then the better the machine you can buy. After all, you do get what you pay for. Many of these plates come with different programs and various features, and it is the number of these that you actually end up paying for.
These features can get quite technical so I will try not to bore you with those and I will cover those in my quick buying guide below.
Vibration Plate - Quick Buying Guide
Like treadmills these also need a motor and it is that which takes your weight and moves the plates. The power of a motor is measured in watts and is also referred to as Horse Power (HP). In all honesty, it is not that important as long as the motor is powerful enough to drive the machine, and is also built to last. The higher rated the motor is the better and the longer it will last. Always keep an eye out for warranties on both the machine and the motor.
A quiet and a more powerful motor is best. These motors inside this vibration style of machine usually range from about 120 to around 900 Watts. All motors will generate some noise but I have always found that the larger the motor the quieter it is. That is simply because it can handle the load much better without feeling under any strain. For me the only time noise becomes an issue when training if you are doing it in a shared space where someone else may be wanting to watch TV. (That can result in a lot of moaning from a partner or sibling)
The Frequency Rate
You will not see this in any other piece of exercise equipment. This measurement is all about how fast the plates can move. It is usually measured in "impulses per second." Frequency uses a measurement called "Hertz." (Hz) So if on your machine you see 60 Hz, that simply means the plates move up and down 60 times every second.
Lower frequencies are better for beginners or for those who have not exercised for a while. They also work well for simple massage purposes or for those trying to recover from an injury. Other than that a higher frequency gives you a better overall workout.
This sounds like a fancy term but it really is not. This is simply the distance the plate travels from the lowest to the highest position. This is almost always measured in just millimetres. The higher this number is then the more intense the workout will be.
For walking a cheaper treadmill with a shorter deck will do the job nicely. These are basic treadmills with a maximum speed of around 10 mph. They also will have a feature where you can set an incline or slope. Usually this is set to a maximum of 10 degrees.
Best Rated Vibration Toners
Please note we have added our own rating out of 5 stars. We have also included an average retail price as a general guide. Prices change regularly so always check those before making a purchase.
Bslimmer ® Unisex Adult Vibration Plate
Bslimmer GOLD PLUS
Comes with exercise workout DVD
Remote Control Programming
Has support bars and wheels at rear
Burns fat, improves toning and shape
Average Price £170
Gym Master Upgraded 2016 Slim Crazy Fit Vibration Plate
Upgraded 2016 model
Silent drive motor
Uses 10 minute workout sessions
80 speed levels
Remote control & 12 month warranty
Average Price £180
JTX Pro-10: Tri-Plane Vibration Plate
Designed to gym specification
A 1 -hour workout done in 15 minutes
Full console with multiple programs
DVD, Noise reduction mat, & power straps
3-Year Warranty - 28 day money back guarantee
Average Price £999
How Do Vibration Plates Help Improve Fitness?
These are all about working the muscles whether you like it or not. As you can see plates vibrate at pretty amazing speeds and as such they shake the entire body. In reaction to that your muscles contract and release and that starts to burn off calories and also tone the muscles. The principle behind these is pretty simple and they do provide a full body workout. Just don't try to talk when using one as you will sound rather strange.
Other Important Features
It does depend on which model you buy as to what programs will be available on them. These help offer a range of workouts that are pre-programmed or that you can set up. The instructions that come with your product will be able to show what these are and what they are used for. These are useful if you have no idea how to go about using one of these and I do like to have them.
The simple thing to remember here is that bigger is better. The bigger it is the wider range of exercises you can do and in more comfort. The bigger plate size will of course require a larger motor to make it work efficiently. This will also make the price of the model more expensive. That said you do not have to worry about falling off and it just makes the whole machine feel a great deal more solid.
Some people buy what is termed a compact model which is simply with one with no bars to hold on to. They do work out slightly cheaper and if you decide on one of those, then look for one that has upper body straps. It means you get a wider range of exercising options for the whole body.
You can also buy mats to go on top of the plate to help reduce the intensity of a workout. They help a little with the grip on your feet but in all honesty I think they are a waste of money. You can also buy dampening for underneath your machine to help reduce the noise.
Check the Warranty & Guarantees
This is just common sense and giving you peace of mind. Make sure that you are happy with the warranty as this is your money. Lower priced models usually come with 12 months cover. All warranties will come with terms & conditions which include usage (domestic or commercial) and maximum user weight. Make sure to check as violating a warranty makes it null and void.
High End Vibration Power Plate
Power Plate MY3
If you are looking for something at the very high end of these types of vibration plates, then the Power Plate MY3 is probably the best one in the UK market right now.
Hopefully this has given you a better understanding of what types of vibration plates are best for you. At least you know what types are available in the UK market.