Many people run out to buy a vibration platform, thinking that the whole thing is really pretty self-explanatory. You get on, you set your speed and your other programs, and you let the machine do its work. Maybe you even change positions and do a few exercises while you’re on it. But truthfully, there’s more to a vibration platform than just hopping on and hoping for the best. If you don’t stand on it correctly, you could put yourself in real danger.
Whatever position you’re in or whatever exercise you’re doing on a vibration platform, you must make sure that your knees are slightly bent the entire time that you’re doing the exercise. Just standing on a platform shifts your entire balance for an extended period of time. If your knees are always locked, especially while standing, your body becomes very rigid, and makes it harder to adjust to the constant shift in balance. Not only could this cause dangers such as stretched tendons and pain in the knees, keeping your knees locked while standing on a vibration platform could pose an even bigger danger – and it has nothing to do with balance.
Locking your knees when standing, whether you’re on a vibration platform or not, can cause blood to pool in your legs. When this happens, especially if you’re warm or are in a warm area, it can cause you to pass out. When you’re standing on a vibration platform, that risk can be even greater because you’re constantly being jostled around, which can also cause the dizziness that often comes just before fainting.
There are a lot of things you need to do when on a vibration plate to make sure that you keep yourself safe. But it all starts when you first step onto the platform, and make sure that you’re standing properly.
Everyone knows that a vibration plate is one of the gentlest and easiest ways that you can exercise – it’s one of the biggest benefits that comes with owning and using a vibration plate. But that benefit can quickly turn into a negative if you overuse it. Because the workout is so gentle, it’s much more difficult to tell when you’re overworking yourself because you won’t feel any pain or stinging of the joints and muscles to tell you so. So how are you supposed to tell how long is too long on a vibration platform?
Most vibration plates can be used every single day, but they should never be used for more than 20 – 30 minutes at a time. Also, you should only exercise on the platform once a day, meaning you should never be on it for more than half a hour per day. It’s important to keep in mind too, that those who have bone problems, such as osteoporosis, or those who have joint problems, such as those with arthritis, might find even 30 minutes on the platform too long. For those individuals, it’s often recommended that the platform should only be used three times a week for half an hour at a time.
Vibration plates will also always come with a manual that will outline the recommended time for use so those guidelines should always be checked. And of course, if you’re ever in doubt or if vibration plates are a new part of your workout routine, check with your doctor first to make sure that it’s safe for you to use.
Vibration platforms do provide a gentle and easy way to exercise. But just because you don’t feel a lot of tugging, pulling, or pain while you’re working out doesn’t mean that you haven’t overworked yourself. And it’s important that you keep an eye on the clock to make sure that you don’t overdo it.
The issue of the safety over vibration plates has been going on ever since they hit the market. But really, how safe are these machines that vibrate your entire body? Really, they’re very safe; and using a vibration platform is going to be one of the most effective workouts you can get. If you have problems, it’s most likely because you’re not using it properly. And the main way that users misuse their vibration plate is through overuse.
In order to understand how overuse on a vibration plate can cause you harm, you first must have a basic understanding of how they work. These platforms vibrate at speeds of up to 75 times a minute. This vibration also vibrates your muscles, toning them while burning fat, and having the added benefit of even helping with certain conditions such as osteoporosis. But, excessive vibration isn’t good for any part of your body and in some cases, it can be extremely dangerous.
The area most vulnerable to vibration in the body is the head. When the skull and brain get shaken around too much, it can cause a great amount of cell degeneration, according to Clinton Rubin, professor of biomedical engineering at State University of New York at Stony Brook (or any sports expert.) When this degeneration starts to occur, being on a vibration platform for too long can have many of the same effects as a concussion. The brain gets rattled around, and this can cause major problems such as blurred vision, hearing loss, headaches, and brain damage.
If you use a vibration plate the way they’re supposed to be used, there’s no need to worry about any of these side effects. Although each model of vibration platforms will come with their own specifications, usually they’re meant to be used for about 15 – 20 minutes at a time – and that’s usually per day. Don’t think that just because you used the platform for 20 minutes and then got off for 30 that you’re okay to go on again. Remember, vibration platforms are a very effective workout, which means that they deliver a lot of intensity in those few minutes. And staying on any longer than the recommended time will definitely prove to be too much of a good thing in the long run.
Working out on a vibration plate is undoubtedly great exercise and it can help with a number of medical conditions. But before you jump on one and go, there are a few things that you need to know. Here are a few do’s and don’ts that need to be taken into consideration before working up a sweat on the plate!
- Wear proper clothing and footwear that is breathable and comfortable.
- When placing your feet directly onto the plate, always remove the mat.
- Stop exercising immediately if you feel light-headed or dizzy.
- Drink lots of water! Vibration plates are an easy way to exercise but you can still become dehydrated very quickly.
- Beginners who aren’t familiar with using the plate should wait at least 48 hours between exercising on the plate again.
- Your body weight should always be placed directly above the centre of the plate.
- You should never use a vibration plate without first checking with your doctor, especially if you have underlying medical conditions.
- The plate should never be sat on if you are sitting straight up.
- Your head nor your stomach should ever touch the platform.
- Beginners should never set the machine to full-tilt until they become more comfortable with the machine.
- Stretching exercises should never be done quickly. Not only are they more effective when done at a slow pace but, they’re also more efficient.
There’s no doubt that training with a vibration plate is not only one of the easiest workouts that you can obtain but it’s also one of the most effective. But it’s important to keep in mind when using your plate that just like all other exercises, you must do it within moderation in order to stay safe.
The problem comes when the muscles are getting too much vibration. People who work in jobs where they are exposed to excessive vibration, such as jackhammering, become quickly prone to muscle weakness. This weakness could also occur if you spend too much time on a vibration plate. The key difference between the vibration your muscles feel when they are on the plate and the muscles of the jackhammer operator is the amount of time that the muscles are exposed to the vibration. It makes sense then that you should only exercise with your vibration plate for short periods of time. So how much is too much?
Vibration plates that have a 12 – 15G (G-force), 6 minutes on the plate, excluding small breaks in between, is plenty. If you do more than that, you could cause some serious damage. 4G plates can be used a little longer, for approximately 15-20 minutes excluding small breaks in between repetitions. It’s also important that once you have worked one muscle group (such as your right leg), that you move on to another muscle group (your right arm), before returning to the first muscle group. This allows your muscles time to rest in between sets and will not only give you a better workout but will keep you safer too!