How do vibration plates help lose weight?
Vibration plates are machines that are designed to vigorously move fractional amounts while the user stands, sits or lies on them. They are often found in high-end gyms and can also be bought for home use. There has been a lot written about the benefits of vibration plates for weight loss, strength training, and cellulite reduction – but can something so simple really be effective?
It turns out… yes!
In this post, we are going to explain the physiological effect of vibration plates and how they can help you to reach your fitness goals. Suspend disbelief for a moment and we’ll explain some of the science behind how doing nothing but standing can have a positive impact on your fitness.
How do vibration plates work?
Vibration plates work by constantly changing the surface on which the user stands, sits or lies on; this instability forces their muscles to contract so as to retain balance.
All of this happens so fast that the person using the machine does not cognitively register the intensity of the movements, but the muscles are actually being put through a lot. 15 minutes on a vibration plate is thought to equate to roughly 1 hour of bodyweight exercise.
What are some good vibration plates you can buy in the UK?
Bluefin 4D Vibration Plate
"Bluefin's 4D plate is one of the best selling plates in the UK. Its extremely sturdy and a good choice for everything from home fitness to helping circulation."
At Bluefin Fitness
Mirafit Slimline Vibration Plate
"Mirafit's Slimline packs a lot of features into a small frame, for a very reasonable price."
Wonder Core Rock 'N' Fit
"A good vibration plate for targeting your mid-section. Decent level of power and solid design. "
Pinty Vibration Plate
What exercises do you do on a vibration plate?
There are a few different ways to use vibration plates. Some people simply stand, sit or lie on the machine and keep their balance for 10-15 minutes (depending on their fitness levels). Others use them to pump up the intensity of other exercises.
For example, performing squats, planking, doing press-ups – even practising yoga! Using a vibration plate in this way greatly increases the effectiveness of these moves, which can either create the same physical benefits of the workout in a shorter period of time or supercharge the effects of a full-length workout.
Are vibration plates good for losing weight?
When used in conjunction with exercise, vibration plates ramp up the intensity of a workout and promote muscle growth. Muscle mass demands more energy for maintenance than the same weight in fat. Building and maintaining muscle increases your metabolic rate and helps you to burn more calories throughout the day.
Therefore, if your goal is to lose weight, it is important to think beyond the scales and to consider your body composition. Using a vibration plate is a good way to promote muscle development.
Vibration plates also bump up the calories burned in-session. This varies according to the moves being performed. Merely standing, sitting or lying on the machine for 10-15 minutes will burn an extra 20-50 calories.
This might not sound like a huge amount but remember that using a vibration plate involves minimal effort and only a short time commitment. Performing exercises on the machine will increase your calorific output by an extra 50-100 calories in a 10–15-minute session.
Again, these might not seem like huge numbers but remember that this is on top of whatever else you are burning.
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Are vibration plates good for losing cellulite?
The appearance of cellulite on the skin occurs when the fat – which is buried several layers below and held behind a wall of connective tissue – is able to protrude through the wall, causing the appearance of ‘orange peel’ skin.
One way of reducing cellulite is to shed excess fat because, if there is less fat, there is less fat to protrude and therefore the texture of the skin will improve. However, even thin people can have cellulite, so it is not just a matter of being slim.
The other way to reduce it is to improve the quality of the connective tissue, which essentially acts as a barrier holding back the layer of fat underneath. This requires a good supply of oxygen-rich blood to be pumped around the body and for toxins to be eliminated from the body through its natural lymphatic drainage system.
Vibration plates promote both and so can stimulate your body to repair itself. Clearly, it is also important to reduce the number of toxins being put into the body, with alcohol and cigarettes being some of the worst culprits.
Staying healthy: Vibration plates are good for circulation
In addition to improving cellulite, vibrate plates’ ability to promote good circulation and stimulate the lymphatic system has other health benefits.
There have been a number of studies done into how whole-body vibration affects your circulation and blood flow. Where they found that:
An acute bout of therapeutic whole-body vibration (WBV) increases peripheral blood flow
It can speed up the recovery of injured muscles and help the body to rid itself of lactic acid (the culprit behind ‘stitches’!).
For this reason, vibration machines can be a great way to aid your recovery process after a tough workout or even an injury.
How long should I exercise on a vibration plate?
We recommend doing a 10-15 minute session at the end of your workout and also using it for the full 15 minutes on rest days. You can target the recovery action by gently stretching while on the machine.
Finally, to bring it right back to the beginning, vibration plates can be used as a way of warming up before engaging in a strength or cardio session. They help to loosen up the muscles, which will allow you to stretch deeper into moves and push yourself harder.
They also keep lactic acid at bay, which reduces the likelihood of getting a stitch, allowing you to perform at your best.
References & Further Reading
- Pubmed – Effects of 24 weeks of whole-body vibration training on body composition and muscle strength
- MayoClinic – Is whole-body vibration a good way to lose weight and improve fitness?
- Frontiers – Long-Term Effects of Whole-Body Vibration on Human Gait: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
- Froothie – Do Vibration Plates Work? The Real Science Behind Vibration Plates
- NCBI – The effects of whole body vibration therapy on reducing fat mass in the adult general population