As someone with muscular dystrophy, I enjoy exploring new devices that can support my muscle health. Whole-body vibration has been one of the most helpful things I have found to reduce tightness within my body and relax my muscles after I workout. Today, I will explore the device I use, my experiences with full-body vibration, and its potential benefits. While this device cannot replace therapies like physical therapy, it can support other therapies and promote the health and recovery of your body. 

Powerplate Whole Body Vibration

For the last 6-8 years, I have been using the Power Plate ® My5™. While it is expensive, the benefits have been well worth the cost. The features include:

  • Different versions of stretch, strength, massage, and relax. 
  • You can switch between 30 and 60 seconds.
  • You can switch between 30, 35, and 40 hertz, which increases the machine’s intensity. 
  • You can switch between high or low Vibration Energy Output
  • It has a DualSync Twin Motor System that maintains balance at any frequency and output level, allowing for synchronization of the vibration

It also comes with Hand Straps, a Rubber Mat set, a remote control, instructions for use, exercise posture, dust covers, and a power cord.

Recovery & Workouts You Can Do

This resource on Power Plate has a repository of exercises and warmups you can do. I will explore a few that stood out to me, but feel free to look at all of them if you are interested.

  1. Three must-do moves for your total body warm-up: This involves a range of full-body movements through twists, knee bending, planks, and lunging. Avoid bending the legs excessively for those with muscular dystrophy; however, leveraging the different movements while on the vibration plate with minimal squatting is helpful. 
  2. Prepare for leg day: This video includes rolling out while on the vibration plate for the hips, slightly bending the knees and moving the legs to support the ankle, driving the pelvis forward and backward, body twists, and a back/lat stretch.
  3. Four bodyweight conditioning workout: I recommend following through with this video, as most exercises are safe. For lunging or squats, feel free to hold the sides of the device to support the exercise and limit the overall movement to what is comfortable for you and does not damage your body. Since they have two people completing the workouts, one is doing a modified version, which is more manageable.
  4. Self-care strategies, part 1: This video covers how to support deep breathing, release your feet and calves, and use a foam roller. 

I primarily use the Power Plate to support stretching and increasing circulation throughout my body. My routine takes 6 minutes to do. I will do one minute standing with both legs on the plate. On both legs, I will complete 30 seconds of stretching the hamstring and 30 seconds with a calf stretch. Then, I will sit on the power plate for one minute, my glutes being the only thing touching it. After, I will sit on the power plate in the same position but also have my hands on the plate behind me and my hamstring on the plate. Then, I will lay down on the Power Plate to help release tightness in my back and hips.

In the future, I plan on experimenting with using a roller and a lacrosse ball while on the vibration plate. I also want to complete different bodyweight conditioning workouts to improve my endurance and mobility. 

Are there benefits to Whole-Body Vibration?

In their article ‘Is whole-body vibration a good way to lose weight and improve fitness?’ the Mayo Clinic states that many claim this type of vibration can promote “weight loss, burn fat, improve flexibility, enhance blood flow, reduce muscle soreness after exercise, build strength, and decrease the stress hormone cortisol.” However, comprehensive research is minimal, so being wary is important.

Some research shows that it can improve muscle strength and help with weight loss. Under supervised medical supervision, some researchers show that whole-body vibration can reduce back pain, limit bone loss, and improve strength and balance in older adults.

Additionally, whole-body vibration can be harmful in some situations, such as during pregnancy or other health problems, so you must check with your doctor before using this therapy. 

Final Points on Full Body Vibration

While there is limited evidence, I have found the Power Plate to be helpful primarily for recovery and relaxation. I want to explore further how I can release tight areas in my body and complete exercises. If you decide to purchase this product, I recommend using it to support aerobic and strength training, warm up before activities, and relax the body after a long day. Many gyms and fitness studios do have variations of vibration plates, so I recommend exploring these before you decide to purchase the product. You could find these products in stores and try them out there.