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Power Plate

By increasing muscle activation, the Power Plate improves balance and flexibility.

By Zeel Editorial Staff, Last updated: August 15, 2012

The Power Plate is a vibrating piece of gym equipment that looks much like a Segway without wheels. As the circular platform shakes, the apparatus forces your muscles to contract up to 50 times per second. (Muscles typically only contract about once every second.) The Power Plate can be adjusted to vibrate at a high or low frequency.

Power Plates can be purchased for at-home use, but these pricey devices (from $1,000 to $10,500, depending on the model) are offered at many gyms. A gym membership or personal training session may be a much more economical way to get your vibe on.

Benefits of Power Plate: The Power Plate improves balance and flexibility by increasing muscle activation. It also increases circulation in the arms and legs, since flexing muscles requires greater blood flow.

Who Power Plate is best for: Anyone and everyone. Routine exercises, like squats, push-ups, Pilates and yoga are enhanced when performed on the Power Plate, since the apparatus forces users to tighten their core muscles to stay balanced.

The equipment, which was originally devised by Russian scientists searching for a way to prevent muscle and bone atrophy in space, benefits individuals with arthritis and osteoporosis too.

Getting ready: No special preparation is required to work out on the Power Plate. Warm up as you otherwise would, whether that means taking a jog or stretching your limbs ahead of time.

Calories burned: There is no way to quantify exactly how many calories you can burn while using a Power Plate. This number will ultimately depend on the type of workout being done on the Power Plate.

Celebrity Devotees

Mark Walberg incorporated the Power Plate into his training regimen while preparing for his role in the Oscar-nominated film The Fighter. Other Power Plate users include Madonna, Elle MacPherson, Courteney Cox, Sting, Natalie Imbruglia and Donatella Versace.

Risks

The Power Plate is considered to be a safe and effective piece of exercise machinery. Avoid overworking your muscles. Power Plates should not be utilized for more than two hours; as little as 8 to 10 minutes on the plate can be enough in most cases.

Who shouldn't do it: Women who are pregnant are urged to consult their physician before using a Power Plate. Others who may be excluded from using this equipment are those who have acute thrombosis, cardiovascular diseases, hip and knee replacements, acute inflammation, severe migraines or epilepsy. Power Plates will not build cardiovascular stamina and should be combined with aerobic exercises for total body conditioning.

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