In recent times, the use of Power Plate has shifted from that of performance training and weight loss to enhancing movement efficiency, preparation and activation.
What I’d like to expose in this article though is something I strongly believe in and rationalize the use of vibration both for training and stretching as well as highlighting the benefits in a rehab setting.
Rehab can be simply defined as “bringing a person back to their previous level of function” which when you think of it, is actually doing our clients a disservice.
What we should be doing is improving upon their previous levels of function to ensure the repetitive strain on the tissue (muscle, bone and connective) doesn’t come back to haunt them. We should be ‘loading’ tissues while in a dynamic stretch environment; aka ‘Increasing Tensile Strength’.
When you break down ALL soft tissue injuries they develop when, at the moment the tissue yields and becomes torn/injured, the ‘load’ placed upon the tissue is more than the load baring capacity that the tissue can absorb. Most injuries occur when the tissue is mid-long length and the load causes breakdown. So what’s the answer?
Well, if you can train and mimic movements of exercise/sport and slowly begin to ‘load’ the tissues in those positions (thus improving or bolstering the amount of load the tissues can deal with) then the tissues will be able to express a more robust, resilient quality about them.
Where does Power Plate fit into this equation?
When we prepare the body to move or train a tissue in a ‘long position’ (as is the case in stretching) this position through cellular communication overtime lays down new, more tensile and more elastic tissue as they naturally turn over (every 6-24 months according to Dr Robert Schleip). So, if while we train it in this position, we can progressively (and safely) add more load tolerance slowly over time then we slowly build that ‘tensile strength’ in the connective tissue and thus bullet proof our clients against soft tissue injury.
Using vibration means that we can apply authentic, natural ground reaction forces that are proprioceptively consistent to all we do in human function. Thus we begin to ‘fortify’ elastin and collagen (elastic and tensile strong tissues) and do so with two options: low and high amplitude. We can also progressively add bodyweight movements that can quickly transfer into the client’s daily life due to the way in which Power Plate replicates how we perceive and receive ground reaction in all that we do.
The better we are at perceiving and receiving ground based loads then the more skillful/efficient our movement is and the more resilient our myofascial system becomes.
Resilient and robust bodies are adaptable and more able to enjoy the rigours of sport, life and function.