You're asking and I'm answering.
My gym is getting "Power Plates" installed and I am curious about the benefits of standing on a vibrating platform compared with a one hour workout in the gym? They are claiming it can have the same effect but I am not convinced! Of course, I'm going to try one but how is this beneficial for overall long-term health?
The Power Plate revolution is beginning to fully materialize and I think it is cool that your gym is springing for some fancy new equipment. However, I am with you and am a little incredulous that 10 minutes on a Whole Body Vibration Machine (WBV) can replace a 60 minute traditional workout. To hear the pros and cons of the Power Plate, just read more.
I must begin by stating that I have never tried a Power Plate or any other WBV machine exercise, and although I am skeptical, like you I am also intrigued. A WBV platform vibrates mildly activating muscles to contract 30 to 50 times a second. Cedric Bryant, the chief physiologist with the American Council on Exercise, feels that WBV could be a good supplement to a sensible diet and exercise program. Some small studies have found that performing squats on a WBV machine is slightly more effective at increasing muscle power as well as jump height than performing squats on stable ground. However, with no external load forcing muscles to exert themselves some members of the sports medicine world don't think that vibrations alone could do much good for healthy, young individuals. The benefits of using a vibration machine for people with multiple sclerosis is dramatic, and other research has found that using WBV has inhibited bone density loss in post menopausal women.
Regarding long term health, the major concern is that high-amplitude vibration can be dangerous over time since it sends jarring waves throughout the body. This jarring motion could create low back pain, cartilage damage, blurred vision from retinal tears, hearing loss and even brain damage (gray matter being shaken too hard in the skull). It is not recommended to use the machines for over 30 minutes a day.
One thing is for certain, your core will get worked using a Power Plate. I can't wait to hear what you think of the machines. Be sure to let us all know.