When individuals decide to set up a home gym, choosing the vibration plates is a smart choice. It’s mainly because the plates assure an effective full-body workout and promote good health in the comfort of the home.
The primary question is whether or not these plates are advantageous for seniors.
Let’s look into the specifics of the vibration plates, the most suitable models for seniors, and the factors we must consider before selecting a plate for elders.
Is It Useful for Seniors to Train Using a Vibration Plate?
Before we plunge into the benefits of using vibration plates for seniors, it is essential to understand the principle behind the working of the plate.
As the name suggests, a vibration plate sends out vibrations all over the body. Irrespective of whether the vibrations are heavy or light, they repeatedly shake the body’s stability.
To avoid falling off and to stay stable, the body keeps working continuously as a reflex action to maintain the balance to protect us from the vibrations. The main muscles that play a pivotal role in this are the deep muscles.
When we mention the word ‘muscles’ or muscle training, our instant imagination is of muscle-packed people working out in the gym.
But, the reality is that not even half of the muscles are visible from the outside—40% of muscles stay deep within the body (called deep muscles) and cannot be trained with our regular muscle training routines.
It doesn’t mean that these muscles are unimportant, but contrarily, they are even more important than we could ever imagine.
As per the name, these deep muscles are located deep inside surrounding the spine and are never visible on the surface. These muscles provide stability to the back and spine and help maintain an upright position.
So, it’s here that vibration plates come to the rescue as we can target deep muscles using them.
Making use of the plates is even better for seniors as exercising on them trains the deep muscles helping elderly individuals stay fit and healthy as they keep growing old.
Besides these, vibration training adds more value to our health by increasing bone strength and improving blood circulation all over the body.
So, if there is a lingering question of whether vibration plates are advantageous to seniors, it is a reverberating yes.
Main Features that Make Any Vibration Plate a Good Choice for Seniors
There are ample fitness machines in the market, but individuals prefer some models over others owing to their better features. So, it goes without doubt that digging into the important characteristics of the vibration plate is essential.
The Type of Vibration
All vibration plates perform the same functionality, but they are all not the same. There are multiple primary differences between various models, and one of the most important features is the type of vibration.
The two major vibration machines that we consider here are the vertical and the oscillation vibration machines—these primarily differ in the direction in which the vibrations move, up and down or right and left.
It is essential to understand that vibrations in the vertical direction are far more effective and intense besides impacting the spine with higher loads.
If we analyze logically, humans don’t move in a vertical, bouncing motion, unlike certain animals like frogs and kangaroos.
Our natural tendency is to shift the load from one side to the other, meaning that no two identical muscles on either side of the body contract simultaneously.
Any movements in humans don’t happen vertically but only from side to side. Hence, as side-alternating (oscillating) vibration plates mimic the natural movement, they don’t impose a high load on the body. Hence, they are proposed to be extremely back-friendly, meaning oscillating vibrations are best recommended for seniors.
Else, choosing a tri-plane 3D vibration plate that’s a combination of both the vibration types.
Though rarely considered criteria, the frequency range available in different models is important.
Measured in Hertz (Hz), the frequency range helps calculate the number of oscillations that go towards the body every second.
So, when we consider why the frequency range is critical, it is mainly because different frequencies serve different target groups and fulfill various training goals.
Hence, it is ideal to say that various frequencies have various effects on the body.
Every time the muscles contract, they instantaneously try to achieve a relaxed state, and this while contraction-relaxation cycle takes not more than 50 milliseconds.
Hence, when we apply any new stimulus before 50 milliseconds, the muscles remain under tension.
All these undoubtedly prove that training at higher frequencies is effective and thrives as a fool-proof method for muscle building.
But, in the case of seniors, lower frequencies are suggested to improve coordination and mobilization skills—both of which are crucial for seniors to maintain their quality of life.
Moreover, it is better to give seniors ample rest time for the muscles rather than imposing them to constant tension.
The various frequency ranges and the different effects each of them impose include:
- Low Frequency (1-12 Hz): Assists in mobilization, muscle relaxation, regeneration/cool down, and proprioception
- Medium Frequency (12-20 Hz): Improves coordination and muscle function
- High Frequency (20-35Hz): Helps in restoring and strengthening muscle power and enhances the performance of the muscles
Without a doubt, a vibration plate helps seniors train at low frequencies.
The Training Platform
When it comes to various training routines for seniors, abiding by the highest safety norms is the top priority.
But, during recent times, vibrations plates come with a small training platform, which means that we are compromising on safety while training.
Hence, first and foremost, when seniors choose to use a vibration plate, ample care must be taken to ensure that the plate’s platform is large enough.
Additionally, going for plates that come with an anti-slip surface is better suitable for seniors’ better grip.
Let’s summarize the key features that must be fulfilled when selecting a vibration plate for seniors:
- Oscillating or 3D Vibration
- Low Frequencies
- A Safe and non-slip training platform
Choosing the Best Vibration Plate for Seniors
Before going into details, let’s start with some positive news—frankly speaking, most vibration plates suitable for seniors are affordable.
Two main features that raise the cost of vibration plates are wider frequency ranges and various special features.
As seniors don’t require both of them, the price range also becomes more affordable.
Still, don’t be lured by very cheap pricing, which means the quality might not be good enough. At the same time, higher pricing doesn’t assure better quality.
Some of the best vibration plates recommended for seniors include the LifePro Waver Vibration Plate, a model that’s popular and a top pick for older adults as all the features mentioned above are available here.
We are guaranteed natural and healthy movements in an oscillation vibration plate as the frequency range is between 4 and 12 Hz. Such low-frequency ranges are the apt choice for elders. Besides this, the training platform is large enough to keep the individuals safe while exercising.
Coming with an affordable price tag, this model is one of the most recommended options for seniors.
Anyone looking to work out comfortably and effectively inside their home can go for the vibration plates—an overall body trainer.
Moreover, the plate is gentle on the joints and a perfect option for seniors when used in the right way.
To reap complete benefits, it is necessary to choose the right vibration plate.
Feature-wise, any model having a large training platform, oscillating vibrations, and low-frequency range make it suitable for use by elderly people.
So, when picking a vibration plate, ensure that all these criteria are checked off the list to get value for money and health-related benefits.