Vibration plates have become increasing popular in commercial gyms over the last 10 years. This increasing popularity is due to the simplicity of using one, and the range of benefits they offer. Our review will help you pick out the best vibration plates available in the UK today. We will explain the benefits of working out on a vibration plate, their pros and cons, and explain the features to consider when assessing which machine is suitable for your circumstances.
What is a vibration plate?
The video below gives a good explanation on what a vibration plate is and how you would use one.
In summary this is a machine formed of a plate that sits on top of a base with a motor in it. This motor makes the plate on which you stand vibrate. In turn you are forced to engage muscles to stabilise yourself. The action of stabilisation keeps your muscles permanently activated, meaning they do not get a moments rest. The activation is in the form of multiple tiny adjustments keeping you balanced.
What form of exercise do you get on a vibration plate?
Although it may not look significant at first glance, once you try out a vibration plate you will really notice the difference. You can perform exercises that you would normally do on a stable surface, but these become far harder to perform. This increased difficulty means you get a harder workout for the same amount of time spent. Plus muscles develop quicker under this different stimulation.
The list of exercises is extensive but common ones are variations on body weight exercises such as sit ups, push ups, squats, planks and step ups. Below is a quick overview:
Abs and core exercises. The shaking sensation that engages your muscles and requires stabilisation really gives your core and abdominal muscles a great work out. A really common way to do this is by performing a plank with part of your body, generally your forearms, but is can be your feet, balanced on the vibrating plate.
Lower body exercises. This involves having one or both on your legs on the vibrating plate. Standing in a lunge position with one leg on and one off is a popular exercise. As are standing in a squat position and trying to maintain it as the plate vibrates beneath you. To make this more demanding, performing single leg squats can take it up a notch. All of your lower body can be worked on, leading to stronger and more toned, thighs, calves and buttocks.
Body weight exercises. Performing push ups, sit ups or other traditional style body weight exercises can be done on a vibration plate. As can many stretching exercises as you may perform in a yoga class. The instability created by the constantly moving plate keeps the muscles engaged constantly, and recruits more muscle to stabilise and balance. This makes such exercises more challenging and therefore your get better results sooner.
Pros and cons of vibration plates
|Tones muscles||Not suitable for people with joint issues/injuries|
|Strengthens the core||Does not work cardiovascular system as much as other machines|
|Improves posture||Can cause back pain|
|Increases balance, flexibility and coordination||Not suitable for pregnant women|
|Maintains bone density||Shouldn't been used for those recovering from surgery or open wounds|
|Helps weight loss||Should only be used for 30 minutes a day|
Best vibration plate for home use
The JTX Slim Fit Home Vibration Plate is perfect for working out at home where space is limited. If you have a dedicated fitness room or garage there are larger options available. But for the sheer convenience of this machine, coupled with the workout it provides, this is hard to rival.
It has a “Tri-Plane” movement system which means it moves in three directions, up/down, forward/ backward and side to side. This is unusual in any vibration plate, let alone one as small and compact as this. This greater range of movement means it provides a more challenging workout than traditional oscillating or vertical vibrating machines.
It comes with a workout DVD and poster demonstrating a range of exercises. Exercise straps are included so you can work on your upper body as well. At 16 cm high it is easy to store out of site, under the bed or on the wardrobe floor.
KEY INFO - JTX Fitness Slim Fit Vibration Plate
|Easy to store at just 16 cm high||Comes with DVD and exercise chart|
|Four speed settings, 35, 40, 45, 50 Hz||Tri-plane vibration for more challenging workout|
|Amplitude of 1.5-1.8mm||Power straps for upper body workout|
|Remote control included||3 built in exercise programs|
|Max user weight 120 kg||Machine weight 20kgs|
|16cm (H) x 68cm (W) x 58cm (D)||Work out area 68cm x 58cm|
|Transport wheels||No assembly required|
The JTX Slim Fit Vibration Plate comes with a 2 year in home parts and labour warranty, with a 28 day no quibble returns policy.
Full details are available here at JTX Fitness.
Features to consider when buying a vibration plate
The motor drives the motion of the vibrating plate on which you stand. The power is measured in either Horse Power (HP) or Watts (W). The higher spec more expensive machines have a larger more powerful motor. The lower end motor size is typically 100 W while more powerful motors range up to 900 W.
Increases in power provide more practical benefits than exercise benefits. As long as the plate is vibrating even the smaller motors will give you a sufficient workout. Larger motors however have to work at less of their capacity to give you the same results. This means that they will last longer, produce less noise and have a longer warranty/guarantee.
If noise is an issue for you, for instance you will work out in a room where someone else is watching TV, then a larger motor is a better option. Also if you are planning to use the plate regularly a larger motor would last longer and have more cover against break down.
The size of the plate on which you stand can vary. Some machines are large enough to allow you lay on the plate, which increases the range of exercises you can do. Larger plates can be used for sit ups with you resting on your back for example. Larger plates require greater force to move them so are accompanied by larger engines, making them a more expensive option.
It’s worth considering which exercises you want to carry out on the plate before deciding on the size required. You do not want to unpack your equipment only to find out it is not large enough for you to do all you wanted with it.
This is how quickly the plate moves (vibrates) and is measured in “Hertz” (Hz) which is the number of vibrations per second. A machine at 50 Hz would therefore be vibrating at a rate of 50 movements per second.
Beginners would start at lower frequency and work their way up with experience to higher and more demanding frequencies. As frequency goes up it places greater demand on muscle to stabilise the body. Hence it is more demanding and provides a greater workout.
When selecting a machine it is wise to consider one with a wide frequency range that goes up in small increments. There will be many on the 30 – 50 Hz range to choose from. More expensive machines will go to higher frequency ranges. You will not see a great difference in results from exercising at 50 Hz compared to 60 Hz. If you are picking a more expensive machine it is more likely to because it has a superior motor. However bigger motors will provide higher frequencies.
The distance that the plate moves from the lowest to highest position of one vibration. It is measured in millimetres so an amplitude of 5 means the plate travels 5 mm from lowest to highest point. The movement will be either oscillating or vertical. An oscillating motion is where one side of the plate goes up while the other goes down. Therefore you will be balancing yourself while your feet are moving in different directions. A vertical motion is simply a straight up and down motion. Your feet will both be moving in the same direction. You will be balancing by attempting to keep your body level as your feet go up and down.
Vertical vibrations are viewed as the harder workout of the two and require more advanced systems, so are the more expensive form of machine. Some machines will allow you to vary the amplitude distance, as with frequency the high the amplitude the greater stimulus and workout provided.
Some machines will move in three directions, forward/back, side to side and up and down. These are known as “tri-plane” vibration plates and provide the best workout as even greater balancing is required.
Amplitude should be a factor when you assess machines. The best machine will have a high range of amplitude and allow increases in small increments. Choosing a vertically vibrating machine with a wide range is the top option, but will also be the most expensive. You can still get the same benefits from oscillating machines with lower amplitude ranges.
A popular purchase alongside a vibration plate is a mat that that sits underneath it, protecting the floor from damage. This may seem like an unnecessary purchase, but give it some thought, protecting your floor will save you money in the long run. Although vibration plate machine have rubber pads on their base, the vibration can potentially lead to scuffs and bumps over time with regular use.
There are also mats available that sit on top of the late and provide a dampener, reducing the intensity of a workout. They work well for beginners, acting as a stepping stone to full powered workouts in the future.
You will be able to add upper body straps to compact machines that do not come with a tower. These allow for a greater upper body workout while taking up less space than machines with built in towers.
Built in programs
Machines come with a built in range of pre-set programs that vary frequency, amplitude or both, throughout your workout. This provides varying levels of difficulty as you exercise and keeps you more engaged, potentially reducing boredom. It also stops you having to make adjustments by pressing buttons, which interrupts your workout.
Warranty and guarantee
Always check any warranty and guarantee that comes with a model you are considering. Lower end warranties are 12 months but more expensive machines with larger engines will have longer periods of cover. They are not more likely to break down than any other machine with a motor but having some extra peace of mind is a plus. Be sure to check if there is anything that makes the warranty null and void, for instance the maximum user weight.
Best vibration plates by budget
|Budget||Mid Range||Top End|
|Model||Pro||Slim Fit||Pro 10|
|Seller||Amazon UK||JTX Fitness||JTX Fitness|
|Price when published||£159.99||£275||£875|
|Dimensions (cm)||120 (H) x 74 (W) x 70 (D)||16 (H) x 68 (W) x 58 (D)||157 (H) x 78 (W) x 106 (D)|
|Plate size (cm)||54 x 38||68 x 58||78 x 70|
|Product weight||28 kg||20 kg||109 kg|
|Frequency||50 Hz - 60 Hz||35 Hz - 50 Hz||30 Hz - 50 Hz|
|Amplitude||0 mm - 10 mm||1.5 mm - 1.8 mm||2 mm - 4 mm|
|Motor power||600 W||Commercial grade 150 watt AC motor||Commercial grade 150 watt AC motor|
|No. exercise programs||0||3||7|
|Accessories||Powerstraps||Workout DVD, exercise poster, powerstraps||Workout DVD, exercise poster, powerstraps, floormat, exercise mat, exercise ball|
|Max user weight||150 kg||120 kg||160 kg|
|Warranty||1 year||2 year in home parts and labour||3 year in home parts and labour|
|Read full review||Full review here|
|Check latest price||Check latest price||Check latest price|
Wrapping up thoughts on vibration plates
Vibration plates come in a range of sizes and budgets, hopefully there was one in this review that meets your needs. Should you take the plunge there is no reason why you will not feel the benefits that thousands of people already have from a vibration plate. Improved muscle strength and tone, a stronger core and a slimmer waist.