There is a lot of hype around vibration plates. However, the technology remains polarizing and divides people’s opinion: While many consider training with a vibration machine to be particularly effective, others see it as a scam. So what is really true? Is it possible to build muscle with a vibration plate?
A vibration plate is not a magic pill, but when used correctly and in addition to a regular training routine, vibration plates can definitely help build muscle.
If you have been following my blog for a while now, you know that I am a huge sports and technology fan and regularly test technologies in the sports field. To be honest, vibration platforms also left a very dubious impression on me at first, but out of curiosity I did some research. Now I would like to share my knowledge with you and provide a little more clarity.
Today’s article will therefore deal with the question of whether a vibration plate is suitable for muscle building. Have fun! 😉
How Vibration Plates Affect Muscle Building
Step on the plate, let it shake you for ten minutes and you’re done… This is how many people imagine “training” on a vibration plate. You can’t blame them because in the media, vibration plates are often advertised as magic machines for muscle building. Are they? A resounding no! Vibration plates don’t work if you just stand on them.
There is simply no magic potion, no shortcut to success. No matter if your goal is muscle building or fat burning: this is only possible with a lot of discipline and sweat.
If you have understood this, I can tell you that in combination with conventional fitness training, vibration plates are extremely effective and you can get more out of your workout in less time. Now let’s take a look at the effect of vibration machines.
Simply put, the vibration plate transmits vibrations to your body. And these little pulses continuously destabilize your body a tiny little bit. Fortunately, we have so-called deep muscles to stabilize our body and regain the loss of balance. These muscles are not visible on the outside, so they are not relevant for achieving your beach body! 😉 However, they are at least as important as all the others and are neglected far too often!
The deep muscles add up to about 40% of our total musculature. But we cannot actively control and train them ourselves. And this is exactly where vibration platforms come into play: Since they always slightly destabilize us, they force our deep muscles to contract in order to maintain our body’s stability.
The deep muscles are mostly located in the back and abdomen and, as I said, they are not visible, meaning that they are not located on the surface but rather on the inside of our body. They are responsible for our upright posture and balance and can be perfectly trained by vibration training.
What does all this mean? It means that vibration plates help you to train not only about 60% of your muscles, but almost all of your muscles. This makes the workout much more effective! However, keep in mind that it is not enough to just stand on the plate and wait. Combine vibration training with classic cardio and strength exercises, such as push-ups or squats, and you will be surprised how effectively you can train your body in only 15–20 minutes. Building muscle with a vibration plate is definitely possible and even very useful!
The Right Frequency for Muscle Building With A Vibration Plate
Training on a vibration plate is not always the same and you can choose between different frequencies. What you need to know is that there are large differences in the training effects between these different levels of frequencies. For regeneration purposes or to strengthen the bones, for example, a low intensity vibration in the low frequency range would be suitable.
Frequencies? What’s that all about? Vibration plates offer a wide range of frequencies. Simply put, the frequencies determine how fast the vibration platform’s pulses follow each other. This in turn influences the effects of the training on your body.
You should know that after our muscles contract, they really want to relax again. This contraction-relaxation cycle takes about 50 milliseconds. However, if the muscle is tensed again before these 50 milliseconds have passed, it cannot relax properly and is, as you can tell, under constant tension. This would ultimately lead to an increase in muscle performance.
Training at an average frequency of 15 Hz, for example, allows about 67 milliseconds between two stimuli. This means that your muscles have enough time to relax after the contraction. This is important if you are not primarily interested in pure muscle power, but rather in improving muscle function and coordination.
Let’s take a closer look at the different frequency ranges:
Training Effects at Different Frequencies
- Low Frequency (1–12 Hz): Muscle relaxation, regeneration / cool down, proprioception, mobilization
- Medium Frequency (12–20 Hz): Improvement of muscle function and coordination
- High Frequency (20–35 Hz): Increases muscle performance, restores or strengthens muscle power
Studies on Muscle Building with a Vibration Plate
What does science say about building muscle with a vibration plate? I did some research and found two very interesting studies on this topic😉
Scientists from the University of Rome have studied the effect of vibration training on the muscle performance of professional female athletes. There were two groups of 12 study participants each, one group trained with a vibration plate for eight weeks and the other group without (control group). At the beginning and end of the training program, a Counter Movement Jump (jumping as high as possible from a knee bend position) was performed and the leg extension strength was tested on a leg press.
In the vibration plate group, significant improvements in both the counter movement jump and the maximum strength of the leg extension were observed, whereas, as expected, no changes were observed in the control group.
The link to the study can be found here: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/6680980_The_Effects_of_a_Whole-Body_Vibration_Program_on_Muscle_Performance_and_Flexibility_in_Female_Athletes
A brand new study from 2018 also found that vibration plates counteract the general loss of muscle strength during the aging process and help to maintain muscle mass. This in turn prevents the risk of injury and generally ensures our body’s stability. You can view the entire study here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6291875/pdf/10.1177_1559325818813066.pdf
Muscle Building Exercises with Vibration Plates
- Thigh muscle (quadriceps)
- Leg Biceps
- Gluteus maximus (gluteus muscle)
- Back remains straight during the whole exercise
- Shoulder width stance
- Look straight ahead and contract your abdominal muscles
- Slowly bend your knees and lean your upper body slightly forward
Important: Knees and toes point in one direction and the knees do not go further forward than the toes
- Posterior segment of the deltoid muscle
- Basic position: Bend upper body slightly forward, knees are slightly bent, arms are stretched
- Back is completely straight during the entire exercise
- Head in one line with the spine (avoiding neck and shoulder tension)
- From the basic position, pull shoulders backwards to pull the cables to the body
- Keep your elbows as close to your body as possible
- Total trunk muscles (abdomen, back, buttocks, …)
- Quadruped position (forearms and feet touch the floor)
- Legs, upper body and head form a straight line
- Tense the entire torso muscles and generally do not lose body tension
- Large Pectoral Muscle
- Front part of the deltoid muscle
- Legs, upper body and head form a straight line
- Maintain body tension (especially abdominal and gluteal muscles)
- Perform the exercise in a controlled and slow manner (the descent should take at least one second)
Which Vibration Plates are Suitable for Building Muscle?
The majority of vibration plates only offer frequencies in the low range up to about 15 Hertz. However, as you have learned, it is more effective for muscle building if we train in the medium to high frequency range. Don’t worry: There are countless machines that satisfy this criterion, but you have to search a little longer 😉
Surely you can quickly lose track among the immense supply of vibration platforms. You should especially keep your hands off cheap Chinese products, which are flooding the market in increasing amounts. I usually recommend vibration plates that have proven their quality for many years. If you want to profit from the vibration machine in the long run and use it to build muscle, you might have to spend some more money. But believe me, the investment will pay off and the plate will last for many years.
LifePro Fitness is a company that has proven its quality for many years now. Especially in the vibration plate industry, the products are highly recommendable and have already satisfied millions of customers worldwide. The majority of the machines only run up to 15 Hertz, but of course the company also offers a platform with higher frequencies.
The LifePro Rumblex 4D Vibration Plate leaves nothing to be desired. The platform offers frequencies from 15 to 40 Hertz and with its three motors for oscillation, pulsation and linear movement, the machine is perfect for building muscle. Also, apart from that, the Rumblex comes with everything you need to make your fitness journey a success. Lifepro’s guided program offers real live support, plus access to a comprehensive library of hands-on training videos.
As if that wasn’t enough, the vibration plate also comes with an impressive number of accessories that take your workout to the next level, from a watch remote, to built-in Bluetooth speakers that stream your favorite workout tunes, to an exercise mat and four bonus resistance bands.
To be honest, I could continue talking about the LifePro Rumblex machine for hours, but I guess it would be a better idea if you just take a look for yourself. Find the current price and read the reviews of other customers here.
As an alternative, the VT High Frequency Vibration Plate Machine might be a suitable option for you as well. This device has also gained an outstanding reputation over recent years and is recommended by millions of people worldwide.
This vibration machine is also very suitable for building muscle, with frequencies in the range from 15 to 40 Hertz. I guess it would be best, again, if you take a closer look for yourself. Find the machine’s availability, current price, as well as the customer reviews here.
Conclusion: Do Vibration Plates Help You Build Muscle?
I hope I was able to explain to you that vibration plates are not a magic pill, but that in combination with traditional fitness training they offer a very effective workout for building muscle. It is possible to train almost the entire musculature in a short time, especially the often neglected deep muscles. In order to build muscle on a vibration machine, it is recommended to train in the medium to high frequency range.
If you have any further questions or suggestions on this topic, or if you think I have forgotten anything, I am always happy to receive feedback by email or as a comment under this blog post.
Finally, I wish you a lot of fun while trying it out. I hope you give muscle building with a vibration plate a chance! 😉