At this time of year social media is full of advice, some good, some bad and some pretty ugly. A recurring theme is 'leg day', a hashtag that gets millions of shares and likes everyday. With such a flood of information the question is where to start? So many people pumping out so many posts fuel confusion and misconception. Let's answer some simple questions in order to give some clarity on leg day and the relationship with Power Plate.
Why Is Lower Body Training Important?
Our legs are our wheels. They are the main driver in both our daily activity and our recreation whether that is in sport or any number of hobbies. Keeping our legs strong, healthy and mobile is extremely important to our overall health.
What are the benefits?
For those who use a heart rate monitor when training, they'll see a sharp increase in their beats per minute when the legs are involved in any exercise. Using larger muscle groups like the quadriceps, hamstrings and glutes inevitably increase the demand on the body. Therefore any weight loss or body fat reducing program should incorporate lower body training.
Where does vibration fit in?
The answer to that depends on the needs of the individual. A killer leg day involving heavy squats, lunges and jumps needs to start the right way. At Power Plate TV we have the perfect guide on how to prepare for leg day (https://www.powerplate.tv/programs/prep-for-leg-day-series). It's clear that vibration also aids recovery, as anyone who's ever had a calf massage on Power Plate will tell you.
Those who use vibration during their warm up and cool down are certainly on the right track. However, there is a missing piece to the leg day puzzle. Adding Power Plate into the main element of a workout is something that is often lacking. Think of vibration as another type of stimulus. For example, we might train using a super-set in which we hit a set of barbell squats then compliment that with some resistance band lunges. Including Power Plate as a supplementary station enables the nervous system to work the legs in a different way.
Combining a great movement like barbell squats with a set of Power Plate squats can be used as a way to further fatigue the legs as a 'finisher' or to wake your body up in the early stages of that workout. Vibration gives your body the potential to recruit more muscle fibers to perform any given movement. With more of the muscle recruited and communicating the better the odds you'll move more efficiently. That's why power based athletes like those in the NFL have Power Plate as part of their strength and conditioning sessions throughout the season.
Don't be in a daze or fazed at all by leg day. Start with some sound advice over at Power Plate TV on how to prepare. Then keep it simple by trying some of your floor-based exercises on Power Plate. Split some time between Power Plate and the lifting platform. And take advantage of that free massage at the end. Your wheels will thank you for it.
For a deeper look into endurance programming with vibration please feel free to contact our Master Trainer team via powerplate.com and across social media.
By David Howatson-Begg, Performance Health Systems UK Master Trainer