I saw this article about Power Plate and how it affects runners performance – enjoy!
– Dr. Leif Olson
As human beings our physiology is designed for running, in other words, as the famous book states, we are born to run! However it is important to appreciate that running is a skill, and like any skill can be improved and developed with purposeful practice. In addition, how we prepare and condition the body for running in the gym is also an important consideration, to ensure optimal carry over into whatever distance and type of running you are training for. And this is where the workout of the month comes in.
Using Power Plate, or whole body vibration training is particularly beneficial for running preparation and conditioning, for some key reasons to be discussed, that are made even more beneficial when the appropriate exercises are chosen and performed.
The precision of the vibration wave and the rapid destabilization of the platform initiates and forces your body’s natural ‘reflexes’ to engage, often described as proprioception. So when you perform the 6 exercises that are specific to running on the platform, there will be rapid increases in blood flow and nutrient supply to the key muscles and connective tissue in a short period of time, but more importantly you will be uniquely stimulating the nervous system in order to prepare the body for movement, in just a few short minutes.
In other words it puts your body in a state of ‘readiness’, or ‘preparedness’ and this will have direct and extremely beneficial carry over into both running performance and also reduced injury risk.
When using these exercises regularly as part of training sessions, because they have been chosen to focus on key muscles and also joint complexes that relate to running, particularly the foot and ankle, hips and thoracic spine (upper back), with the added challenge from Power Plate, you are conditioning the body to be able to cope effectively with demands of running.
These joints and muscles have to react and respond every time your foot hits the floor, to dampen and absorb the impact from the ground and then use that energy to push off for the next stride. This can be described as ‘efficiency’ a word often used to describe one of the key objectives of running conditioning, in order to be able to move optimally with minimal wasted effort, and is a vital consideration for runners of all ages and abilities.
So in conclusion I hope that has offered a small insight into the thoughts and considerations behind the workout of the month, and we hope you try the program and experience the many benefits of combining running specific exercises with whole body vibration on the Power Plate. You can pick up a workout card on the gym floor or ask one of the team for a few pointers to get started. And don’t forget, you can also use it for a well deserved massage and recovery session afterwards, good luck!
Steve Powell is the Director of Education at Performance Health Systems (the manufacturer and distributor of Power Plate products) and barefoot running coach.