Powerplate and Power – How Powerful Could You Get On A Vibrating Plate

Powerplate and Power – Last week we explained the theoretical effect of the Power Plate using vibrating plates, or “power plates”. Today, we are investigating the effects of vibration training on strength and speed.


New Zealand researchers refer to five studies on the long-term effects of vibration training on strength in trained subjects. The latter is important because many vibration training studies focus on untrained, older subjects, and therefore most readers will not be relevant here. Three out of five investigations showed a significant increase in control over the control group. The other two studies did not show this increase. Not really a clear result, so let’s dive into the research itself.

One of the studies that showed no significant difference, that of Delecluse and colleagues, had quite a few limitations. Firstly, because it was compared between two groups of sprinters, one group of which did only sprint training while the other supplemented this sprint training with vibration training. There was thus a difference in the amount of training that both did. A difference in result can already be explained by the amount of training and therefore need not be caused by the type of training.

Nevertheless, this difference yielded more power for the group doing vibration training, but this increase in power was not statistically significant (could, therefore, be caused by coincidence). Another limitation of the study is that the increase in force is measured by leg extensions To do while training with squats. This can give a distorted view of the power increase.

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The other non-added research was that of Owen and colleagues. This research is interesting because of the subjects; Trained professional American Football players with extensive experience in strength training. However, their squat strength did not increase relative to the control group by squatting on a vibrating plate. However, this research also has limitations. The differences between subjects from the same group were very large. Another problem was that the research was done during the race season. Thus, in addition to the (only) two research sessions a week were just trained and played. As a result, players from the group who did not do vibration training compensated this by getting more play time, for example.

The two investigations that showed no added value thus had their limitations. Unfortunately, there is also a lot to say about the studies that have seen a positive effect. Like the research of Ronnestad and colleagues. These were also trained subjects. In this study, the subjects did not do training for the legs outside the study to minimize the results. A better design of the research. However, the results were not convincing. Depending on which statistical operation you release on the numbers, the increase in power by vibration training may or may not be called significant. According to this research, this is by no means minimal to be called modest.

For example, almost any research has something to notice. New Zealand researchers, therefore, note that there is “only evidence that vibration training can improve athletes’ power,” but more thorough research needs to be done to confirm this.


In English, the terms strength and power are often used for two different things. “Strength” has just been discussed and is about how much resistance you can offer to a particular load. For example, with “strength”, you can look at the maximum weight you can print, often expressed in 1RM (one repetition maximum). “Power” adds to the speed you can do with the weight you can move. For example, by measuring with pressure plates. In Dutch, this “power” translates best into “explosive power”.

Again, five investigations are mentioned that will provide insight into the effect of vibration training, this time on explosive strength. Four of these studies, however, are the same as those in “strength” and thus have limitations. Unfortunately, that applies to the fifth research by Bosco and colleagues [8]. Indeed, volley ballers and water policemen (yes, that’s a word) were divided between the test and control group without ensuring that this distribution was equal. For example, in one group there could be a lot more volley ballers and in the other group of water policemen. Power testing was done by looking at leap power. You can imagine that volleyball players who jump continuously have more leaping power than water policemen whose feet do not even hit the ground/ground during training.

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However, if we look at the four other investigations that have fewer restrictions, we will at least see that they all show a (modest) added value for vibration training.


… it may be that WBV training can enhance an athlete’s power. Because jumping is a movement that occurs naturally in many sports, these changes in jump height seem to be a valid goal for athletic performance and leg power.

-Wilcock, Ian M. Auckland University of Technology


It is good to know that there are multiple types of vibrating plates. The most common two types are linear and pivoting vibrating plates. Linear vibrating plates, also known as vertical platforms, go up and down. Pivoting, or oscillating, vibrating discs have a whip action with one side up and one down and vice versa.

Manufacturers of both types claim that the method used by them is the best. Both can use the same arguments for this purpose. The movement of one or just the other would be “natural”. Unless you live in Groningen, however, vibrations of vibrating plates seem to me anything but of course (ok, they are not actually in Groningen).

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If we restrict ourselves to effect, research seems to show that linear/vertical vibrating plates are more efficient than pivoting. This turned out, among other things, from a meta-analysis of Spanish researchers:

The first moderator of the treatment effect of vibration on power development is the type of vibration platform used. Differences were noted in both acute and chronic changes in power when vertical vibration platforms are compared with oscillating platforms. Vertical platforms elicit a significantly greater treatment effect for chronic adaptations (ES = .99) as compared to oscillating platforms (ES = .36).

– P. Marin, European University Miguel de Cervantes


I have just ignored the therapeutic applications for the elderly and less mobile people and looked at the added value for experienced power athletes such as the average gym visitor who wants a muscular body.

For this group, a significant added value of a vibrating plate for power development does not appear to be convincing enough. Looking at the practice, I personally do not seem to be in line for the power plate instead of the squat rack. In addition, I personally still have the problem of connecting the vibrating discs to older women, who just find it easy to take a few minutes on this thing and then go home.


In the third and final part about vibrating plates, I specifically focus on the effect of vibration training on fat burning.


Wilcock, Ian M; Whatman, Chris; Harris, Nigel; Keogh, Justin WL. Vibration Training: Could It Enhance the Strength, Power, or Speed ​​of Athletes? Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. Issue: Volume 23 (2), March 2009, pp 593-603

Fagnani, F, Giombini, A, Di Cesare, A, Pigozzi, F and Di Salvo, V. The effects of a whole-body vibration program on muscle performance and flexibility in female athletes. Am J Phys With Rehabil 85: 956-962, 2006.

Issurin, VB, Liebermann, DG, and Tenenbaum, G. Effect of vibratory stimulation training on maximum force and flexibility. J Sports Sci 12: 561-566, 1994.

Ronnestad, BR. Sammenligning af de præstationsfremmende effekter af squats på en vibration plate med konventionelle squats i rekreativt resistent-trænete. J Strength Cond Res 18: 839-845, 2004.

Delecluse, C, Roelants, M, Diels, R, Koninckx, E, and Verschueren, S. Effects of whole body vibration training on muscle strength and sprint performance in sprint-trained athletes. Int J Sports With 26: 662-668, 2005.

Owen, GJ. The influence of whole body vibration on knee extensor stiffness and functional performance. Master's thesis, Auckland University of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand, 2004.

Abernethy, P, Wilson, GJ, and Logan, P. Strength and power assessment: issues, controversies and challenges. Sports With 19: 402-417, 1995.

Bosco, C, Cardinal, M, Tsarpela, O, Colli, R, Tihanyi, J, Von Duvillard, S, and Viru, A. The influence of whole body vibration on jumping performance. Biol Sport 15: 157-164, 1998

Marín PJ, Rhea MR. Effects of vibration training on muscle power: a meta-analysis. J Strength Cond Res. 2010 Mar; 24 (3): 871-8. Doi: 10.1519 / JSC.0b013e3181c7c6f0. PubMed PMID: 20145554.

Abercromby, AF; Amonette, WE; Layne, CS; McFarlin, BK; Hinman, MR; Paloski, WH (2007). "Vibration exposure and biodynamic responses during whole-body vibration training." Medicine and science in sports and exercise 39 (10): 1794-800.