Power Plate & Flexibility: The Science of Acceleration Stretching

By · Wednesday, September 1st, 2010

There is nothing like a good stretch first thing in the morning to wake you up and get you headed in the right direction and Power Plate has now Accelerated that process!
Whole body vibration therapy was used by the Soviet Union in the 1960’s to help Cosmonauts combat the effects of microgravity on the body. Acceleration training could be responsible for their record 420 Days in space compared to the USA’s 120 days! When I was first introduced to Acceleration training I was a bit skeptical, and not because those “dirty commies” used it first (sorry I had to channel my grandfather for a second). However, I loved the science behind it, and if half the benefits they claimed possible were actually true, then they had me at hello.

Today let’s start with improved flexibility. I’ve seen people who have never touched there toes become flexible enough in one 15 minute session to touch the ground and here is the how. The power plate causes reflex muscle contractions to occur. These contractions happen between 25-50 times per second. After each contraction the muscle has to relax before contracting again. All of that activity causes a change in your nervous system, allowing your muscles to stretch further.

The contractions also increase circulation to the muscles and joints. By increasing the movement of fluid around the joint, the joint becomes lubricated and is easier to move. You can use many of the normal stretches you are familiar with as you hold the stretch for 30 seconds to a minute.

You can also use it before stretching to massage tight muscles.  A relaxed muscle will stretch easier than a tense one. Cool beans huh? Well, talk is cheap, so unless you try it you’ll never know!

Special Thanks to Staci Riordan, Veronica Ramirez, Dr.Bert & Jody Vanderbliek for their support and help starting this blog!

Chris Riordan CPT, Acceleration Specialist


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