Do Vibration Plates Really Have Wellness Benefits? We Asked A Personal Trainer

If you're anywhere near the wellness realms when you scroll social media, chances are you've seen TikTokers standing on what appears to be a black box, getting in a quick workout or simply hanging around while taking a phone call. These platforms are called vibration plates and are thought to offer a host of wellness benefits. To learn more about the devices, we reached out to Kate Georgiadis, M.A., M.S., CPT, and founder of LIFT, for an expert take on what exactly vibration plates are and if they're as effective as they might seem.

"Vibration plates are fitness devices that produce mechanical oscillations. These oscillations transfer energy to the body, causing muscles to contract and relax multiple times per second. Vibration plates are intended to improve muscle strength, circulation, bone density, balance, and flexibility during workouts," Georgiadis exclusively told Gliz. And as it turns out, vibration plates aren't simply a wellness fad but historically have purposes that are much further reaching. "They have been used in physiotherapy, sports training, and even by space agencies to help astronauts maintain muscle and bone health in zero-gravity conditions," Georgiadis said.

Vibration plates do offer benefits, but traditional workouts are just as effective

The vibrating plates you see on TikTok today certainly aren't a new concept — and you might even be envisioning the slimming belts of the 1950s, which also used vibration to promote fitness. While using a vibration plate in your workout can improve strength, circulation, and balance, the devices can also be great tools for those in need of rehabilitation. "Vibration plates can offer certain benefits, such as improved muscle activation and potential increases in bone density, which may be particularly beneficial for individuals with specific conditions like osteoporosis or sarcopenia. They can also be useful for rehabilitation purposes or for those with limitations preventing more traditional forms of exercise," Kate Georgiadis exclusively shared with Gliz.

But these benefits aren't to say that your standard workouts are lacking and that you need to Amazon Prime a vibration plate ASAP. Traditional workouts built on consistent, healthy movement are still key to wellness. Plus, you still may get more out of an outdoor workout than staying inside. Or, you may want to try a workout that stimulates your body in a similar way, like jump roping. "Traditional exercise routines continue to be effective and are the foundation of physical fitness for the general population. It's always recommended to consult with a healthcare provider or a fitness professional before starting any new exercise program, especially when incorporating equipment like vibration plates," Georgiadis exclusively told Gliz.

How to use a vibration plate

If you're curious about the trend and want to experience a vibration plate for yourself, Kate Georgiadis recommends starting slow as a beginner. You'll want to begin with a warm-up exercise, like some light stretching to prep your muscles. Getting to know your vibration plate is also important. Read the manual and learn what you need to know about the controls and settings. As you step onto the vibration plate, be conscious of your posture. "Stand on the vibration plate with feet hip-width apart and knees slightly bent. Maintain a straight back and engage the core," Georgiadis exclusively told Gliz. "Start with static poses like squats or lunges, or just stand on the plate to get used to the sensation. As you become more comfortable with the machine, try different exercises or increase the vibration frequency and amplitude."

While it may be tempting to hang out on your vibration plate for longer periods of time and let the machine work out for you, so to speak, time on the vibration plate should remain brief — and be sure to set aside some time to feel cool and refreshed post-workout. "Keep sessions short (around 10-15 minutes) and gradually increase as you become more accustomed to the vibration," Giorgiadis advised. "Finish with a cool-down period, including stretching to help muscles recover."