You might have seen the vibrating machines in your local gym or heard a friend waxing lyrical about holding their balance on one.

But what is a power plate? And what are the benefits of using one?

What is a Power Plate?

The Power Plate is a machine which uses the science behind the body’s natural response to vibration to give the user a workout.

The machine literally vibrates, giving the body’s muscles an intense workout which triggers body strength, co-ordination, stability and endurance. The vibration also triggers nerve and muscle communication, improving muscle memory and awakening the body to naturally move dynamically. In other words, more of your muscles are doing more things, more often.

[Read more: Fitness trends for 2017: 5 ways we’ll be staying fit this year]

And because it is an unstable surface you’re working out on, it forces more of your muscles to become engaged as you try to regain stability.

Push-ups, squats, lunges, crunches and a whole host of other exercises can be done on the Power Plate’s vibrating platform. Devotees say they can achieve the same results from a 10-15-minute Power Plate workout as they would in an hour’s normal exercise.

Target areas

While the Power Plate is said to be good for helping runners with their problem areas, it’s also great for anyone who’s suffering from stiff and sore muscles.

Some of the more common areas Power Plate will target are:

• Muscle tightness in the calves and glutes caused by the repetitive patterns of running
• Limited ankle and hip joint mobility caused by restriction and tightening of the muscles and connective tissue around ankle joints and the surfaces of the feet (plantar fascia)
• Tightness in the front hips, often caused by overuse of the front hip muscles – quads, psoas and Tensor Fasciae Latae (TFL) as a result of  dysfunction in synergy with the more powerful muscles on the back of the hip (hamstrings and glutes).

It’s good for cellulite too

Cellulite is a notoriously difficult yet common problem for many of us, and while there’s creams to slather on and old wives’ tales to follow to help beat it, the Power Plate is said to help too.

[Read more: 8 things you didn’t know about cellulite]

“Power Plate provides multi-directional vibration through its platform that increases muscle activity, therefore improving lymphatic circulation potentially helping to break down the appearance of cellulite from the inside out,” says Steve Powell, Performance Health Systems Director of UK Training & Education.

“The vibrations bring about thousands of muscle actions, increasing blood flow and pumping lymph out of congested tissues, helping to flush out toxins. 

“In addition the increase in muscle activity increases metabolic demand, thus enhancing metabolism and, at the same time, stimulating Human Growth Hormone (HGH) production, a regenerative hormone contributing to soft tissue repair, circulation as well as increasing energy and metabolism.”

For more information on Power Plates, visit the website.

Do you use a Power Plate? Tell us in the Comments box below.