These days, hearing celebrity testimonials for one fitness craze or another is such a common occurrence that it’s easy to dismiss most claims. However, when a well-known fitness expert like Mark Verstegen comes out in support of whole body vibration (WBV for short), it’s hard to ignore.

For those who don’t know, Mark Verstegen is a well-respected pillar of the athletic community. He’s a pioneer in the field of integrated performance training. He owns his own performance enhancement company, EXOS, which delivers these enhanced training techniques to over 500 different performance centers in several states. EXOS also provides athletic training services for the NFL, the US Military, and other top-tier organizations which require elite physical conditioning from their athletes. Currently, Mark Verstegen is the active Director of Performance for the NFL Players Association, with a particular focus on player health and safety. As if this weren’t enough, he’s published a grand total of six books on the subjects of health and fitness over the last decade.

When Mark Verstegen says that WBV techniques are a great way to enhance athletic performance and overall health, that statement carries a lot of weight…but not nearly as much as the scientific research behind WBV therapy.

The Scientifically Proven Benefits of Plate Exercise

Plate exercises are basically any type of gym exercise, such as squats, dumbbell presses, or balance training moves which are also performed on a vibrating plate machine. The WBV action of these “power exercises” provides additional physical benefits which regular, static workouts do not. For instance, power exercises can:

  • Increase muscle tone
  • Enhance overall bone density
  • Improve circulatory system

And body vibration training does so in ways that ordinary workouts cannot. While this is great news for athletes and sports medicine in general, the physical therapy benefits of plate exercise are even more substantial.

Plate Exercise for Physical Therapy and Enhanced Recovery

The idea of using WBV to improve the human body has been around since the 1800’s, so scientists have been studying the technology for several years. A few of the more interesting studies have revealed:

  • Incorporating WBV into physical therapy treatment for the elderly can reduce the risk of falling and enhance their overall quality of life (Bruyere et al., 2005)
  • Cystic Fibrosis symptoms can be reduced in children who undergo WBV treatment (O’Keefe et al., 2013)
  • Patients with Multiple Sclerosis can improve their walking endurance when WBV exercises are incorporated into their regular physical therapy sessions (Hilgers et al., 2013)
  • Motor symptoms associated with Parkinson’s Disease can be improved by as much as 25% for patients who undergo WBV therapy (Haas et al., 2006)

The body of evidence is so thick and established, it’s no wonder why fitness experts like Mark Verstegen are making WBV an integral part of their performance enhancement strategies. Doctors and physical therapists can take a cue from this strategy, too. By incorporating plate exercise and WBV therapy into their patients’ treatment regimens, they can greatly enhance their quality of life while reducing the physical symptoms of several common ailments and degenerative diseases.