Where should you position Power Plate within your facility?
The answer should always be 'it depends'. Primarily, the physical location of Power Plate is driven by the needs of the end user as well as the atmosphere of the facility. When digging into the question at hand it is often easier to consider poor positioning of Power Plate.
Placing Power Plate in a corner dramatically decreases the opportunity for dynamic movement to take place. If the client or member wishes to be more progressive or expansive in their movement, then they are instantly shut down from using Power Plate. Creating a dynamic environment is the whole principle behind using whole body vibration.
Similarly, placement in areas designed with a male or female clientele in mind is problematic if not archaic. This type of segregation is perceived as providing a solution for the self-conscious, the nervous and those who want privacy. In reality, those areas create a bubble for the member, a safe space from which they will rarely if ever leave. Limiting the opportunity to fully integrate a customer and provide a rounded journey for them is the result of gender specific areas. So let's loop back to the original question and answer it using a few examples of good positioning based upon the solution for the customer.
Space is at a premium in many gyms but having room to maneuver allows the user freedom. Encouraging dynamic stretches over static stretches is much simpler when there is plenty of space for the body to move. That freedom and prime positioning breeds specificity. Elite sports teams, including the Denver Broncos, place Power Plate units adjacent to squat racks. That positioning allows players to go through very specific motions prior to squatting to facilitate improvements in performance. If this were replicated in a normal gym environment the user would be better prepared to hit their workout. No walking to another room. No climbing a flight of stairs. No delay!
The practices of regeneration and recovery need to be visible. Placing Power Plate in a 'stretching area' is not the worst idea but it may be a location that is not frequented by the people who need it most. Having people massage at the end their workout is a powerful visual. It's free massage; it looks great and encourages more people to take part. In my personal training days I wanted everybody to see me aid my client's recovery with Power Plate. It spread the word of my business as well as the message of the importance of recovery.
People are monkey see monkey do. Always have been and always will be. Positioning Power Plate in the corner of a separate room where people stretch and stand still means what? Are the CrossFit guys and girls going to hop on? Will the aspiring tennis player jump on with their racquet and start practicing their swing?
Ask yourself all of these questions. Continually remind yourself that with the correct positioning of Power Plate the end user has a great chance of Preparing Faster, Performing Better and Recovering Quicker.
By David Howatson-Begg, Performance Health Systems UK Master Trainer