Prior to the UK 2017 Spinning Showcase we explored strategies to use Power Plate to prepare the body to cycle indoor. The event was phenomenal. Power Plate took along our Master Trainer team and 10 Personal Power Plate units in order to put those strategies into practice with the attendees. Hundreds of people crossed our paths over three days with most enjoying the sound of the two best words in the history of humanity...FREE MASSAGE.
Importantly these massage and recovery sessions were not only free, but also driven by the educators. The result was mass usage with people who had never experienced whole body vibration rolling out of their classes straight onto a Personal Power Plate still wearing their cycling shoes and covered in sweat. They also brought questions, lots and lots of great questions. As an education team this is what we live for! So we thought we'd share the most common questions related to cycling related recovery as well as our responses.
Question 1: Can I massage before I cycle?
The answer is of course you can. Our message to those with sore thighs, tight calves and locked-up hips is to go deep and get blood flow pumping before climbing on the saddle. Massaging with vibration pre-ride will not only flush the tissues with oxygen and nutrient rich blood but this stimulation added to 3D movement appropriately prepares the body for the task ahead.
Question 2: How long should I spend on Power Plate after my ride?
This one is a little trickier; the answer is 'it depends'. That's a statement we fitness professionals probably don't make often enough because people want an exact number or a straight answer to a question like this one. However, it does depend on several factors with the main point being that everybody is different. As a standard rule during our seminars we let people do their massage thing until they felt better or until we ran out of time! The truth is that it's really based on comfort. Being exposed to the vibration for an excessive period of time could lead to dehydration and discomfort so we generally cap the massage to 1-2 minutes per body part.
Question 3: How does vibration help reduce my DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness)
Put simply, the tissues are nourished by the effects of vibration. Power Plate not only increases blood flow but also increases lymphatic drainage at the same time. This lymphatic pump drives toxicity from the muscle tissues, which helps to combat the build up of soreness after exercise. For the Spinning community this is particularly prevalent due to the intensity of their exercise and it's repetitive nature, with soreness and tightness building up in very specific areas of the body. This helps to pin point where to massage and which body parts to drive the vibration to.
We had an amazing experience getting to know the people in the Spinning community. Their passion and enthusiasm for indoor cycling was infectious and we saw them bring that to our Power Plate sessions. We hope that in return they learned something new about whole body vibration and that you, the reader, can implement some of those same strategies.
By David Howatson, Performance Health Systems UK Master Trainer