When it comes to the knees, vibration plates serve two purposes: a great workout and rehabilitation. There are a number of excellent exercises anybody can do on a vibration plate to accelerate any knee rehabilitation program and progress towards recovery. This guide will go over a number of basic exercises and rehabilitation tips that anybody can do from the comfort of home.
Warming Up On The Vibration Plate
No matter the rehabilitation program, proper warmup is the key to an effective recovery. On vibration plates, this is no different. From the get-go, choose the slowest speed setting and begin stretching those specific points on the body to aid recovery. From the hamstrings and glutes to quads and even the buttocks, there are countless warmups anybody can easily and safely perform on a vibration plate.
Even 90-degree exercises can be performed with ease! Whether it be pushups or static knee presses, the vibrations of the plate soothe the muscles while still getting the crucial stretch or burn in, further easing recovery.
Also, combining the power of a vibration plate with the use of a foam roller results in maximum myofascial release. When using this for knee rehab, it increases blood flow to the knees and knee muscles, aiding muscle recovery, and relieving tension both before and after any workouts.
Valuable Knee Exercises
When undergoing knee rehabilitation, exercising the knee(s) properly is crucial. There are countless exercises that anybody can safely do to increase knee strength and speed along with recovery efforts. Here are a few of the most common exercises:
- Squats - No leg or knee workout would be complete without mentioning squats. Stand on the platform and with feet shoulder-width apart and lower the body, as if “sitting back”. This motion is very similar to bending the knees, but don’t confuse the two motions.
- Lunges - Lunges are another important exercise for the knees. Step forward on the platform with one leg until both knees are bent at about ninety degrees (another great 90-degree exercise!). Push back up to the starting position while maintaining pressure on the heels, and switch legs!
- Step-ups - If using a machine with handles, such as the Lifepro Rhythm, step-ups are an excellent variation of lunges. The primary difference is that when grabbing the handles, step off with one leg while keeping the one still on the platform at that 90-degree position. While lunges are a major compound exercise, step-ups provide specific focus on the quadriceps.
These are just three of the more common knee exercises one can perform on a vibration plate. There are also many other standing exercises you can do such as one-legged squats, standing knee raises, or lateral leg raises.
The Power Of Balance
Without a proper focus on balance, any attempt at knee rehabilitation will be incomplete. There are a few types of balancing exercises that anybody can safely perform on a vibrating platform to ease recovery.
- One-legged balance - As the name implies, one-legged balance means being able to balance on one leg. However, it’s far more important than that. With one-legged balance also comes leg power and knee stability. It also prevents future injury. One-legged squats are an excellent exercise to improve this balance.
- Squat Balance - Although squatting is a natural movement for humans, many of us have issues maintaining proper balance while in that range of motion. To improve this balance, one of the easiest things to do is look straight ahead while squatting. Looking down actually hampers our balance when squatting. By focusing more on form and balance, we can permanently improve our balance when in the squat position.
- Transverse Balance - Simply put, transverse balance is multidirectional in nature. When stepping in unusual directions or making sudden changes in movement, it is very common to stumble. Exercises that work the transversal focus on rotational strength, such as the rotational leg lift.
Other Simple Knee Exercises
On a vibration platform, the possibilities of effective knee exercises are endless. Here is a sampling of some of the many exercises anybody can safely perform on a vibration platform.
- Calf Raises - The calf raise is probably the simplest exercise that can be performed on the platform. Simply stand straight and raise the heels off the floor, flexing the calf muscle. Don’t go too fast - speed is the enemy for effective calf raises.
- Lateral Lunges - These are great for balance and strength. As opposed to regular lunges or step-offs, lateral lunges are a side-to-side movement. To begin, the feet should be about shoulder-width apart. Stand on the platform and start to squat on the knee that is on the platform, extending the other leg out to about a 45-degree angle. Bring it back slowly, then repeat with the other leg.
- Kneeling Quad Stretch - This simple exercise works wonders for loosening the muscles above the knee. Start with one knee in the lunge position. Put the other knee to the ground and reach for the toes with the corresponding hand. Then, simply switch legs and continue.
- Lateral Steps - This simple exercise works wonders for the legs and glutes. To begin, stand on the platform and extend one leg off the platform until the knee on the platform reaches roughly 90 degrees, just as if it were a squat or lunge.
Post-Workout Cool down
One of the most important parts of a workout isn’t what’s done during the workout: it’s what is done immediately after the workout. By going straight from knee exercises to daily life, muscle recovery is hampered, slowing the rehabilitation process.
There are many effective ways to cool down, but two of the most effective methods are stretching and massage. For stretching, it’s important to keep the muscles relaxed and free of tension. For knees alone, quad stretches do a great job (both standing and kneeling, as mentioned above!).
Massage is another effective method to cool down those leg muscles after doing knee exercises. Whether it be a knee massage, calf massage, or any other area of the body, it’s important to see what works best. Avoid trigger points and only massage the muscles for roughly five minutes. A massage gun makes giving an effective massage almost effortless. Simply point it at the desired muscle (like the calf), hold it about 6 inches away, and get ready to enjoy an effective and soothing massage.
With this information in hand, effective knee rehabilitation is just around the corner. Take out the vibration plate, perform exercises as instructed, and cool down properly. By following these simple steps, anyone can take advantage of a vibration plate to not only get an excellent workout, but also for quick and convenient rehabilitation from the comfort of home.