How to accelerate your foam rolling regimen
Have you ever heard of a Powerplate or vibration training?
The concept of the Powerplate originated in Holland with a Dutch Olympic track coach over 35 years ago. If you had to pick one word to sum up vibration training on the Plate it would be “accelerate” because the machine moves in three planes: up and down 70%, side to side 20%, and back and forth 10%. That accelerates anything you do on the ground. That is a terrific feature, but I think it’s best feature is that it increases localized blood flow by 30%.
Rumor has it that Clint Eastwood used to just put his foot on the Plate before golfing to increase his proprioception. The Chicago Bulls use them in their training, and the list goes on and on.
Dislike the foam roll?
My favorite use of the PowerPlate is for clients who really don’t like to foam roll because their muscles are so painfully tight. It is that increase of localized blood flow factor that helps ease the tightness …faster. I put the roller on the plate, and they zip up and down on various muscles, and then we have snuggle time. 🙂 Snuggle time is when they sit on the ground and snuggle their low backs up against the edge with a pad for cushion, and let the machine work it’s magic.
Snuggle time always sparks comments from envious onlookers. “I want my trainer to give me THAT workout!” said one woman to a coworker of mine. We just laughed. 🙂
Not all vibration trainers are the same, and not all work in three planes. However, the cost of the Powerplate is a bit expensive for home use: you can drop 10K on the model we have at Club Sport Oregon. Not to mention the fact that they take up space and are really, really heavy. Fantastic for an institution, but not practical for most homes.
So how do you accelerate your rolling in a more cost effective way?
Check out the HyperIce foam roller
It is a vibrating foam roller, 11″ in length, and has three speeds. They also make a sphere that works really nicely as well. I have tested both on a bunch of clients, and most clients said that the vibrating roller was comparable in result with the Powerplate. There were a few complaints:
- The Hyperice foam roller is 2″ shorter than my other favorite 13″ Trigger Point foam roller, so that makes it tricky to roll both quads at once.
- The Hyperice is a bit of a “rougher ride” because the frequency and amplitude on the Powerplate is shorter, making for a smoother vibration.
- Hyperice is not as intense but effective.
All clients liked the foam surface of the roller and the rubberized surface of the Hyperice HYPERSPHERE
They reported you could feel the vibration in your hands but not so much that it bothered your hands.
One big advantage being able to hold both the sphere and the roller in your hands is that if you don’t like getting on the floor, you can easily hold either in your hand and sit or recline and roll tight spots. The sphere in particular was fabulous for shoulders and smaller places that are a bit awkward to access with full size rollers. Both feel fantastic on the bottom of your feet, and if you had an -itis lurking in your lower leg (plantar fasciitis or Achilles tendonitis for instance) I would definitely target those areas.
I made a video showcasing all three, so watch and enjoy, and let me know in the comments below what your experiences are with vibration technology!