Having a strong, sculpted six-pack is most people's dream. Even though it is not realistically attainable for the majority of us, doing ab exercises on a Power Plate instead of the floor or a Bosu ball can dramatically increase the results in a fraction of the time. The Power Plate is a vibration machine that transmits waves of energy throughout the body which activate muscle contractions between 25 and 50 times per second, enhancing overall performance in as little as 15 minutes a day. "It causes the muscle fibers to fire so quickly--recruiting up to 90 per cent of the muscle fiber--so you can get a great workout in less time," explains celebrity trainer Adam Ernster, who owns The Bunker fitness center in Beverly Hills, CA. "Your body is constantly fighting the unstable platform and forcing you to strengthen your core muscles." Power Plates are a popular workout tool for many personal trainers and are now becoming increasingly common in gyms such as Equinox Fitness. They can be purchased for at-home use at www.powerplate.com. The website explains the science behind the machine and offers a multitude of full-body exercises.
How to Strengthen Your Abs on a Power Plate
Hit the start button on the program pad at the top of the Power Plate and select the degree of vibration (30 is recommended for beginners), and press the "Low" option.
Select the length of time for the exercise. Begin with 30 seconds and build up to 60.
Sit on the base of the Power Plate facing the back, with your feet resting on the vertical portion of the machine while holding onto the handles for support. Hit the start button on the bottom control panel and begin doing slow and controlled crunches.
To tone and strengthen the obliques, do a Side Plank with your right hand on the base, your feet on the floor and raise your hips to the sky. Hit start and hold for 30 seconds. Once the machine has stopped vibrating, turn to your left side and repeat.
Do a Front Plank with your forearms resting on the base of the Power Plate, holding your body in a straight, stable line with your feet on the floor. Be careful not to let your hips rise upwards (imagine you are balancing a glass or water on your back). Hit the start button and hold for 45 seconds while contracting your ab muscles.
Stimulate a yogic Boat pose by sitting on the base of the Power Plate facing to one side. Raise your legs and arms at the same time so that you make a V-shape with your fingers pointing towards your feet and your toes pointing to the ceiling. Lift your sternum, lean back slightly and contract your core muscles. Hit start on the control panel and hold for 45 seconds.
Just as with any form of exercise, stretching is an essential component of a Power Plate workout. Increase the vibrations to 50 and stand up straight on the base and let your upper body hang loosely like a rag doll while raising your hips into the air. Hit the start button and relax and hold for 45 seconds.