Train like a rugby pro with Power Plate®
Rugby training is renowned for being hard core – pulling carts across fields, running into crash pads, heaving weights and recuperating in ice baths. But the reality is, some of Britain’s strongest and toughest rugby players also train specifically and precisely with Power Plate®.
Mark Bitcon, Performance Manager for the England rugby league squad and Director of Performance for Wigan Warriors, swears by Power Plate whole body vibration training. Every player uses it to prepare for peak performance by firing up their muscles ahead of training and competitive matches, easing out muscle cramps at half time and the end of a game, and boosting rehabilitation after injury.
“Power Plate has transformed my training, recovery and rehab programmes for the players,” says Mark. “Before a match, all the lads use Power Plate for pre-activation work to warm up and fire the muscles ready for action and most will use it at half time and after the match to stretch deeply.”
Every minute counts in training and competitive matches, and this is where Power Plate really comes into its own, according to Mark. “The vibrating plate amplifies whatever exercise you’re doing, so typically you can achieve the effects of a 10 minute warm–up or set of exercises in three minutes,” he says. “Saving that time makes a huge difference to our preparation and means the entire squad can use Power Plate quickly and effectively.”
Drawing upon the science behind a body’s natural response to vibration, Power Plate’s patented dual-synch driven vibrating platform triggers up to 50 reflexive muscle contractions per second. As the user’s body works to regain stability, there is a significant increase in muscle fibre recruitment in any single movement, therefore amplifying the effectiveness of any exercise performed on the plate. Research also shows whole-body vibration stimulates the body’s natural production of the regenerative growth hormone maintaining tissue repair, muscle growth, brain function, energy and metabolism, all contributing factors to enhanced athletic performance and recovery*.
Bitcon favours the column-free Power Plate pro5HP™ as it is portable and can be taken wherever the team goes. For away matches he loads it onto the team bus, sets it up in the changing rooms on match day, and even uses it in hotel rooms with players who need extra time on the plate, especially if they’re coming back after injury. “The Power Plate pro5HP is ideal for athletes on the move,” says Bitcon. “I can set it up in one minute and the column-free design and large plate means the guys have 360o movement and plenty of space to perform a full range of static, dynamic and plyometric exercises. It really is a very versatile piece of kit which I count as essential to rugby training.”
TRAIN LIKE A PRO
To help you train like a pro, Mark has shared six key exercises his players perform on Power Plate.
Where a weight is specified users should use a weight according to their ability and check with a trainer if unsure.
Jump & Squat
Jump on the plate and drop into a deep squat, then jump back off, 3 x 5 reps, 2 min rest.
Used as an exercise to prepare athletes for a strength, power or a plyometric session
Decline weighted press ups
Aim: Upper Body Strength
Keep your feet on plate and hands on floor, 10kg-20kg disc on back, 3 x 6 reps, 2mins rest in between.
Dumbbell hang clean & press
Aim: Full Body Power
Use 8kg-25kg dumbbells, 3 x 5 reps, 2mins rest in between.
Can be done in a circuit or as a stand-alone power exercise.
Barbell step up jumps
Aim: Lower Body Power
Use a 20kg-40kg barbell, step onto the plate and drive up into a jump, 2min rest in between.
This is great for developing lower body power and also contains an element of stability, proprioception and a single leg explosive movement great for many athletic movements.
Aim: Core Strength & Power
Use a 20kg-40kg load and perform barbell rotations with both feet on the plate. Have 1 min rest in between.
Trying to maintain a neutral spine and brace at the end of each movement is very challenging on the plate, but a great full body core exercise.
Step, fix & drive off plate
This is a jump and side step on the plate done at speed.
This is great for change of direction and general agility