Those clever Power Plate people have, in a few years, turned their vibrating exercise and weight-loss machines from a slightly flaky-sounding new idea into what’s almost standard issue for commercial and home gyms. Sports stars from Serena Williams to Ledley King to Lee Westwood have become converts to the benefits of vibration. And now Power Plate has another novel idea.
Its new PowerBike looks like an ordinary exercise bike. It doesn’t even have to be plugged in, so you might imagine it’s quite basic. And until you activate the unique feature, it is. But touch the magic button on the handlebars and it sends vibrations surging up from the pedals to your hips. (And no, the saddle does not vibrate.)
It may not promise to make you a fashionable (or, in my case, fictional) size zero, but the bike’s vibrations certainly do their well-documented thing, increasing muscle activity in the legs and hips and raising the heart rate by 15-20 beats. You can use the (battery-powered) onboard monitor to measure pulse, wattage and vital statistics. But all the vibrations are produced by your own pedalling, rather than electricity, which is both convenient (you could use the PowerBike in the garden) and satisfying.
The PowerBike also has rubber feet, which create a more natural cycling feel, with some normal sideways movement as you pedal. Power Plate suggests, and I would concur, that using the new bike along with its latest £4,995 My7 model (which cleverly does dynamic upper body exercise too) gives you a complete home gym in two machines.