Christian Thompson has trained myriad athletes, from high-school students to senior citizens, since 1990, but he recently found his niche helping business execs improve their health, while helping alleviate injuries from golf, swimming, and tennis. “A lot of executives have stressful lives, and they’re learning that stress can be harmful to their health and their careers,” says Thompson (left), president and owner of Troy exercise studio Evolutions Inc. Three years ago, Bob Skandalaris, chairman and CEO of Quantum Ventures of Michigan in Troy, turned to Thompson to develop an exercise regimen that would improve his balance and flexibility. “Working out makes you feel better, plus it makes you more productive,” says Skandalaris (right). To improve Skandalaris’ stability, Thompson had him use a relatively new piece of equipment called the Power Plate. The device (which Skandalaris is balancing on) has a platform that vibrates up to 50 times per second. Many professional athletes use the Power Plate, and only recently has it been tapped by exercise trainers. “It’s an expensive piece of equipment (up to $10,000), but the vibrations improve the blood flow, strengthen muscles, and increase bone density,” Thompson says. “It helps everyone.” Since buying the device six months ago for his home-exercise studio, Skandalaris works with Thompson three days a week. “The Power Plate is just one of the steps of my exercise program, but I can tell [it’s] improved my endurance and balance,” Skandalaris says. “My [golf] drives are longer, too.” Other business executives have caught on to the equipment, as well, says Thompson, a certified strength and conditioning specialist.
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