Whole Body Vibration Machine: An Easy, Effective Way to Stay in Shape?

Photo by: Bigstockphoto
Photo by: Bigstockphoto

Whole body vibration machines are a type of vibrating platforms used to improve a person’s physique or enhance any workout. The machine is comprised of a vibrating base that vibrates up and down 1 to 2 millimeters, 25 to 50 times per second.

The machine is sturdy enough for a person to perform deep squats, pushups, and other isometric exercises. To maximize the machine, you have to complete a series of exercises for 30 to 60 seconds with rests of a similar duration. Makers claim that the whole body vibration or WBV training improves strength, power, muscle tone, and definition faster than conventional exercises.

The Origins of Vibration Training

Vibration training was developed by the Russians and applied to cosmonauts to prevent bone density and muscle tissue loss in zero gravity. This training allowed the Russian space program to keep their cosmonauts in space four times longer than American astronauts.

Gradually, the technology started being introduced in the fitness industry. In fact, the vibration technology is one of the most promising in the gym world. However, research on the benefits and potential effects of whole body vibration remains limited.

Benefits of Whole Body Vibration Machine

Improves Muscle Performance Among Sedentary and Elderly Patients

Studies show that inactive individuals and the elderly would benefit most from WBV training. A study conducted by the University of Liege in Belgium found that WBV training improves physical function among participants by 143%. In addition, participants also gained 77% improvement in equilibrium, 60% in vitality and 57% in the quality of walking six weeks after training.

In elderly participants who took WBV training, they felt 41% reduction in pain and 23% improvement in general health.

Reduce Trauma

WBV training is also being eyed as an alternative treatment for injuries and traumas. Traumas and injuries cause limited mobility and movements on affected areas even after healing. WBV training allows the brain and body to remove the cellular memories of these injuries to boost mobility and flexibility. This allows efficient rehabilitation from surgery or sports injuries of all kinds.

Better than Weight Training?

In a report authored by Dr. DeOrio, 12 minutes of WBV training is equal to 1 and a half hour of work out with weights. Because WBV training puts minimal strain on the ligaments, joints, and tendons, it’s a great workout for people afflicted with arthritis, fibromyalgia or multiple sclerosis.

Fat Loss

A 2009 study concluded that WBV training combined with resistance training effectively decreased stored fat in post-menopausal women.  A more recent study found that WBV training has the potential to minimize visceral adipose tissue more effectively than aerobic exercise in obese adults. Visceral adipose tissues are fatty deposits that wrap around organs. This type of body fat can increase the risk of fatty livers, type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance, breast cancer, colorectal cancer, and heart disease.

Finally, a study by European Association for the Study of Obesity found that vibration training combined with a restricted calorie diet aids in weight loss and may help eliminate beer belly.


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