What is Whole Body Vibration?
A long and varied history, whole body vibration has been around for a long time.
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- 0.1 What is Whole Body Vibration?
- 0.2 How Does a Whole Body Vibration Machine Work?
- 0.3 What are the Benefits of a Vibration Plate?
- 1 The Review: Confidence Fitness Slim Full Body Vibration Platform Fitness Machine
In the late 1800s, vibrating chairs and platforms were used by Dr. John Kellogg in a Michigan sanitarium as part of a holistic approach to wellness.
German and Russian scientists began using vibrations to train athletes. This work transitioned to the space program, where cosmonauts/astronauts spending time on the Space Station with no gravity for long periods of time, were losing bone density and muscle mass. Experiments were conducted to minimize these effects using various forms of vibration therapy.
Whole body vibration is a passive exercise program that is believed to reap many of the benefits of strength training without the strenuous activity traditionally required. It also requires much less time.
How Do You Get Strength Training Benefits Without the Work?
As you age, you begin losing muscle mass. This is normal as you become less physically active. You burn fewer calories and therefore add more fat to your body, often in the abdominal area.
Strength training is a great way to offset this. Strength training works because you work against gravity, lifting some sort of weight. You can improve your strength by either lifting more weights or lifting the same amount of weight faster. The vibration acts as resistance, using the faster part for strength training.
Depending on the capability of the platform, your muscles contract many times each second as you perform small body movements, such as stretching, lunging, or pushing up. This constant muscle contraction is what increases your strength.
How Does a Whole Body Vibration Machine Work?
A motor generates an oscillating motion. When standing on the platform, your body feels this movement and the muscles contract. Your body thinks that you are falling, which triggers a stress reflex. This evokes fast muscle contractions, which give you the fitness benefits from this machine. The oscillating motion means that you are never using muscles on the same side of your body at the same time. Therefore, as your body balances, your core muscles strengthen.
A variety of different body positions and movements, such as bending your knees, or pushing up, works different muscle groups.
It is ideal for those with injuries or illnesses that limit workout activity. For those who are disabled, who have limited mobility, seniors, people with arthritis, or multiple sclerosis will find that this a machine they can use.
What are the Benefits of a Vibration Plate?
Reported to develop core muscles, improve stability and overall conditioning, this type of machine provides the same benefits of other machines without requiring any strenuous activity, and in much less time.
Benefits are believed to include:
- Increased bone density
- Increased metabolism
- Improved lymphatic flow
- Increased circulation
- Improved flexibility and range of motion
- Increased muscle strength and tone
- Reduced cortisol and cellulite levels
- Increased human growth hormone levels
- Increased collagen production
Users report that not only is it an enjoyable experience, but they sleep better and lose weight/inches too!
The Review: Confidence Fitness Slim Full Body Vibration Platform Fitness Machine
There is a HUGE price range when it comes to vibration platforms. You can spend close to $10,000 on a machine. If money is no object, look elsewhere, because we don’t recommend that.
Instead, we believe you need to get bang for your buck, and the Confidence Full Body Vibration Platform delivers has everything you need at a very reasonable price.With 50 settings to choose from, there are 1 manual and 3 automatic programs. Each program is 10 minutes long. The automatic programs adjust the vibration speed every 30 seconds. The manufacturer states that 10 minutes on this machine equals one hour of other types of exercise.
Underneath the platform is a motor that develops an oscillating movement, alternating an up and down motion on the left and right sides of the platform. This effectively mimics a walking or running movement.
This machine has a 1.5HP motor. The amplitude of the oscillating platform ranges between 0-10mm, and the speed range is 1-50. Therefore, you can control the vibration intensity. In addition, by moving your feet towards the middle, you can adjust the amplitude and intensity. This is a capability that is not available on all machines.
Yoga straps are built into the machine, letting you do arm and other upper body exercises. This is a great feature to vary your routine and include more muscle groups
The molded rubber platform is a compact 15” x 21”. Steel reinforced handles provide the necessary stability. Most people can comfortably sit on it as needed to exercise various muscle groups. This unit is designed for a 300-pound user.
The LCD display shows time, plate vibration speed, and heart rate. There is pulse rate monitor activated when you put your hands on the handles. And BMI information can be tracked.
It is very easy to assemble, taking no more than half an hour. The power cord is an ample 7’ long, so placement should not be an issue.
Little maintenance is required, only to check the tightness of the screws every few months. It is recommended that you unplug this unit after use.
This machine has a 6-month warranty.
How Do You Use the Confidence Vibration Platform?
The first automatic program gradually increases until mid-point, then begins decreasing again. The purpose of this is to keep your heart rate at a pace that burns fat.
The second automatic program simulates climbing a hill and is an intermediate program.
The third automatic program is for advanced users. It rapidly increases vibration near the maximum and stays there.
The user manual shows what movements are best to use.
Remember to stretch both before and after your training. Also, drink plenty of water. This may seem trivial, but users who have ignored these report muscle cramps.
People new to vibration training should start slow. Use a low setting for 1-minute sessions for each muscle group. Complete 2-3 sessions per week.
As you advance, you can start to increase your training, by going for a longer period of time for each muscle group. Be sure to rest between each training period, then repeat with another muscle group.
You will continue to increase intensity and duration, spending 5-minutes maximum per muscle group and taking short breaks between cycles.
We recommend that if you are pregnant, have a heart condition, pacemaker, epilepsy, metal implants, recent fractures, gallstones, kidney stones, or joint problems, check with your doctor before using any vibration trainer. Also, it has been reported that children under the age of 18 shouldn’t use this type of machine.
The Verdict: With 4 ½ stars on Amazon, this Confidence Vibration Machine is a winner. Nowhere near the price of the well-known Power Plate, it delivers all the benefits.
Users with rheumatoid arthritis, neuropathy and fibromyalgia reported that they have better balance, move easier, and feel stronger. Other users report weight loss, sleeping better, and more energy. One diabetic user reported relief from diabetic foot pain. These are amazing testimonials. For the price of this machine, you can’t go wrong. CLICK HERE for the best price on Amazon.
While users report a variety of benefits from using a vibration platform, some say the research just isn’t there to confirm it. Studies have been done, some with impressive results.
There have been quite a few studies done in the area of osteoporosis and bone density. One NASA study found that vibration therapy might be the solution to bone density loss. Numerous studies concur. One states that there are significant benefits in bone density for postmenopausal women. Another states that chronic back pain was reduced and bone mass increased in postmenopausal women. We could go on but you get the idea.
In the area of muscle strength, one study found that isometric and dynamic muscle strength was increased by 15-16%.
For those with Fibromyalgia, one study indicates that either as a main therapy or as an addition to an exercise regimen, vibration therapy could improve “balance, disability index, quality of life, fatigue, and pain” for fibromyalgia sufferers. A second showed a reduction in pain and fatigue, though no improvement in stiffness.
Sorry, we couldn’t find any studies with humans, but one study with rats showed good results. Whole-body vibration produced significant differences in both body weight and body fat. Those in the vibration group showed a reduced weight of 10%, less body fat, and a lower percentage of body fat. Hopefully studies will soon show that this result can be duplicated in humans.
Though more research needs to be done, the results to date are impressive with respect to the benefits seen with vibration therapy.