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Whole Body Vibration
What is whole body vibration?
Whole Body Vibration is an innovative, safe, and effective exercise option. It is the use of a moving platform at specific frequencies and amplitudes to superimpose vibration on normal functional strengthening exercises. Like no other exercise, whole body vibration works directly through the nervous system creating a significant increase in the normal physiological responses of the body to exercise.
Is Whole Body Vibration training credible?
Absolutely! Its usage for physical fitness purposes has been supported internationally by NASA, professional athletes, celebrities, physiotherapists, medical and chiropractic professionals. There is research based evidence of its value. It is being used throughout the world. Its proven benefits are detailed in medical journals and across the Internet.
Who uses Whole Body Vibration?
Whole Body Vibration is being used in hospitals, physical therapy clinics, and rehabilitation facilities. People who use this technology vary from the elderly, the person with physical disabilities, athletes who want to start to rehab an injury earlier, or just the general person looking to get toned and fit. Due to its many benefits, WBV is quickly gaining acceptance by universities, professional sports teams, and health professionals in the rehabilitation and medical fields. With it’s wide potential application, new research is constantly being initiated across numerous North American and European Universities. Since most Whole Body Vibration systems were developed in Europe, most of the peer-reviewed publications have come from there. At present there are nearly 100 articles dealing with the effects of and related benefits of WBV. Articles in Spine, Journal of Bone and Mineral Density, and Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise are but a few of the periodicals that have addressed WBV. The Library of Medicine has 978 papers addressing whole body vibration.
Is Whole Body Vibration Safe?
Yes. Oscillating Vibration Technology is considered the safest form of vibration. However, like all new exercise programs, it’s important to consult your health care professional first. Whether you’re physically fit, a non-exerciser, overweight, suffering from stiffness, aches, and pains, or are recovering from an injury-almost anyone can enjoy the benefits of this machine. Countless hours of exercise have been preformed using whole body vibration with no averse effects. Whole Body Vibration is very safe but may not be suitable for some people. Please be sure to seek medical advice before using whole body vibration. In particular, if you are pregnant, have a pacemaker or other implant, or have any medical condition whatsoever, please do not undertake Whole Body Vibration without the approval of your medical practitioner.
What makes whole body vibration exercise different from conventional training?
Whole Body Vibration has the competitive advantage over conventional training due to its ability to provide a more effective and efficient exercise without the constraints associated with regular training, such as joint stress, lengthy repetitions and time commitments. Research has shown similar strength gains to conventional resistance training at a fraction of the time. Ten minutes of Vibration exercise produces similar results to 60 minutes of conventional training. In addition, there is less stress on the joints, ligaments and tendons with Vibration training when compared to regular resistance training. Therefore, Whole Body Vibration provides an effective solution to those that may benefit from weight training, but are unable to engage in that type of exercise program.
Who is the ideal client for this form of exercise?
This form of exercise is good for everyone, even athletes due to the lymphatic stimulation and the fact that this exercise is easy on your joints. Additionally, our research has found the follow people best benefit from this exercise: 1. Geriatric/Aging Boomers for balance, bone density, muscle stimulation, mood improvement through serotonin. 2. Athletes who want to improve core muscle function, extremity (foot / ankle) stabilization, and overall body awareness (Mechanoreceptors from joints, ligaments, muscles, and tendons aid in body orientation and Proprioceptors, which provide the sense of position). 3. Busy Executives use it for compressed time commitment. It is ideal for busy professionals who sit most of the day. 4. Travelers and long haul truck drivers. Sitting for long periods frequently can cause blood clots or other problems, which this can prevent. 5. New mothers / post pregnancy because certain postures will focus on strengthening and reducing around the hips, thighs and abdomen areas very quickly. 6. Back patients use whole body vibration because it is proven to actually help with many lower back issues.
Will whole body vibration slow the aging process?
There are many factors that go with aging. Inactivity and stress are two. This exercise p takes 10-20 minutes a day, at least three times per week. Vibration exercise has been shown to decrease the stress hormone cortisol and increase serotonin (a well-known contributor to feelings of well-being). If you have a feeling of well-being and you have muscle strength and balance you naturally have a joy in living. This promotes anti-aging.
How does gravity affect Whole Body Vibration?
Whole Body Vibration uses the power of gravity (the pull that is exerted by the earth). As the machine accelerates, it pushes up against your body and creates an extra force-known as a g-force. Imagine you were to hold a 12-pound weight in your hand. No problem right? Now imagine someone were to drop that weight, just by an inch or two, into your hand. You would have to use a little more strength to keep that weight from falling. The weight hasn’t changed, but it feels heavier. Now, imagine someone were to drop that weight into your hand 30 times a second! Your muscles would be working much harder that if they were just holding the weight. So while your muscles are working to keep you balanced, they actually have to stabilize a heavier load than they would if you were standing on the ground. Your body literally feels as though it weighs more, meaning you have to work against an increased weight or “load” than your muscles are used to. Thus you are using the “POWER OF GRAVITY” to enhance your workout.
Are all vibration platforms the same?
No, vibration platforms work at different hertz and elevation heights (ours moves 10 mm up and down). The motion is designed to simulate the natural action of walking, i.e. one hip is up while the other is down. This action is functional to the human body and very therapeutic. Some platforms move straight up and down. If reviewing research be sure to be aware of the type of vibration platform used as the results are very different.
Is whole body vibration like a treadmill?
No. Oscillating Vibration is a gentle workout that is not hard on your joints. Instead of walking, you simply stand or perform simple exercises on a moveable vibrating plate that encourages muscle contractions using your body’s own weight.
The Science Behind WBV
How Does Whole Body Vibration Work?
The vibration platform produces vertical vibrations from a side-alternating rocking movement which simulates walking. Our body reacts to this natural stimulus with an involuntary “stretch reflex” body reaction. This is the reflex that occurs when the doctor hits your knee or elbow with a reflex hammer. As a result of the rapid stretch to the muscle tendon caused by the tap of the hammer (the oscillating platform), the muscle contracts to oppose the stretch. The vibration, frequency, amplitude, and resulting acceleration create thousands of these muscle contractions in a matter of just minutes. Without being aware of it, when we are in motion our muscles are always reacting to keep us upright and balanced. This natural reaction is what’s being employed with whole body vibration. By keeping the body constantly a little out of balance, these muscles have to keep working. Every time the plate moves, your body has no choice but to respond; rebalancing you by engaging and disengaging your muscles numerous times per second. The best part is, because the reactions are so quick and involuntary, it actually feels good! The sensation is more like a massage or gentle stretching- nothing like pounding through several sets at a gym. Depending on the speed, your muscles will contract up to 30 or more times per second. Energy is safely and effectively transferred to your body, stimulating every cell, your muscles, your bones and your soft tissue. Contractions occur in nearly 100% of the muscles, in comparison to 40-50 % involvement in traditional exercise. As a result of this exceptional high number of contractions a wide array of benefits are experienced.
What is the science behind Whole Body Vibration?
The science behind Vibration exercise follows several different principles: 1. The Stretch Reflex: The movement of the vibration plate simulates the body’s natural ‘stretch reflex’ . This is similar to the knee jerk reaction that occurs when the knee is tapped by a reflex hammer in a doctor’s office. Without thinking about it, your body responds with a strong involuntary muscle contraction, leading to your leg ‘kicking out’. With Whole Body Vibration technology, these strong muscle contractions can be repeated at a rapid rate. At a frequency of 6 to 30 times a second, Whole Body Vibration can produce up to 1800 muscle contractions in 1 minute. 2. Nearly 100% Muscle Recruitment: Due to its involuntary effect on muscle contraction, nearly 100% of the muscle fibers are recruited. Compare this to conventional training where there is only on average 40% muscle recruitment. This benefits the rehabilitation patient looking to add stability and strength to all muscles around their joints and to the athlete looking to maximize strength gains. 3. Increased Blood Circulation: The gentle rapid contractions of up to 3000 times per minute allow the muscle to work as a pump in introducing blood to even the smallest blood vessels. This leads to the ability of the body to carry off waste products much faster, leading to increased peripheral circulation.
The claims of benefits achieved from Vibration are quite extensive. Can it really be true that you can achieve such wide and varied benefits?
Yes, the claims are made as a result of research from over 40 universities worldwide. More the 978 articles on whole body vibration are listed in the US National Library of Medicine. The numbers change weekly as this technology becomes more and more accepted and more research is concluded by universities, chiropractic, physical therapy, and sports enthusiasts. The medical community is now beginning to embrace whole body vibration.
I sometimes see Hz mentioned in research papers. What does that really mean?
Hertz is a unit of frequency, the same as the number of cycles per second. When the platform is set at 20 HZ the targeted muscles are given 20 pulses per second, causing the muscles to contract and relax by natural reflex, 20 times per second.
What is amplitude?
Amplitude relates to the lows and highs of the vibration platform. If your feet are placed in the center of the platform you will be exercising at a lower amplitude than if your feet are placed on the outer edge of the plate. The displacement on the outer edge of the platform is 10mm. Greater and quicker results are experienced when your feet are on the outer edge of the platform, however, this may be to aggressive for some bodies. Start in the center of the platform and work your way to the outer edge at you own pace.
What is new in research?
Whole body vibrataion has 40 years of research behind its science. As with any technology, the individual needs to take a critical look at the research and validity behind it. Research in numerous North American, European and Asian universities on whole body vibration continues. Most whole body vibration platforms originated in Europe and most research originates from European publications. There are now hundreds of articles and influential peer reviews in journals such as Spine, Journal of Bone and Mineral Density and Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise discussing the positive effects of vibration technology. Presently, whole body vibration is gaining ground in the US and is now being used by high-level competitive athletes and individuals suffering from debilitating neurological conditions. In the past year alone, American researchers have proven its ability to improve body composition, bone density, muscle strength, and functional activity performance. BYU of Provo, Utah has done a study on using whole body vibration for rehabilitation after knee surgery and Oregon State University has just finished a study on using whole body vibration as rehabilitation after hip surgery. Both studies were positive. See some of the research and printed articles are on this website.
Using the Vibration Machine
What is the age limit to Whole Body Vibration Exercise?
There is no upper age limit to this type of exercise. By itself, it does not indicate a contraindication. Whole Body Vibration has many benefits for the elderly population, including positive effects on bone density, improvements in blood circulation, and increase in strength, balance and flexibility. All this is accomplished with less stress on the joints, tendons and ligaments than conventional exercise.
Can I use it every day?
It is advisable to take at least a day or two off per week to let your muscles recover from the workouts. This would depend on the intensity and duration of your workouts, and on your individual health. 10 minutes 3x a week produces measurable results. Several times a day for fewer minutes is also beneficial.
How should I stand?
Stand tall, tummy tight, buttock tucked, legs straight, head up. Try then bending at the knee. Notice the difference.
Is there benefit from moving side to side?
Yes, try moving side to side in a pivotal action. The following are the advantages and benefits from this movement. – Provides larger amplitude resulting in greater work done, per unit of time – “Rewires” the neurological pathways – Provides better stabilization of the head and spine – Provides increased use of postural muscles – Improves flexibility – Simulates the natural locomotor, crossover pattern – Improves neuromuscular communication
Can I exercise all my muscles with whole body vibration?
Yes, the vibration does not discriminate between different muscle groups, for example, quadriceps and hamstrings. The muscles work together as you exercise. The vibration is highest in the body parts that are closest to the platform. The vibration dampens as it travels up the body.
How long of a session is needed to receive benefit from whole body vibration?
You will probably notice some benefit almost immediately – often after 1 minute, you may feel changes. A full session should take approximately 10 minutes. This workout can be used as a stand-alone program or in conjunction with other strength or cardio training.
Is there a training schedule?
Three to 10 minute sessions are a good way to begin. The initial training phase occurs on a neurological level, it is necessary to become accustomed to this new form of exercise to receive its full effect.Your present physical condition will determine when you begin to really experience results. It is normally between 2 to 6 weeks. However, many times results are noticed in days rather than weeks.
Are there specific training exercises?
Yes, you will benefit from three professionally designed vibration programs for beginners, intermediate and advanced users. Also, strength exercises and flexibility exercises are available. They are part of your User’s Manual.
How many calories are used with Whole Body Vibration?
Let’s look at it another way. Our metabolism is unique to us. Metabolism is our body’s ability to burn a certain number of calories a day. The higher our metabolism, the more calories a day we can burn every day. Whole Body Vibration exercise has been shown to increase our resting metabolism. To answer the question, vibration exercise will allow you, over time, to burn more calories per day than you did before starting vibration training. This will help in preventing a drop in metabolism if you wanted to lose weight, or allow you to be able to eat healthy and maintain your weight over time.
How often will I need to use it to see results?
Use of Whole Body Vibration is similar to regular training in some aspects. How often you use it will depend on what you are hoping to accomplish. For those looking for strength gains, we recommend approximately 5 times per week. Others may use it every day for recovery and warming up and cooling down. Due to its ability to increase circulation, lactic acid is quickly cleared, leading to faster recovery and ability to use it again. In many aspects, whole body vibration exercise is more efficient than conventional training. With regular weight training, muscles undergo some micro tears through the stresses placed on it. This leads to a recovery time of 48 hours before engaging in that activity again. Vibration training minimizes these micro tears. Combine this with the increased circulation; there is less than a 24-hour recovery period, depending on the time, speed and amplitude of the exercise.
What are massage speeds used for?
Massage enhances circulation considerably. You may experience a slight redness on the skin and feel an itchy tingly, warm sensation. Whole body vibration increases lymphatic drainage, flushing of toxins from your body, increases production of Human Growth Hormone and reinforces the production of collagen to improve the suppleness of your skin.
Will I feel anything different while using whole body vibration?
Yes, it is common to feel itching in your legs during and after using the vibration. This is due to enhanced blood flow and it usually subsides in a few minutes as your blood flow returns to normal. As circulation improves to the lower extremities you will feel the positive benefits.
Will I sweat during the vibration workout?
Yes and N0! Any exercise or physical activity may cause an increase in body temperature and metabolism. This in turn may cause you to perspire during your vibration workout. Depending on the length of time and intensity of the workout, you may not sweat.
Can I use the machine while pregnant?
Since a study could risk the health of the fetus, researchers will not undertake any studies using pregnant women. As such, there is currently no research available with whole body vibration and pregnancy. Consequently WBV is not recommended in pregnancy.
Can I use the machine if I’ve recently had surgery?
This of course depends on the severity of the surgery. Vibration has been used successfully for many rehab patients with supervision from a health care professional. Please consult your doctor first.
What benefits will I experience using whole body vibration?
There are many and they are amazing! Only a ten minute time commitment per session. – Increases oxygenation in the blood due to the aggressive pumping of the muscle. – Increases blood flow – Raises testosterone levels 7% and the growth hormone levels, 361% Enhanced endorphin release generating that feel good sensation which follows a traditional workout ( Runners high) – Decreased production of Serum Cortisol, the stress hormone, 32% – Increased production of HGH, the growth hormone and all of its anti=aging benefits. – Lactic acid and amino acids are washed from the body due to the aggressive pumping action of the muscle. Result less stiffness. – Eliminates the effects of stress on the joints, ligaments and tendons as compared to traditional exercise. – Lymphatic drainage and microcirculation, which detoxifies and reduces congestion in your fat and cellulite, resulting in inches lost. – Improved digestion. – Reduces pain and disability associated with osteoarthritis. – Redevelops and exercises the muscles, joints and reflexes after injury. – Muscle toning in legs, arms and abdomen.] – Core muscle conditioning and strengthening. – Helps combat Seasonal Affective Disorders by increasing serotonin production. – Reduces acute and chronic lower back pain due to muscle strain and core muscle strengthening. – Helps to deepen and redevelop the neuromuscular pathways. – Stimulates the neuromuscular system. – Improves muscle power and muscle strength – Body reshaping – Tones and increases muscle fiber – Less stress on the cardiovascular system – Improves postural reflexes due to the cross-over pattern of vibration. – Increases flexibility by providing aggressive stretch/relax action – Increases range of motion (especially important in golf and tennis). – Improves balance due to improved muscular communication. – Improves coordination because of better muscular communication. – Improves mobility due to the natural pattern of walking.
How does Whole Body Vibration affect my joints?
One of the greatest features of whole body vibration is that it is low impact – meaning it is easy on your joints. So whether you already have some joint issues or are just trying to avoid future problems, whole body vibration is a great choice.
Does Whole Body Vibration speed recovery and healing?
Whole body vibration improves recovery time and healing by increasing the blood flow during its usage. As hundreds of cycles of contraction and relaxation are experienced by the muscle you have a squeezing and relaxation of the blood vessels. This milking effect increases the blood flow to the injured area and carries valuable nutrition to improve the remodeling of an injury as well as fuel muscle cell metabolism. It is suspected to be in the same class as High-energy ultrasound and cold laser therapy but there is no research to support this yet.
Should I use whole body vibration before or after participating in sports activities?
Both, normally it takes about 30 minutes of stretching to get your muscles and joints limber. As little as 5 minutes of vibration may give similar results. Using vibration after sporting activities washes the muscles of lactic acid thus less stiffness.
Will whole body vibration improve my flexibility?
Yes, this is one of the first things you will notice. Your body is becoming more flexible and your range of motion is increasing. Research has shown that stretch positions with vibration training will give an even greater increase in flexibility. An extra bonus is that your muscles are stretched in the same position as in everyday movement. Whole body vibration works your muscles by gently forcing the muscle to contract and release. This lengthens the fibers of your muscles, in other words, it stretches them as the muscle lets go. Try this simple test. Stand on the machine with your arms out to the side. (If you feel unsteady place on arm out to the side and place the other arm on the top of the machine for support). Turn from the hips as afar as you can to the right and then the left. (Change arms when you twist if you need support). Now turn the machine on and stand for 2 or 3 minutes then try rotating again. You will be amazed how much farther you can twist and reach!
Does it replace all exercise?
Whole body vibration is not a cardio workout. You are encouraged to supplement your vibration workout with a cardio workout when possible.
Can I lose weight when I use whole body vibration?
Yes, you may lose weight! Using whole body vibration has been shown to increase lean muscle mass, therefore increase your metabolism and burn more calories. Dr James Levine, of the Mayo clinic has worked to develop the concept of “NEAT” non-exercise activity thermogenesis. The concept of “NEAT” is really quite simple. The body does not care whether you are sweating in a gym or scrubbing the kitchen floor on your hands and knees. Both activities are burning calories. His clinical research is redefining the concept of what constitutes “healthy activity”. “NEAT” shows us that all the body requires is muscle contraction, to burn calories, and promote better health, weight loss and an improved metabolic rate. Ritzmann Apr 2010 confirmed in the European Journal of Applied Physiology that movement on a whole body vibration platform can effectively create involuntary muscle contractions. Your body is actually working ON IT”S OWN to burn calories while vibrating on the platform. Thousands and thousands of muscle contractions are occurring in just a 10 minute time frame. While of the platform, 90% of the muscles work rapidly to use stored energy from fat cells, and assist the body in adjusting its metabolic rate to burn calories faster. Proper nutrition combined with whole body vibration assists in rapid and pain less weight loss in just 10 minutes a day. For a more rapid weight loss add a cardio workout.
I Have Osteoporosis. How can whole Body Vibration Help me?
Vibration training helps by increasing the strength of your muscles. It is well known that the strength of the bones is influenced by the strength of your muscles. Vibration training is a safe and gentle way to achieve these strength gains. Click Here to read more about Whole body vibration and Osteoporosis.
I have fibromyalgia and was told not to weight train. How does Whole Body Vibration help me?
An effective program for those with fibromyalgia will involve exercises that promote strength, flexibility and endurance. Vibration exercise has been shown to produce greater increases in flexibility over conventional training, with less stress on the joints. In addition, strength gains with vibration training are comparable to regular exercise, except the time to complete exercises is shorter. More importantly, vibration exercise has been shown to be gentle and safe, without putting undue stress on your joints. Consult your physician prior to starting any exercise program. Click here to read more about whole body vibration and fibromyalgia.
I have arthritis. Will Whole Body Vibration be helpful?
Exercise has shown to be beneficial for those with arthritis. WBV strengthens the muscles around the joints and will help keep the area stabilized. Vibration exercise minimizes stress on the joints, making it an ideal exercise solution. Various health professionals have incorporated vibration training into their treatment plans. Once you are screened by your health professional, they will be able to recommend the appropriate vibration treatment regimen for your particular condition. Click here to read more about whole body vibration and arthritis.
Will Whole Body Vibration Improve my Golf Game?
Strength, flexibility and balance-that’s what you need for a great golf game. Vibration has been particularly highlighted in the scientific and sports community in the area of explosive strength gains. Flexibility allows for an increased range of motion- in plain terms, you can reach back further and follow through farther, to make your swing longer. Vibration gives you the stability needed for accuracy, Use it before your game as a warm up or during the off season to maintain strength.
Can I reduce cellulite through vibration training?
Yes, Studies have shown that cellulite can be significantly reduced through whole body vibration 25% with just 3 sessions a week over 24 weeks. Combined with cardio that reduction is boosted to 32%. This is achieved through improving the body’s ability to drain toxins and lymphatic waste by promoting better circulation. This in turn reduces undesirable swelling in those areas of the body affected by cellulite. Being properly hydrated will also help the process so drink plenty of water.
How is circulation affected by whole body vibration?
While performing exercises your muscles are contracting- this would usually decrease your circulation but with whole body vibration, circulation in both the muscles and skin tissue may be increased significantly especially while enjoying the massage positions.
My doctor/specialist doesn’t know about Whole Body Vibration. What should I do?
Both nationally and internationally Vibration Training is becoming more widely known. The knowledge and know-how on the many applications of Vibration Training is growing rapidly – not only in the world of health and fitness clubs, but also in the area of medical and rehabilitative care. If your doctor, specialist, or physiotherapist would like to know more about whole body vibration have them do a bit of research for themselves.