Picture of Body Vibration Machine

The Benefits of Whole Body Vibration: Fact or Fiction?

If you’ve been reading about health and exercise lately, you have likely come across a puzzling trend called “passive exercise,” or more specifically, vibration fitness. Whole body vibration machines are exploding in popularity and don’t show signs of disappearing any time soon. In this article, we will dive in to discover the truth about whole-body vibration.

Origins of WBV

Whole-body vibration was born in the USSR, where Soviet astronauts used rudimentary vibrating “plates” to simulate various aspects of space travel. News of the positive effects of vibration on human health spread internationally. In no time, countries from the US to France to China began including whole body vibration in their space programs.

How Does It Work?

The most popular form of vibration exercise features a person standing with knees bent on a platform. When the user is ready, they flip a switch and the platform begins to vibrate. Vibration machines vary in their speed, but the most common setting is 30 vps (vibrations per second).

The human body interprets 30 vps as a danger signal, and fires a powerful “stress reflex” that causes the muscles to contract. The body’s “stress” reaction is the key to whole body vibration fitness. The contraction of human musculature generates a wave of physiological changes, including increased strength, better balance/stability, and improved blood flow. Believe it or not, professional athletes have begun using vibration machines to help speed recovery from intense workouts. Some additional benefits include increased metabolic rate, flexibility, HGH production, improved bone density, and better circulation in the lymph nodes.

While the above effects have been studied and proven at various degrees, do not trust everything you hear about whole body vibration. It won’t make you more beautiful, reduce bags under your eyes, or give you clearer skin. While whole-body vibration has shown great potential for improving human health and fitness, it is not a miracle-worker. There are many unsubstantiated claims floating around, and if it sounds too good to be true, it likely is!

Picture of Woman on Vibration Machine

Who Can Benefit From Whole Body Vibration?

One of the most incredible facts about whole body vibration is that it can improve the lives of everyone – able-bodied people, the physically disabled, and even our elders. Whole-body vibration can serve as a much-needed exercise alternative for sufferers of Parkinson’s, MS, and severe arthritis who may not have the mobility to exercise in more traditional ways. Similarly, elderly people who are too feeble to perform traditional exercises have shown improvements in muscle strength and bone density after using vibration machines.

Buying a Vibration Machine: Try Before You Buy

Studies have found that using vibration machines can be as effective as treadmills for losing weight. As we’ve already covered, there are clearly many benefits of vibration machines, from improved blood circulation, to stronger bones, to improved muscle strength. But I would be lying if I didn’t say that more research needs to be done before fitness experts can understand the exact value of whole body vibration machines. This new form of nontraditional or passive fitness is still in its infancy.

The best vibration machines like the Power Plate, the DKN, and the 3G Cardio Vibration Machine can run in the thousands of dollars. Because of this huge financial commitment, you need to be absolutely positive that you enjoy – and your body responds well to – vibration exercise. How often will you use it? Are you disabled, an elder, or have other mobility challenges? Do you have space in your home or apartment?

We suggest trying several different vibration machines before spending thousands of dollars on one. One of the challenges here is that your local gym probably does not have a vibration machine to try out. Whole body vibration is only now entering the mainstream, but who knows if gyms will adopt them? Vibration machine companies know this – adoption and lack of credibility are existential threats to their business. To help with adoption of their products, they’ve taken a “pop-up” strategy. “Pop-up” stores are special short-term, brick-and-mortar events that allow prospective customers to interact with a product line. If you live in a big city, it is very likely that there’s a vibration pop-up near you!

Finally, beware of any vibration machine under $200. You put your own health at risk by using a machine that isn’t built well or that takes shortcuts. That said, if you make the right choice, and you buy a high quality machine, you’ll reap the benefits for many years to come. But skimp on the price, don’t expect your machine to last long.

For more information, check out this article: https://www.forbes.com/sites/brucelee/2017/03/19/study-whole-body-vibration-may-reduce-weight-like-running-on-a-treadmill-but/


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Health and Fitness Enthusiast. Proud father of two amazing kids and a dog.

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