A Vibration Machine is a platform that vibrates at a relatively high frequency, which is commonly used as an alternative for traditional exercise equipment. This is perceived to be an appealing exercise intervention as it does all the work and only requires the person to passively stand on it. As the machine vibrates, it transmits energy to the body tissues, tendons, and muscles; forcing the muscles to contract and relax. Additionally, it improves muscle strength, coordination, and balance. As a result, it has become popular to those who want to be in shape, but don’t have the time and inclination to go for a run or hit the gym.
Health Benefits of Vibration Machines
Aside from the convenience these Vibration Machines bring, several studies have supported the claim regarding its positive impact on physiological health.
On neurological aspect
Individuals who have cerebral palsy suffer from impaired muscular function and reduced mass in their muscles and bones. Often, muscles that are supposed to work together will spontaneously enter into spasms at the same time. This can obviously make muscle movement quite difficult, which eventually evolves into muscle waste. In 2015, a notable study made a significant contribution to help these patients. It was found out that whole-body vibration produced by vibration machines improve gait speed and standing function in children with cerebral palsy and can be considered for inclusion in rehabilitation programs. This was later supported by another systematic review performed in 2017 by Hong Kong Polytechnic University and Guangdong Provincial Work Injury Rehabilitation Hospital, which revealed that it can also be useful in reducing leg muscle spasticity among people with central nervous system disorders. The seesaw movement of the vibration machine plate creates a pattern in the individual’s legs that is similar to walking. This is believed to improve communication between the spine and the muscles, thus aiding coordination and overall balance.
On bone density
In old age, muscle strength can deteriorate to a point where it becomes critical for independence of transfers and walking. There is a strong evidence that major gains in muscle strength can be obtained by resistance exercises. However, these kinds of exercises may entail intensive training programs which may be exasperating among elderly people. With the help of vibration machines that use an oscillating platform upon which exercises are performed, the said activity can now be eased up.
In a research conducted among post-menopausal women, it was evidently presented that whole-body vibration has the ability to increase bone density. Moreover, it was said that vibration machine use increases the level of growth hormone and testosterone in serum, preventing sarcopenia and osteoporosis. It was claimed that the pressure created by the machine acts as a stimulant of the process of bone formation (See: piezoelectric theory).
On occupational physical performance
There have been significant number of scientific evidence that showed a direct and positive correlation between whole-body vibration and physical performance. It was even highly recommended by the results of one experimental study to incorporate the use of vibration machines to conventional basketball training sessions because it was found out to be effective in increasing knee extensor strength among players. Additionally, in a journal article published in Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports, it was stated that leg muscular performance of untrained people has also been improved after a long‐term whole‐body vibration exercise.
On cardiovascular health
Most often than not, obesity is associated with early cardiovascular dysfunction. Providentially, vibration machine use does have several effects that help you lose weight, such as increasing metabolism, and lowering levels of cortisol. Given such potential of these vibration machines to burn fats or lipids, individuals’ arterial functions are consequently improved. In 2005, researchers in Japan found that the muscular reflexive engagement of the body through whole-body vibration exercise significantly increased blood flow and oxygenation (Yamada, et al.). Three years later, a different group of Japanese researchers found that it acutely decreased arterial stiffness with males in their mid-twenties. (Otsuki, et al. 2008)
Now that you are already informed of the benefits of using a vibration machine, let us discuss on the features you need to remember when getting one for yourself!
1. Oscillating or Tri-Planar platforms?
Oscillating platforms works in a seesaw motion which mimics the walking movement. Vibration trainers with oscillating platforms effectively burn calories and help you lose weight. Meanwhile, Tri-planar platforms rise up and down in a continuous motion, imitating the motion of doing little jumps over and over in the same spot. Vibration trainers with tri-planar platforms are effective at improving muscle mass and bone density.
For the Oscillating type, you consider the Vibroflex - Vibrational Training Bar because it allows you to act as the power source which means that you can just stop when you no longer feel comfortable. As for the Tri-planar platform type, VibroSlim 3D Vibration Platform is the best choice as it offers you three options in one machine: lineal, pivotal, and triplanar movements!
2. Pre-set Training Programs and Flexible Speed Settings
Some vibration trainers come with pre-set training programs for your upper body, lower body, whole body, and abs. These customizable training programs offer different frequency settings and modules that allow you to design an exercise regime that meets your specific needs. You also need to make sure that your vibration machine comes with a speed adjuster so you will remain in control of the machine and won’t be stressing yourself too much.
3. Platform Dimensions
Vibration trainers come in an array of sizes. When purchasing a vibration machine, make sure that the platform is large enough because the smaller the platform, the more limited your ability will be to perform different exercises. Ideally, you’ll choose a whole-body vibration machine that serves your long-term needs because in time, you’ll likely want to do a wider range of exercises and poses on the platform. However, if you want to start small, you can also do so. With VibroSlim Vibration Machines, you can find a variety of sizes suitable for beginners who have a sedentary lifestyle as well as more advanced fitness enthusiasts through to professional athletes.
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