Comparing Vertical Whole Body Vibration to Pivotal

With “celebrities” from the world of sport and fitness, such as Rafael Nadal and the Denver Broncos, singing the praises of whole body vibration, it may be something that you’ve been looking into. If you have, you’re probably already aware of the many benefits that it offers and the fact that it’s a suitable type of training for just about anyone. However, were you aware that there’s more than just one category of vibration plate machines? In fact, there’s three types of vibration trainers that you can buy, but due to the expense, size and weight of the sonic vibration systems it’s “off limits” to most people, which leaves two other types: The vertical vibration trainer and the pivotal vibration trainer. If you’re a bit confused at the moment, we’re going to do our best to help you understand the difference between the two while pointing out a few of the benefits that each of these varieties of WBV offers.

Vertical Whole Body Vibration: Vertical/Triplanar What’s the Deal?

Vertical platforms are or should be as close to a pure vertical motion straight up & down as possible for the drive system(s) they utilize. There should also be measurable displacement. Displacement being the vertical distance the platform moves from it’s base position to it’s highest point of travel. Typical displacements range from very small .1mm to as high as 4+mm. This is where differences occur between the 2 styles. Small levels of displacement .1 – 2mm are relatively easy to achieve with very little expense from a manufacturing standpoint. Larger 2-4mm displacements sustained throughout there operating frequencies require more sophisticated engineering.

You may see vertical vibration trainers referred to as “three dimensional” or “Tri-planar” machines since they move up and down albeit with lower displacement typically under 1mm.. They have less platform control and the vertical motion is mixed with side to side and back to front movement all at the same time. Bottom line is they are low acceleration machines with limited versatility and lack any evidence in academic literature. It’s confusing when they are referred to as “vertical” WBV machines as the platform accelerations are quite noticeably different when compared to quality vertical machines.

So how does vertical whole body vibration work? The vertical pulses cause what’s known as a “Stretch Reflex” prompting the muscles on both sides of your body to contract simultaneously. This can have a high impact upon the body and may make it unsuitable for those that suffer with issues with their joints or spinal column. The other thing about vertical whole body vibration is that it doesn’t actually stimulate all of the muscles in your body; it typically only involves the larger muscle groups, which is effective for increasing explosive power, but not quite so effective if you are looking for a total body workout. Dynamic or moving exercises are unsuitable for many vertical vibration users reducing overall versatility.

Pivotal Whole Body Vibration: How Does it Differ?

Just as vertical WBV has several different names, you may see a pivotal vibration trainer referred to as an oscillating machine. This type of vibration platform is more widely used and has much more research based evidence. The key difference (and the clue is in the name) is that it moves from side to side around a central pivot, meaning the muscles on both sides of your body don’t contract at the same time, they alternate instead. This is similar to the way in which we walk, as our body weight moves from one leg to the other. There is much less stress put on joints and tendons with this type of whole body vibration, which decreases the risk of an injury being sustained.

If you’re seeking a workout that strengthens your whole body (pivotal machines engage smaller “supporting” muscles too) with added versatility then this is the type of WBV that you require. Pivotal machines are also proven to improve balance, tone muscles, increase strength and offer therapeutic qualities as well.

Still not sure whether you should opt for vertical or pivotal whole body vibration? Get in touch with our team today by calling 905-906-8660 and we will be glad to provide you with further information, assess your goals and provide you with a professional recommendation based on our years of industry experience.

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