Top 10 Questions About a Whole Body Vibration Machine

Galileo Vibraflex

Fitness crazes come and go, but exercise programs with the longest “shelf life” are those that offer the greatest benefit while appealing to a broad range of people, regardless of body type or other limitations. A whole body vibration machine offers some of the greatest health benefits of any exercise program, but is sometimes misunderstood by people who regard such a device as a trend, rather than a long term solution to their exercise or weight problems.


1 – What is a whole body vibration machine (WBV) machine?

A WBV machine platform creates a single vertical directional force referred to as hyper gravity. This force is effective only in one direction against the gravitational forces of the earth; this force is referred to as G-force. The moving platform creates upward load resistance similar to the sensations of riding in an elevator. When the elevator moves rapidly upwards, it feels like your body just became heavier. With the load resistance from higher platform speeds you get the additional effect of stretch reflex muscle activation resulting in your muscles working harder without you actually having to try. The whole body vibration machine is doing the work for you. The intensity of WBV training is determined by three key factors; frequency, the speed of the platform measured in Hz frequency (cycles per second). The amplitude, how high the plate travels from its lowest point to the highest (on a pivotal platform, the amplitude is adjusted by where the user places their feet or hands on the platform). And the magnitude of load resistance it is able to generate measured in G force.

2 -Can I really lose weight using vibration exercise machines?

Yes, using this type of exercise machinery can lead to weight loss. WBV training is a unique form of accelerated resistance exercise. Just like any other form of exercise when we develop stronger and toner muscles, we also boost our metabolism which leads to burning more calories. Combining WBV for strengthening in conjunction with a cardio exercise and last but not least, modifications to your dietary habits will accelerate your weight loss goals.

3 -I heard a 10 minute session on a vibration platform is equal to an hour in the gym. How can this be?
To be honest? It depends on what you are doing in those ten minutes. Same at the Gym, you spend an hour there but what did you do? Level of effort and the type of exercise performed is what ultimately the true comparison is. If the same yes, a suitable whole body vibration machine and correct technique will shorten the amount of time you spend exercising. Higher vibrations (23 Hz and higher) will cause rapid and intense muscle contractions. Muscles respond with a rapid stretch-reflex, an automatic response in which the muscle tissues contract and relax peaking at 26 – 27 contractions per minute, shown by heightened electromyogram (EMG) activity. Due to this subconscious contraction of the muscles, nearly 100% of the muscle fibers are used compared to 40 – 60 % in traditional resistance training through conscious voluntary movement.

3 -Is there any difference in exercise form when using vibration exercise machines?

It depends. Certain forms of exercise, such as traditional weight training using free weights, do not have a counterpart when it comes to using a WBVM. Generally speaking, however, less stress is placed on the lower back when using a whole body vibration machine than when using free weights.

4 – Can an entire workout be completed by just standing on vibration machine?

Although you will gain some benefits, you will not experience significant fitness gains nor are you really exercising your entire body. Because you feel stimulation throughout your body when standing on it, many vibration plate machine manufacturers will lead you to believe that simply standing there is all you need to do. If you want to improve your body’s function as a whole you will need to work towards poses that engage the muscles specific to what you are trying to accomplish. For example, a ‘frozen’ shoulder. You would want to do things like modified push ups & shoulder presses to get the stimulation more directly to that area. Lateral stretches to increase range of motion etc. The challenge for many is that we did not have a great exercise discipline in the first place. Plus, many companies feel it’s easier to sell if it’s just a matter of standing there!

5 – Vibration machines are priced all over the place. Why spend thousands when others sell for a few hundred?

Despite all the glossy advertising you’ve seen about whole body vibration machines, only a FEW vibration machines can produce the results they quote from the scientific research. A vibration platform needs to produce at least 10Gs of force to offer all of the potential benefits of WBV. Unfortunately the market is flooded with machines being sold under false or incorrect specifications. An inexperienced consumer if left shopping by price, the biggest discounts. We always recommend asking for independent verification of a machines spec to ensure you are comparing apples to apples. After all, what good is a great deal if you’re not going to get the results? Galileo and VibraFlex patented technology has been used for the majority of the original research done in the field of whole body vibration therapy and training. Others may quote the vibration research literature however; results from one system cannot be implied to another since the parameters of vibration can differ. When doing your own due diligence examining the sales marketing quoted by all, ensure the research has been conducted on the system under evaluation, or that the platform in question has the ability to perform within the same parameters. In a recent independent engineers testing of over 40 vibration machines offered in the market place, only 9 machines made the grade. Of the nine, 4 of our

6 – Can I integrate training on a whole body vibration machine with other exercise regimens?

Yes. Any certified vibration machine trainer can work with you to develop a training program, which in all likelihood will include exercises you are familiar with, such as squats or certain stretching exercises. Because training is specific to each person, you may find yourself in the position of rotating exercises across multiple weight loss or strength and conditioning programs and machinery — then coming back to a whole body vibration machine as a warm up and cool down tool. Then alternate using whole body vibration at higher frequencies and intensity as the full routine when time is limited.

7 – Many vibration machines available all seem to make the same claims. Is there any validity to these claims?

As we mentioned, many machines are not operating at the specifications they claim. The vast majority deliver low G force, these massage units are limited to relaxation, lymph and circulatory benefits. Most vibration machines cannot support all the benefits they claim. In particular increased muscle tone/power/strength and neurological benefits which are typically accomplished at frequencies in excess of 20 hertz. The vast majority of pivotal machines being sold today do not exceed 18 hertz.

8 – Is there an age limit?

If a person is healthy, there is no age limit to using a WBV machine. Many senior citizens integrate such machinery into their exercise regimen because of its many benefits. However, it is not recommended that children under the age of 12 use a WBVM unless directed by a physician or qualified WBV trainer.

9 – What are some of the health benefits besides losing weight?

When it comes to exercise, the truth is most people get involved with a specific program to lose weight. In the case of a vibration therapy and training, there are many other benefits to consider, including:
Improving blood flow, lymphatic drainage and helping to develop a sense of physical balance at low frequency (14 Hz or less) vibrations relaxing and refreshing the body with massaging effects. Improving muscle strength and tone, bone density to combat osteoporosis involves the use of higher vibrations (14 Hz and higher) which cause rapid and intense muscle contractions now under load. Muscles respond with a rapid stretch-reflex, an automatic response in which the muscle tissues contract and relax peaking at 26 – 27 contractions per minute, shown by heightened electromyogram (EMG) activity. Due to this subconscious contraction of the muscles, nearly 100% of the muscle fibers are used compared to 40 – 60 % in traditional resistance training through conscious voluntary movement.

10 – What is the best way to get started using a whole body vibration machine?

Like any other kind of exercise equipment, the best way to get started is gradually. If possible, work with a certified trainer like ReVibe Vibration Health & Fitness, Canada’s leader in vibration training who will help you develop an exercise regimen based on your goals, body type, physical limitations, and overall health. Start with a limited set of exercises that you are comfortable with, and go from there.
Motion Health is a leading Canadian supplier of quality high resistance whole body vibration machines that promotes science based technologies and programs to improve a person’s health, wellness, and overall fitness conditions. For more information on our products or services, contact us today or call 905-906-8660.

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