The Different Types of Whole Body Vibration Machine From Motion

Whole Body Vibration Machine

Before starting a specific type of training or using a new training aid, it’s important to learn as much as you can about it. At Motion Health we are fully committed to improving the health, fitness and well being of our clients and strive to deliver quality information that will help you to decide whether whole body vibration technology is something you would like to try. As the name suggests, whole body vibration (WBV) machines deliver vibrations to the entire body, as opposed to isolating a single muscle group like many other training aids do. Every whole body vibration machine has this in common, but where some differ from others is the way in which the vibration is delivered. There are actually many different types of vibration machines available, but by far the most common are tri-planar (also known as spiral or linear) and oscillating (sometimes called pivoting) machines. But how do they differ? Is one type of whole body vibration machine better than the other option? Which one is best suited to your goals and individual requirements? These are all questions we are going to try and answer during this article.

Oscillating Vibration Machines

The biggest difference between the two types of machine is the central fulcrum point; whereas tri-planar machines don’t have one, oscillating machines do. You might be thinking “what does that mean?” Well rather than the base plate remaining level whilst it moves (like on a tri-planar machine), the base plate of an oscillating machine rocks on this central fulcrum point, producing a similar effect to a see-saw, with one side of the plate rising slightly as the other side dips. Without a visual demonstration, that motion may sound fairly dangerous, but as the range of motion is actually fairly minimal, we can assure you it’s not. The technical term for the difference between the high and low points is known as the amplitude or displacement value, and on most machines the measurement is somewhere between 1 and 10 millimeters. There are machines that have a greater range of motion, and if you can afford one it’s advisable to buy one as this will allow you to mix-up your training program more.
The see-saw motion is designed to imitate the movements your body makes every day when walking, with your body weight alternating from one side to the other. This constant shift in position causes your body to react and compensate, with muscles quickly contracting and then relaxing to stabilize your body’s position.
While they have a greater range of motion than their tri-planar counterparts, oscillating vibration machines can’t match them for speed. By speed we are referring to the frequency of the vibrations. Standard models will have settings between 1 and 20 Hz and it’s very unusual to see an oscillating whole body vibration machine that can exceed 30 Hz.

Tri-Planar Vibration Machines

Tri-Planar machines, named after the three dimensional way in which they move, are the other popular type of whole body vibration machine in use today. If your local gym has vibration machines, they will most probably be tri-planar, which are the preferred option due to them having a more “heavy duty” build. As we mentioned a little earlier, they don’t have a central pivot point, so the base plate is always level whilst moving in three different directions: front to back, side to side and up and down. So in contrast to oscillating machines, the vibration is distributed to your body evenly.
As the base plate doesn’t pivot, the amplitude rating on a tri-planar whole body vibration machine is usually a lot lower than on the typical oscillating machine, with a maximum range of motion between 1 and 5 millimeters being fairly common.
One other major difference is the range of speed settings (frequency at which the vibrations are produced) this type of machine allows. At 20 Hz you are usually at, or close to, full speed on an oscillating machine, but that kind of speed is near the lower end of the spectrum with a tri-planar machine. You can expect speeds of up to 50 Hz.

What are the Best uses for Each Type of Whole Body Vibration Machine?

One of the most important factors when trying to achieve specific fitness goals is whether the training program that is undertaken is appropriate or not. There’s no point in doing sprints three times a week if you are training for a marathon. This logic applies to the use of a whole body vibration machine in your training program too. Whilst each person reacts differently to vibration training, oscillating machines are generally favored if your goal is to burn body fat, as the greater range of motion extends your fast twitch fibers to their absolute limit, resulting in a greater number of calories being burned. The motion engages these muscle fibers in many of the areas where stores of fat usually build up, including the legs, hips and waist.
Tri-planar machines on the other hand are favored by athletes and bodybuilders. As we mentioned before, the vibration is distributed from a level base, so the muscles on both sides of your body contract at the same time. This has a significant impact on your body, and is used to build muscle and improve explosive power. One thing you should be aware of though, is that a tri-planar whole body vibration machine only really works the larger muscle groups in your body, which is one of the reasons why oscillating machines outperform them in terms of fat loss. One benefit that both types of machine usually produce is an improvement in the circulation of blood, which means muscles receive oxygen quicker, allowing them to function for a longer period of time before performance deteriorates.
If you are interested in buying a whole body vibration machine, but are still not sure which type would be best suited to your needs, call us today on 905-906-8660 to speak with a professional. We would be happy to help you learn more.

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