General Discussion on Vibration Fitness

August 6th, 2007   (264 views )

This is the place to learn and share information on vibration exercise.

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Comment from: Karen [Visitor] Email

PermalinkPermalink Edit Edit... Del Delete! 08/06/07 @ 22:53
Comment from: Kevin [Visitor] Email
I found this article which is about sports training.


Although vibration training has been around for 40 years, the potential benefits for sportsmen and women have only recently begun to be properly researched. John Shepherd takes a look at the latest thinking on this training methodology and in particular, examines the role that vibration training may play in enhancing speed, power and flexibility in sport performance

The concept of vibration training was originally developed by Russian scientists as part of their space programme and in particular, the desire to keep their cosmonauts in space in the best physical condition as possible for the longest period of time. The USSR (as it was then) actually held numerous endurance records in this respect.

Vibration training requires the use of specially designed machines that vibrate at specific frequencies (normally between 30 and 50Hz). The most popular type of vibration machines are ‘platform-based’, which allow the user to perform a variety of exercises while standing, or placing their hands on the vibrating plate to perform upper body exercises, such as triceps dips. Other items of vibration equipment include dumbbells and breathing devices.

Physiology of vibration training
Although there remains uncertainty about the precise magnitude of the benefits of vibration training, there’s no doubt that it does produce profound physiological effects in the body:
l Vibration training can recruit nearly 100% of a muscle’s fibres. This contrasts with the 40%-60% recruitment normally associated with other resistance training activities. Vibration training achieves these high recruitment levels by creating an almost continuous stretch/reflex in muscles. This is known as a tonic stretch/reflex and means that while undergoing vibration training, muscles are contracting at incredibly high frequencies, which also subjects them to considerable forces. These vibrational forces are believed to be highly advantageous for the enhancement of fast-twitch muscle fibre (more later);
l Vibration training stimulates muscular blood flow, which can speed up recovery from workouts and rehabilitation from injury. Increased blood flow will bring restorative nutrients to muscles cells and clear out damaged tissue faster;
l The tonic stretch/reflex produced by vibration training can interact with the muscle’s own contraction frequencies. Fast-twitch muscle for example, contracts (twitches) at a rate of 30-70 times a second when stimulated by, for example, heavy load weight training and speed training. By duplicating these frequencies with vibration training, these fibres can be worked even harder – ie greater fibre recruitment – without the need for a huge ‘mental’ input from the athlete.

Recent research into vibration training
An increasing body of research exists on the merits of vibration training for both athletes and the recreational fitness trainer. The former has looked at the effects of this training method on increasing power, strength and flexibility, while the latter has examined whether vibration training can be as effective as resistance and even CV training methods for improving body composition.

A team of Italian researchers considered the effects of whole-body vibration training on various measures in female competitive athletes(1). Whole-body vibration requires the athlete to stand on the vibration machine plate for designated time spans and/or perform reps of designated exercises, with or without added resistance.

The athletes were split between a vibration group (13 athletes) who trained three times a week for eight weeks and a control group (11 athletes). At the end of this period they were tested on: countermovement jump, leg extension strength, horizontal leg press, and flexibility (sit and reach test). The researchers discovered that the vibration group displayed a significant improvement in leg extension strength, countermovement jump performance and flexibility. There were no significant changes in the tested abilities of the controls. The team qualified their findings by indicating that the optimal frequency, amplitude (movement of the vibration platform), and G-forces need to be identified when using vibration training in order to maximise its effects.

Researchers from the Universities of Aberdeen and North Dakota discovered that a 30Hz protocol with 10mm amplitude and 60 seconds on/60 seconds off of vibration training exercise elicited the most significant muscle fibre recruitment in the vastus lateralis (thigh muscle) as measured by EMG(2). Higher frequencies did not elicit a significantly superior response. The athletes – in this case elite female volleyball players – stood on the platform in a squat position, with their knees at a 100-degree angle.

A team from Belgium considered whole-body vibration on knee extension strength and speed of movement and countermovement jump performance in older women aged 58-74 over a 24-week period(3). Interestingly, this particular study included a resistance training group as well as a control group.

Both the vibration group and the resistance group trained three times a week. The former performed unloaded static and dynamic knee extension exercises on a vibration platform, while the latter trained their quadriceps (knee extensors) by performing dynamic leg press and leg extension exercises, increasing from low (20 repetitions maximum – RM)) to high (8RM) resistance. The control group did not participate in any training.

Tests were performed before training commenced, at 12 weeks and at the end of the study. Leg extension strength was measured isometrically and dynamically, as was speed of movement of knee extension using an external resistance equivalent to 1%, 20%, 40%, and 60% of isometric maximum. Countermovement jump performance was determined using a contact mat, which measured jump height and force generation.

The results showed that isometric and dynamic knee extensor strength increased significantly in the vibration group and the resistance group after 24 weeks of training. Crucially, the training effects were not significantly different between the groups. Speed of movement of knee extension significantly increased at low resistance (1% or 20% of isometric maximum) in the vibration group only.
These findings led the researchers to conclude that vibration training is, ‘…a suitable training method and is as efficient as conventional resistance training when improving knee extension strength and speed of movement and countermovement jump performance in older women.’ Crucially they also argued that it was the vibration and not the performance of unloaded exercises on the vibration machine that resulted in enhanced physical performance.

Vibration training combined with aerobic exercise
Another interesting piece of research by the same researchers compared the effects of whole-body vibration training for fitness purposes on untrained women(4). What makes this research particularly intriguing is the fact that aerobic training was also included in the design.
Forty-eight untrained young women were divided into a whole-body vibration group who performed unloaded static and dynamic exercises on a vibration platform, a fitness group who followed a conventional cardiovascular and resistance training programme, and a non-exercising control group. Both exercising groups trained three times a week and the researchers measured body composition (using underwater weighing and skinfold measurements) as well as isometric and isokinetic knee extensor strength.

Over the 24-week programme there were no significant changes in weight, percentage body fat, nor in skinfold thickness in any of the exercise groups. However, fat-free mass increased significantly in the whole-body vibration group only. This indicates an increase in muscle mass, probably because of the vibration training’s ability to recruit more muscle fibres, in particular the fast-twitch type.

This group also benefited from a significant strength increase, as did the fitness group and the researchers concluded that, ‘The gain in strength [for the vibration training protocol] is comparable to the strength increase following a standard fitness training programme consisting of cardiovascular and resistance training.’
Vibration and speed
There’s no denying that evidence exists that vibration training can increase strength (isometric and isokinetic) and improve lean muscle mass, in both trained and untrained subjects. But what about more specific sports performance measures? Can vibration training enhance speed, for example?

Another team of researchers from Belgium set about discovering whether whole-body vibration training could enhance sprint performance(5). Twenty experienced sprinters (13 male, seven female, aged 17-30 years old) were randomly assigned to a whole-body vibration group, or a control group.
Over a five-week training period, the vibration group sprinters performed whole-body vibration workouts three times a week in addition to their normal training, while the control group trained as normal. The vibration programme consisted of unloaded static and dynamic leg exercises on a vibration platform using frequencies and amplitudes of 35-40Hz and 1.7-2.5mm respectively. The researchers tested pre and post-isometric and isokinetic knee extensor and flexor strength and vertical jump performance. Importantly, actual sprint performance was also measured.
The results showed that isometric and dynamic knee extensor and knee flexor strength were not significantly different between the vibration training and control groups. Moreover, in terms of improved sprint performance, the researchers found that getaway out of the blocks, acceleration and top-speed running were all unaffected by either training protocol. However, as other research indicates that vibration training can bring about improvements in strength and power in both athletes and the relatively untrained, it could be that five weeks of intervention was not enough time for the vibration training to work. It could also be that at the time of the study, the sprinters were not ready to move into their ‘maximum speed’ training phase, which could affect their ability to generate increased speed.

It seems from the research quoted that whole-body vibration training can enhance (or at least match) performance in sport and fitness activities achieved by ‘normal’ training methods. However, there are contradictions as displayed by the ability of vibration training to potentiate, for example countermovement jump performance, but not sprint performance. Although more reseach in this area is required to investigate the precise correlation between vibration training and specific sports performance, athletes with access to vibration training machines may find it worthwhile experimenting with this training method in their routines in the meantime.
PermalinkPermalink Edit Edit... Del Delete! 08/07/07 @ 10:25
Comment from: Shelley [Visitor] Email
How vibration boosts resistance exercise.

Muscle vibration may enhance the training effects of light-to-moderate resistance exercise, according to a new UK study.
Nine healthy men completed four sets of eight repetitions on a knee extension machine under the following conditions, separated by at least three days of recovery:

* Low contraction intensity (35% 1RM)
* High contraction intensity (70% 1RM)
* Low intensity with a superimposed low-frequency vibration-like stimulus from the machine;
* High intensity with the same vibration-like stimulus.

Previous research had shown that vibration can activate large amounts of musculature during a movement. And the researchers set out to test the theory that vibration applied during a single resistance-training session would lead to larger increases in strength than those induced by the same session without vibration.

Their main finding was that vibration during knee extension exercise improved the performance of the rectus femoris and vastus lateralis muscles, as demonstrated by increased dynamic muscle strength and power immediately afterwards. Muscle dynamic strength was increased by similar amounts after high-intensity exercise with and without vibration. But after low-intensity exercise, dynamic strength increased only with the addition of vibration.

‘It seems,’ observe the researchers, ‘that superimposing the vibration-like stimulus during low-intensity exercise simulates the response induced by higher-intensity exercise.’

This would be a great boon for people who are unable to take part in intense exercise programmes, such as the elderly. But meanwhile further studies are needed to find out more about precisely how vibration exerts these effects on muscle.

Med Sci Sports Exerc 2006; 38(7):1317-1328
PermalinkPermalink Edit Edit... Del Delete! 08/07/07 @ 10:35
Comment from: Shelley [Visitor] Email
Another Article:

The Popular Fitness Vibration Plates

Have you heard about the popular fitness vibration plates? This fitness machine have become popular in the U.S. It’s more popular to celebrities who are toning their body and even NASA tested this machine. The machine works by using vibrating your body to tone your muscles and make it easier for you to become fit and sexy. Advertisers of this machine also say that the equipment helps you improve your flexibility and strength and can also prevent osteoporosis.

The machine costs about $3,000 to $10,500 and weighs about 114 to 500 pounds and usually has handles to hang onto. The industry leaders such as Power Plate and VibraSlim have lead the charge across america and are teaching the vibration exercise way.

“You don’t really feel like you’re working that hard, but then you get that sweat going and once the vibration stops, you can really feel it in your legs or upper body,” - Michaela Zakheim, 45, a vibration plate user.

Fitness trainers love to use them.
PermalinkPermalink Edit Edit... Del Delete! 08/07/07 @ 10:43
Comment from: Margaret [Visitor] Email
Does anyone have any personal testimonies and background info on whole body vibration?
PermalinkPermalink Edit Edit... Del Delete! 08/08/07 @ 16:47
Comment from: ajmellman [Visitor] Email
The machine was developed to stop muscle loss from astronauts who could not exercise in space, and recent work has proven it's use in rehab centers and with MS patients (who have trouble with movement). As a comment mentioned, whether someone who CAN move easily should use this or not is up to you . . . VibraSlim sells a "home" version for $1699 and Power Plate has one for $4000.

Hope this helps

I have a friend with MS, and the use definitely helped him. No miracle cure, no suddenly getting off his wheel chair & running down the halls, but he was able to get up & stand unaided after about a dozen sessions, which was a major major improvement (and one that's not often seen with MS).

I also know of at least one top-25 basketball team that says it's helped athletes maintain muscle tone while recovering from leg and ankle injuries which don't allow for other exercise.
PermalinkPermalink Edit Edit... Del Delete! 08/08/07 @ 16:52
Comment from: Glenda Hillman [Visitor] Email
Can anybody tell me if Vibration Machines are effective with older people with osteoporosis to build bone density?

PermalinkPermalink Edit Edit... Del Delete! 08/08/07 @ 16:54
Comment from: Susan B [Visitor] Email
Vibration exercise is very good to build bone density and fight osteoporosis. I was referred by my doctor to start using vibration exercise fitness. To my surprise my joint pain has improved drastically!The vibration machine does something to my joints and i am not complaining.

PermalinkPermalink Edit Edit... Del Delete! 08/08/07 @ 16:55
Comment from: Karen B [Visitor] Email
I am loving vibration exercise! I started 4 months ago and I can't believe the results I am getting, including weightloss and toning. I want to get a machine for my parents because I think it will help them out greatly.

It seems that vibration fitness is growing very rapidly. I recommmend my machine which is made by

PermalinkPermalink Edit Edit... Del Delete! 08/08/07 @ 17:00
Comment from: Vanaussi [Visitor] Email
Does anyone know anything about a work out machine called "Proellixe" it is for total body vibration. Just wondering if it is worth buying it for $12,000.

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Comment from: Roger S. [Visitor]
I am in the market for a vibration exercise machine. Does anyone have any useful information on what machines I should be looking at ? Why are some $15,000 and others $700 ? Why such a huge price gap ? Any ideas / suggestions welcomed. Roger
PermalinkPermalink Edit Edit... Del Delete! 08/09/07 @ 11:33
Comment from: LA Fitness & Health [Visitor]
I had a Proellixe machine and i had nothing but problems with it. I ended up replacing it. My new machine is fantastic and quiet, unlike the Proellixe! So obviously I do not recommend it at all.

PermalinkPermalink Edit Edit... Del Delete! 08/11/07 @ 17:40
Comment from: Roger S. [Visitor]

Glena, do you have any suggestions, on good sites for Vibration exercise websites ? I have found a few, but I looking for more before I make my purchase.

Roger S.
( vibration newbie )
PermalinkPermalink Edit Edit... Del Delete! 08/13/07 @ 14:39
Comment from: Roger S. [Visitor]

Has anyone here, tried the TurboSonic, VibraSlim or Power Plate vibration machines ?

I have heard mixed reviews, from different sources. VibraSlim looks like it is a good choice for the money and quality.

If anyone has had any feedback it would be welcomed. I am very excited about vibration exercise.

Off to play tennis, will check back later this afternoon.

Thanks again in advance.


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Comment from: Roger S. [Visitor]

Any news ?

I am excited to buy my vibration exercise machine ! Off to the gym.. Will check back later today.


PermalinkPermalink Edit Edit... Del Delete! 08/14/07 @ 11:35
Comment from: Jaime [Visitor] Email
Rodger, I would recommend a Power Plate or a VibraSlim. Power Plates cost alot more but they are good. VibraSlim has more affordable options.
PermalinkPermalink Edit Edit... Del Delete! 08/20/07 @ 17:56
Comment from: Catherine Holmes [Visitor] Email
I too am looking for an affordable vibration machine, that will only do good for my young 47 year old body, which just happens to have osteoporis. This looks like the best bet in building bone denesity, but am VERY confused by all the options advertised on the web. Anyone using the VibraSlim (other than someone who works for them) that could endorse the product. Any other machines under $2000 that anyone would recommend?

Your suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

PermalinkPermalink Edit Edit... Del Delete! 08/29/07 @ 16:19
Comment from: Karen B [Visitor]
Hi Jaime,

I have a VibraSlim machine myself and I highly recommend it. It has all the features of the other machines but at a reasonable price. 20 vibration settings, three programs and it is not only quiet but it is not too big.

I just got another one for my parents two weeks ago and they are very happy also.

PermalinkPermalink Edit Edit... Del Delete! 09/06/07 @ 11:50
Comment from: Roger [Visitor] Email

Thank you for your suggestions Jamie.
I will look into both options.


PermalinkPermalink Edit Edit... Del Delete! 09/11/07 @ 09:45
Comment from: Jon [Visitor] Email
Roger-- I have a few suggestions-- for you but you need to understand that there are 3 different types of vibration out there-- what are you looking to use the product for?
And how often--

A $700 unit will probably break on you-- and a $13000 unit is meant to be used 20 times a day in a gym or PT office.
( ie commercial durability)

Do you want to work on balance as well-- buy a pivotal platform-

Do you want the arm straps for Isometric curls and raises-- look at some of the lineal vibration platorms--

I have been on plenty and would be happy to help you.
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Comment from: Brad [Visitor] Email
This reply is for Glenda who asked a question way back.

Glenda I own a Vibration Training Studio in Auckland, New Zealand.
I have about 10 consistant clients who are between 70-85 years old.
I have only seen very positive results with these elderly clients. Not just Bone density improvements (only a few have told me about improvements here as they need to be tested by their doctor) but they all have had huge results in pain reduction ("i slept the best i have in 5 years"), strength and balance (no more tripping and breaking bones)and great circulation improvements. The clients with Arthritis have also made similar comments. But remember if you are elderly then you do not what to train the same way as a 25 year old. Most of the info on the net is generic to the vast population. So just remember to start slow and dont push yourself too fast too soon
PermalinkPermalink Edit Edit... Del Delete! 09/13/07 @ 15:04
Comment from: Roger [Visitor]

I just tried the Proellixe machine, and I have to say, I wasn't very impressed. The design was not that and it seemed to have some interesting features. What really took me by surprise was how loud it was. I live in a condo apartment building and I don't want my neighbors to be disturbed. You would think for the money that it would be much quieter.

PermalinkPermalink Edit Edit... Del Delete! 09/14/07 @ 14:51
Comment from: Jon [Visitor] Email
Finding the right machine is a challenge.
Look for a machine with a BLDC(brushless) Motor-- They are whisper quiet and far more durable than the DC motors almost every WBV manufacturer uses.

Also-- if you place the machine on a carpeted floor it will dampen the vibration through the floor. Or go to a gym supply store and get a thick rubber mat to put the machine on. As for the noise the product itself makes-- as I said go with a BLDC powered unit.

I have been on powerplate, Ironman, K1,(Sloflex-which is a huge waste of money) and all were very noisy.

The unit I have is pivotal and has 35 adjustable settings, a powerful quiet BLDC motor, 10 minute continuous timer and is very easy to use. I like the unit so much I started my own company selling them.

PermalinkPermalink Edit Edit... Del Delete! 09/14/07 @ 15:16
Comment from: Roger [Visitor]

Jon, thank you for your feedback.
Looks like a little more reading and research before I make my purchase.

Yeah, I saw a piece on TV about the Soloflex machine.. and they said the same thing. Poor review.

Thank you for the tip about the thick rubber mat. That's a great idea.


PermalinkPermalink Edit Edit... Del Delete! 09/17/07 @ 16:58
Comment from: Giovanni Ciriani [Visitor] Email
I do not think that a different electric motor will make a difference. The noise that Roger is complaining about, is most probably caused by the vibration of the platform itself. When a machine vibrates a plate, which in turn lifts a person up and down, an equal and opposing force is transmitted to the floor. Depending on the type of construction of the building, the floor will vibrate a little or a lot. There aren't platforms out there yet that do not cause the floor to vibrate. If a floor seems to vibrate less with platform A, and more with platform B, it's only because platform A vibrates the body less than platform B.
PermalinkPermalink Edit Edit... Del Delete! 09/18/07 @ 06:02
Comment from: Roger [Visitor]

Jon, Thanks again for your response.

What machine do you have ?

PermalinkPermalink Edit Edit... Del Delete! 09/21/07 @ 09:22
Comment from: Jon [Visitor] Email
In response to Giovani---

Vibrations can be dampened depending on the construction of the unit. I can say that engineering is everything. Some units have leveling adjusters with rubber coated legs to reduce vibration transfered into the floor. While others lay completely on the ground thus transferring run-off vibration into the floor below them. For instance google the company Dynamat-- they produce rubber dampening systems for car audio. The concept is the same- lower frequency soundwaves cause sound vibrations that make the car panels rattle. When the mats are installed the vibration is absorbed by the rubber thus quieting the sound. Case in point...

Also Do your research on brushless motors. Even with a person off the machine the vibration noise created by a DC motor is far greater than the BLDC(brushless-- means less friction required). Once again google BLDC motors. I'll even make it easy for you..heres a link read the section entitled "Comparison with brushed DC motors".
PermalinkPermalink Edit Edit... Del Delete! 09/25/07 @ 12:37
Comment from: Jon [Visitor] Email
My machine is not officially available to the US market until sometime next week.

The website will be up and running in a week or so.

If you want an email brochure sent to you call 888 230 8489. If you dont get a rep.... leave an e-mail adress on the voicemail and you will be sent an E brochure....
PermalinkPermalink Edit Edit... Del Delete! 09/25/07 @ 12:44
Comment from: Roger [Visitor]


Thanks again for all of your input.
After doing alot of research, I decided to go ahead with purchasing a Vibraslim - ProEnergy it was HALF the price of the other models, and the sales people were very informative and they actually answer their phones. I ordered mine last week, so I should be receiving my new machine shortly. Thanks again. Will check back and post more upon receipt.


PermalinkPermalink Edit Edit... Del Delete! 10/01/07 @ 13:09

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