Whole-body vibration therapy is a type of exercise that uses a platform to deliver vibrations throughout the body. The theory behind this therapy is that the vibrations can help to improve muscle strength, bone density, circulation, and balance. Some people also believe that these vibrations can help to reduce fat and cellulite. There is some research to support the use of whole-body vibration therapy for improving health markers. However, most of this research has been done on animals or small groups of people. As far as weight loss, there is very little research to support the use of these devices. Read on to learn about the myths, facts, and side effects associated with vibration machines for weight loss.
What Is A Vibration Machine?
Vibration plates, also known as vibration machines, are devices that create whole-body vibration. This type of therapy is also sometimes called the power plate exercise, because one of the most popular brands of vibration plates is called Power Plate.
These devices generate vibrations that cause your muscles to contract and relax multiple times per second. The frequency of the vibrations can vary depending on the machine, but it is usually between 25 and 50 Hz (3).
There are two main types of vibration machines:
- Platforms: These consist of a flat, stable surface that you stand on.
- Chairs: These have a seat and backrest, and some also have arm rests.
Vibration therapy can be done either with or without weights. When weights are used, they are usually held in the hands or strapped to the body.
The muscle contractions caused by the vibrations can lead to improved muscle strength and bone density. The therapy may also help to improve circulation and balance (6).
Some people also believe that whole-body vibration can help to reduce fat, cellulite, and the appearance of stretch marks. However, there is little scientific evidence to support these claims.
Whole-Body Vibration Therapy: The Myths
There are many claims made about the benefits of whole-body vibration therapy, but not all of them are supported by scientific evidence.
Vibration Machines Can Help You Lose Weight
Whole-body vibration therapy is sometimes promoted as a weight-loss tool. The theory is that the vibrations can help to break down fat cells, reduce cellulite, and promote overall weight loss.
However, there is very little scientific evidence to support these claims. In fact, one study determined that the results of 6 to 24 weeks of WBV training had no significant effect on percent body fat (2).
Vibration Machines Are Safe For Everyone
- Pregnant women
- People with pacemakers
- People with implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs)
- People with metal implants
- People with bleeding disorders
Vibration Machines Provide A Good Workout
Whole-body vibration therapy is not intended to be a standalone workout. The therapy is meant to be used in combination with other forms of exercise, such as weightlifting, cardio, and stretching.
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Whole-Body Vibration Therapy: The Facts
While they may not be an effective weight loss solution, vibration machines do offer some health benefits.
Vibration Machines Can Improve Muscle Strength
One of the most well-established benefits of whole-body vibration therapy is its ability to improve muscle strength. This type of therapy has been shown to be especially effective in older adults and people with disabilities (6).
It works by causing the muscles to contract and relax multiple times per second. This helps to improve muscle tone and can lead to increased strength over time.
Vibration Machines May Help To Improve Bone Density
Whole-body vibration therapy may also help to improve bone density. This is especially beneficial for older adults, who are at a higher risk for osteoporosis (6).
The therapy works by stimulating the release of growth factors, which helps to promote new bone growth (6).
Vibration Machines May Help To Improve Circulation
Whole-body vibration therapy can also help to improve circulation. The therapy causes the muscles to contract and relax, which helps to pump blood through the body.
This can help to improve overall blood flow and may also reduce the risk of blood clots.
Vibration Machines May Help To Improve Balance
Whole-body vibration therapy may also help to improve balance. The therapy helps to stimulate the proprioceptive system, which is responsible for balance and coordination. This can help to reduce the risk of falls and may also help to improve overall mobility (6).
Vibration Machines Are Low-Impact
Whole-body vibration therapy is a low-impact form of exercise. This means that it is easy on the joints and muscles and can be used by people of all fitness levels.
Vibration Machines May Help Lower Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart disease. Whole-body vibration therapy may help to lower blood pressure by increasing nitric oxide production (1).
Vibration Machines May Help To Reduce Pain
Whole-body vibration therapy may also help to reduce pain. This therapy helps to release endorphins, which are the body’s natural painkillers. This can help to reduce pain associated with conditions like arthritis and fibromyalgia (6).
Vibration Machine Side Effects And Precautions
Vibration machines are generally safe. However, there are a few side effects that you should be aware of.
Vibration Machines May Cause Muscle Soreness
The soreness is similar to that of a strenuous workout and should subside within a few days.
Vibration Machines May Cause Nausea
Some people may also experience nausea while using whole-body vibration therapy. This is usually due to the motion of the machine and can be alleviated by sitting down or lying down during the session.
Vibration Machines May Cause Dizziness
Another side effect of whole-body vibration therapy is dizziness. This is usually due to the motion of the machine and can be alleviated by sitting down or lying down during the session.
Vibration Machines May Increase Risk Of Injury
Whole-body vibration therapy may also increase the risk of injury. This is because the machine can put strain on the muscles and joints (4).
It is important to start with a low setting and gradually increase the intensity over time.
How To Use A Vibration Machine For Weight Loss?
Coupled with a healthy diet and regular exercise, whole-body vibration therapy can be an effective weight loss tool.
Some potential exercises you can do on a vibration machine include:
- Pushups – Start in a plank position with your hands on the vibration platform. Lower yourself down until your chest is an inch from the platform and then push back up.
- Squats – Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and place your hands behind your head. Lower yourself down into a squatting position and then stand back up.
- Lunges – Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and place your hands on your hips. Step forward with one leg and lower yourself into a lunge position. Push back up to the starting position and repeat with the other leg.
Diet Considerations While Using A Vibrating Machine For Weight Loss
As the saying goes, “you can’t out-exercise a bad diet.” This is especially true when trying to lose weight.
In order to see the best results, it is important to eat a healthy diet while using whole-body vibration therapy for weight loss.
Some tips to help you eat a healthy diet include:
Choose Nutrient-Rich Foods
Focus on eating whole, unprocessed foods that are rich in nutrients. These include fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and healthy fats.
Avoid Processed Foods
Processed foods are high in calories and low in nutrients. They should be avoided when trying to lose weight.
Eat Smaller Meals More Often
Eating smaller meals more often can help to boost metabolism and control hunger. Try to eat 5-6 small meals per day.
Drink Plenty Of Water
Water is essential for weight loss. It helps to boost metabolism and keep the body hydrated. Aim to drink 8-10 glasses of water per day (5).
Avoid Drinking Sugary Beverages
Sugary beverages like soda and juice are high in calories and can sabotage weight loss efforts. Stick to water, unsweetened tea, or coffee.
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Exercise Consistency Is Key For Weight Loss
While whole-body vibration therapy can be an effective weight loss tool, it is important to remember that exercise consistency is key.
In order to see results, you need to make sure that you are using the machine regularly and coupled with a healthy diet. Try to use the machine 3-5 times per week for best results.
You may want to incorporate more intense, calorie burning exercises into your routine as well. A routine that combines whole-body vibration therapy with other forms of exercise is most likely to be effective for weight loss.
Vibration Machine Frequently Asked Questions
How Often Should I Use A Vibration Machine?
You can use a vibration machine as often as you like. However, it is important to give your body time to recover between sessions.
How Long Should I Use A Vibration Machine?
There is no set amount of time that you should use a vibration machine. However, most people use the machine for only 10-15 minutes per session.
What Are The Benefits Of Using A Vibration Machine?
The benefits of using a vibration machine include weight loss, improved circulation, reduced pain, and improved bone density.
Are There Any Side Effects Of Using A Vibration Machine?
The most common side effect of using a vibration machine is muscle soreness. Other potential side effects include nausea, dizziness, and increased risk of injury (4).
How Do I Know If A Vibration Machine Is Right For Me?
If you are looking for a way to lose weight, improve circulation, or reduce pain, then a vibration machine may be right for you. However, it is important to speak with your doctor before starting any new exercise regimen. This is especially true if you have any underlying health conditions.
The Bottom Line
Vibration machines are a popular workout tool, but there are some myths surrounding their use. It is important to separate fact from fiction when it comes to vibration machines and weight loss.
While whole-body vibration therapy can be an effective weight loss tool, it is important to remember that exercise consistency is key. In order to see results, you need to make sure that you are using the machine regularly and coupled with a healthy diet.
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
- Acute Effect of Blood Pressure in Whole Body Vibration in Different Intensities During Squat (2011, lww.com)
- Effects of 24 weeks of whole body vibration training on body composition and muscle strength in untrained females (2004, pubmed.gov)
- The effects of vibration on explosive and reactive strength when applying individualized vibration frequencies (2009, researchgate.net)
- Vibration – Health Effects (n.d., ccohs.ca)
- Water: How much should you drink every day? (2020, mayoclinic.org)
- Whole Body Vibration Therapy (n.d., myspinedoctors.net)