The excitement around whole body vibration seem like another craze. But vibration therapy is here to stay, and our team at BestHealthGear has done our research to help you choose the right vibration platform for your needs.
I suffer from back pain, and I can’t tell you how frustrating this can be. Tell me if this sounds familiar to you: you invest your time and money in to researching the best piece of equipment, buying that equipment, then waiting for it to arrive in the mail. Once it arrives, you realize it just doesn’t do what was promised. Now you’re back to square one.
We’ve all got different priorities when it comes to vibration machines. Despite these different priorities, there are few whole body vibration machines that are objectively awesome. No matter whether you are most focused on price, vibration frequency, weight limit, or customizability, we’ve got the best of the best in the list below.
We know you’ll find our list to be insightful!
- What is the Best Whole Body Vibration Machine?
- Vibration Machines vs. Vibration Plates – What You Need To Know
- What is the Best Vibration Plate Machine?
- All About Vibration Machines
What is the Best Whole Body Vibration Machine?
Vibration Machines vs. Vibration Plates – What You Need To Know
You made it past our vibration machines list and you’re still looking for more? Most people don’t know this, but there is an alternative to vibration machines known as “vibration plates“. Here are some of the differences:
|Feature||Vibration Machines||Vibration Plates|
|Cost ($$$)?||Usually $200+, as high as $10,000 for Power Plates.||Typically <$180.. Some models creep into the $300's.|
|Space Needed?||~30" Width|
|Stability?||Handles for Safety||No Handles|
|Full Body Workout?||Yes||Yes|
|Display?||Usually a big display with a lot of buttons and features||Tiny display, not many buttons and a limited feature set|
Do you think a vibration plate is a better fit for you or your loved one? If so, check out the list below of our favorite vibration plates:
What is the Best Vibration Plate Machine?
#1 - Hurtle Fitness Vibration Platform Workout Machine
#3 - Pinty Fitness Vibration Platform - Whole Body Shaper
All About Vibration Machines
Exercise is key to losing weight and maintaining a healthy body. However, it can be hard on your joints and take too much time. Whole body vibration machines are a tool you can use to safely exercise and avoid long, boring workouts. Vibration machines are meant to be used for 15 minutes per day and are designed to increase caloric burn, muscle function and circulation. They are also recommended by therapists for those who are older, recovering from an injury or need a low impact workout.
How do Whole Body Vibration Machines Work?
Whole body vibration machines have a platform that vibrates in multiple directions in a variety of speeds. Some have handles you can use for stability but other machines are just a platform. You can sit, stand or lay on the platform while performing exercises or simply hang on for dear life.
As the vibration plate shakes, your muscles are forced to contract involuntarily. This causes them to work more than they would on their own. These tiny contractions lead to an increase in calorie burn and muscle function. The vibration can also help stimulate the lymphatic system, which will increase circulation and decrease swelling.
Each machine comes with different settings and frequencies, so you can begin with a slower vibration and work your way up to a higher frequency. If you are new to fitness or recovering from an illness or injury, this is especially important.
The Science Behind the Whole Body Vibration
Vibration is still relatively new when it comes to research, however, enough studies have shown that they make a difference when it comes to increasing muscle mass, bone density and circulation. Those who are just beginning their fitness journey will especially benefit from using whole body vibration, even if they only sit or stand on the machine. Research also shows that WBV improves flexibility in those who are already athletic. If you want to exercise more to reverse diseases, vibration machines are also extremely helpful. Research has shown that vibration machines can boost metabolism and decrease the effects of type 2 diabetes.
Here are a few scientific resources:
Six Vibration Machine Exercises to Try!
If you want to get the most out of your vibration machine, you should eventually do more than just stand or sit on it. Here are some exercises you can do to increase fat burn and build muscle.
- Squats – You can do a variety of squats on a vibrating platform. A basic squat is the best to start with. Keep your feet hip width apart and make sure you to keep your weight in the back of your heels. Keep your chest up and stick your butt out as you squat down. Increase the difficulty by adding in weights, squatting with one leg, or placing one leg on the platform and one on the ground.
- Lunges – You can do both front and back lunges on a vibration machine. For a front lunge, place one foot on the platform and the other on the ground. Make sure you keep your front knee behind your toe as you bend down. Try to get your back knee as close to the ground as possible. For backwards lunges, simply place your back foot on the platform and put your front foot on the ground. Do not forget to switch sides, so you are working both evenly!
- Push Ups – Push ups are great because they work your entire upper body. Hold onto the platform with your hands and get into a plank position. You can also go down on your knees if a regular push up is too difficult. Lower yourself down by bending your elbows, keeping your body in a straight line. Try to get your chest as close to the platform as possible. You can also place your feet on the platform and put your hands on the ground. This will work your upper body and chest even more.
- Boat Pose – Working your core is a great use of vibration machines. For boat pose, you will need to sit on the platform with your back up straight. Bend your knees and lift your feet off the ground. If you can crunch your legs toward your chest, then do so. If you can only hold this pose, that is okay too! You can increase the difficulty by stretching your legs and lowering your back down in a controlled movement.
- Tricep Dips – To work the back of your arms, place your palms on the platform with your fingers facing out. Hold your body up with your elbows straight. You will feel like you are holding a backwards plank. Lower yourself by bending your elbows, making sure to keep your elbow pointing straight back. You do not need to lower your butt all the way to the ground but get as low as you can. You can make this harder by straightening your legs or lifting one leg.
- Calf Stretches – Increasing flexibility is important for everyone, no matter what your fitness level. Doing stretches on a vibration machine is a great way to cool down and improve mobility. To do a calf stretch, stand with your toes on the platform, with your heels hanging off. Lower your heels down until you feel the stretch in your calf. If you want to turn this into a strength exercise, lift your heels up until you are standing on your tippy toes. This is a great way to strengthen and stretch an often overlooked muscle.
How to Use Your Whole Body Vibration Machine Safely
Using a whole body vibration machine is a safe way to exercise but there are a few precautions you should take before you begin. Make sure you are not spending too much time on your vibration apparatus, especially in the beginning. Start with just five minutes at a time and use the slower vibration settings. Work your way up to longer sessions with higher frequencies. If you start to feel dizzy, nauseous or faint, then get off the machine immediately. You should also avoid using a vibration machine if you are pregnant or think you may be.
Here is a summary of the key points to be aware of when using Whole Body Vibration:
1. Usage Frequency
Use the machine for therapy or working out 3 times a week, with a 48 hour rest period between sessions.
2. Time Limit
As a general rule - the safe time limit for the WBV sessions is about 10-15 minutes per 48 hours. If the aim of the WBV session is resistance training then the time lag can be 72 hours between sessions.
Correct bodily positioning on the vibration machine is very important as an improper position would multiply the stress-strain factor many times over per second (up to 50 times per second at 50 hz) and very likely result in trauma to bodily tissues.
4. Rest Periods
WBV workouts exercise the neuromuscular system; the WBV effect on muscle issue is similar or identical as resistance training as far as inducing the catabolic and anabolic responses in the body, hence the absolute need to give the body at least a 48 hour rest period between sessions. Further, there may be long-term negative effects of continued (without rest day) WBV resulting in muscle tissue breakdown and negative influence on the thyroid gland.
5. Suggested Amplitude
Generally safe amplitude for warm-up, therapy and basic training protocol: 2-3 mm for warmup and therapy, increasing to 5 mm as tolerance increases.
6. Machine Type
Choice of machine type (pivotal or lineal) would depend on goals: therapy, training or both. Using lower frequencies, a pivotal machine would be preferred, using higher frequencies a lineal machine would be preferred. Larger platform and heavier machines are needed for specialized therapy and training. A combination of pivotal and lineal machines would efficiently serve advancing therapy and training goals.
7. Long-term Usage
10 minutes or less a day for 5-6 sessions per week may be safe for weight-loss and muscle toning for some weeks. With any type of machine 5-6 sessions per week of between 20-45 minutes per day may give an initial toning and fat loss effect to the body (5-6 weeks), but over a longer period (2-5 months+) have been known to create health disorders ranging from hyperthyroidism and other hormonal disorders to potential internal
8. Other Training
Resistance training can be done immediately or very soon after the WBV warm-up or holding the static poses on the machines. Cardiovascular exercises can be done during the days intervening between WBV sessions, or the same day.
9. Resonance Frequency (HZ)
Safety guidelines for resonance frequency:
- Pivotal units (0-30 hz)
- Lineal units (38-50 hz) - preferred frequency 43 hz
10. Below 20 Hz Considerations
There are some opinions that vibrations below 20 hz are not healthful for the spine and internal organs in lineal machines.
Whether you are looking to improve your fitness or recover from an injury, using a whole-body vibration machine can make your workouts more effective and efficient. Whole body vibration machines are a great way to start a fitness routine or complement your existing routine. If you are interested in using a vibration machine, you can find them at local gyms or buy a unit for your home. Just make sure that you do not spend too much time on the machine or overexert yourself. Remain consistent with short sessions and you should see improvements within a few weeks.
Additional WBV Resources:
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