What is Vertical Whole Body Vibration?
What is one of the fastest growing technologies in the spa and fitness industry?
What is the best way to lose those extra inches?
How do you quickly and effectively increase energy levels, muscle tone, and flexibility?
The answer to all of the above questions is whole body vibration (WBV). The technology has existed since the 1960’s, when Russian space scientists researched fast and effective ways for astronauts to gain muscle mass and bone density prior to and following space missions! And just like any other technology, there are huge advances in the WBV markets, which is good right? Well yes and no. The general public, that is you and I, have the opportunity to enter this market as a member of a facility that carries a WBV machine or to purchase a unit for your home or office. This increased demand and competition has opened the door for many companies to put their products on the market disregarding safety and education.
So, are all machines safe? What should you look for in a WBV machine? What is the science, if any, behind the benefits of WBV?
The following paragraphs will give a brief overview of WBV and the answers to many common questions regarding Whole Body Vibration (WBV).
First of all, the idea of humans benefiting from WBV is purely biological. There are many examples of the use of vibration or what we commonly call purring in many feline species. The purring effect in cats, lions, cheetahs, and other animals causes relaxation and activation of muscles depending on the frequency of the vibrations in the purring.
There are risks associated with use of using a platform that is not pure vertical vibration, DKN and Vibrogym models only vibrate vertically and consistently across the whole platform. The human body is designed to absorb forces in a vertical direction; i.e. walking, jumping, running. Shearing or horizontal forces are not as easily absorbed and often result in injury to muscle, ligament, and joint capsules. Most sporting, work, and motor vehicle related injuries are due to a large horizontal force on an area of the body that breaks the threshold of the structure that is being stressed (bone, ligament, tendon etc). Why is this significant in WBV? Well there are dozens of WBV units that use tilting or rotational or oscillating vibrating platforms instead of a true vertical vibration. Tilting vibration platforms do not have a uniform amount of displacement across the platform. The platform vibrates around a horizontal axis, therefore there is higher amplitude of vibration as you move away from the centre of the platform. Rotational vibration is a combination of vertical and horizontal forces that combine to give a vibration effect.
What are the long term effects of non vertical vibrations?
It is not worth exposing your body to these forces when there are WBV units such as DKN and Vibrogym that guarantee the vertical vibration of their units.
Why does WBV work? This is a short question with a large answer. WBV training causes an increased repair and regeneration hormone levels, increased circulation and lymph drainage, increased bone density, increased muscular recruitment, increased flexibility, and decreased body fat stores. There are many scientific studies regarding all of the above claims – the internet and our site has a lot of great information.
Here is some of the simple science behind the benefits of WBV.
WBV increases repairs and regenerates hormone levels by stimulating the nervous and skeletal systems which trigger increase production and secretion of endorphins, serotonin, nuerotrophin, and human growth hormone just to name a few. Studies have shown that after a short period of WBV training (10¬15 minutes) brings hormone levels significantly higher than other traditional gym exercises, WBV increases circulation and lymph drainage mainly by mechanical means. Arteries and especially veins (related to lymph drainage) are relatively soft structures compared to bone, ligaments, and tendons. These soft tissues, including muscle, skin, arteries, and veins can be compressed and uncompressed which changes the pressures of the fluid in the veins and arteries. The vibrations of the platform compress and uncompress the soft tissues causing a pumping effect within the arteries and veins. Since veins and arteries are tube like structures with fluid (blood) in them when they are compressed the blood must move somewhere – either to the working/damaged muscle with oxygenated blood or to the heart with used blood (non oxygenated, toxins, cellular bi-products). WBV ‘unclogs” the circulatory system and makes the capillary beds more efficient. This increases energy levels and decreases body toxins. This is why our classes are running out of room at 7am in the morning. A 25 minute whole body vibration session is full of people that are off to work the rest of the day and all of them are saying similar things about increased energy levels throughout the day!
Whole Body Vibration increases bone density and strengthens bones because our body naturally adapts to the forces that it is exposed to. The vertical vibrations are absorbed in the skeletal system which strengthens trabecular lines (force lines aid in the strength of bony tissue, these decrease with age and lack of activity). A decreased bone density is one of the leading causes of hip and pelvic fractures and WBV will increase the bone density and strength of the skeletal system.
WBV increases muscular recruitment, especially the smaller muscle groups. This also leads to increased proprioception (body awareness and balance). The vibrations stimulate the Golgi tendon organs (receptors that respond to muscle and tendon length) because the platform is constantly accelerating and decelerating so the muscular system is constantly adjusting to maintain its balance. This is why some exercises like bending and touching your toes are challenging, not only because of hamstring flexibility, but also because the surface is changing so the smaller muscle groups (small planter muscles, peroneals, tibialls posterior and anterior, and many others) are firing to keep your balance. The studies show that there are significant gains in explosive strength due to the increased input from the smaller muscle groups for activities such as jumping.
Whole Body Vibration increases flexibility because the vibrating platform causes a chaos within the stretch reflex in your muscular system. On a stable platform when you are stretching your hamstring you can forward flex until you feel a pull in you hamstrings. This pull triggers receptors in you muscles that send information to the brain and to other muscle groups that will limit that movement, in this case gluts and lower erector spinal muscles. This stretch reflex protects the hamstrings from stretching too fast or too far. On a vibrating platform this reflex is overridden allowing your body to go past the stretch reflex, therefore increasing the range of motion and flexibility of that joint. Even after 30 sec. of stretching, noticeable results are present!
WBV decreases body fat stores mainly due to the increased efficiency of the circulatory system as explained already. There is an increase of circulation to the skin and adipose (fatty) tissues and this promotes the utilization of fat for energy and is readily metabolized. The results are really amazing, we have seen dozens of people that lose inches quickly and they feel great about themselves. We have been privileged to be in the WBV market over four years now, and like most people we see, we were also skeptical to begin with. We did a lot of research and hopefully this article has helped you answer some of your questions. We encourage you to ask questions about Whole Body Vibrations and then try it out. We have seen enough results in us and hundreds of others that have used WBV to know that it works, it’s unique, it’s fun, and has positively influenced the lives of thousands of people. Will you be next?
For more information give us a call! 1-866-745-5743
- Fitness Centers
- Assisted Living Centres
Amplitude: 1.8 mm A 3.9 mm
AC Motor 3.2 K/N
- Fitness Centers
- Assisted Living Centres
Amplitude: 1.8 mm A 3.9 mm
AC Motor 2.6 K/N