Fitness Guide to Vibration Platforms

Over the past few years, vibration platform machines have become a staple in many households across the country.

These simple machines have shown an ability to improve health, fitness, and to boost weight loss, all by shaking your body’s tissues at a specific frequency. It’s true, by vibrating your body, vibration platform machines can help improve your health and fitness.

Vibration platforms aren’t new. They’ve been around for a few decades. In fact, they were used for rehabilitation back in the late 1800’s.

You may have seen images of women or men standing on a machine with a cloth belt around their backsides. The belt would vibrate their bodies causing them to shake. This is an old school vibration platform. They’re called “Belt Massagers” and you can still find them made and sold online.

Most vibration platform machines manufactured and sold today are quite advanced. You can sit on them, stand on them, or position yourself in strategic ways so that you strengthen and tone one area of your body. For example, you might lunge forward with one leg on the machine and one leg on the floor to strengthen and tone your calf, hamstrings, thighs, and buttocks.

How Do They Work?

When using a vibration platform there can be one of two types of vibration. The first is Tri-Planar and the second is oscillation.

Tri-planar means that the platform moves in three planes or in three directions. It moves forward and backward, side to side, and up and down.

There’s generally a smaller range of motion with this platform type than the oscillation type. However, they can vibrate at a higher intensity or speed and are thus excellent machines for strengthening your muscles. According to manufacturers, the tri-planar machines give your muscles more of a workout and can also increase bone density.

The oscillation models move up and down. The platform has a center balance point or fulcrum and it tips up and down. The movement is much like walking as your weight shifts from leg to leg. It’s often compared to being on a teeter-totter as the movement alternates.

Manufacturers of these types of machines tout their ability to help people burn calories and lose weight. Because the vibration of the platform triggers muscles in your legs, hips, buttocks, and even your core muscles, your back and abdominals, it causes your body to react and thus burn calories. The more intense the vibration, the more intense the workout.

The good news is that you don’t have to choose one or the other. There are machines that provide both oscillation and tri-planar vibrations.

Regardless of the type of vibration, it’s helpful to know that motors positioned under the platform create the vibrations in the machine. You can change the vibration intensity and frequency with buttons on the control panel and thus customize your experience.

Benefits of Vibration Platform Machines

If you go to a gym, you may have seen vibration platform machines. You may even have watched someone use one.

Chances are you thought, “What on earth does that do?” And “Can it help me?”

The answer is “yes.”

Vibration platform machines can be used to effectively treat a number of conditions. They can be used to facilitate weight loss. And they can be used to get stronger, faster, and healthier. Sound good?

Let’s take a look at the benefits in detail. Vibration platform machines:

Increase Muscle Strength – Strength Training

The tri-planar machine builds muscle because it works at a faster speed and creates a smaller range of motion. Short version…your muscles have to work much harder.

Most tri-planar machines offer a variety of speeds and go quite high. This is what you want to look for.

You can exercise every muscle group in your body for a complete workout. Most tri-planar machines recommend a low number of repetitions at a high intensity or high resistance to build strength.

Help You Lose Weight – Weight Loss

Oscillating machines vibrate with a large range of motion, as opposed to the small range of motion with the tri-planar. Your muscles are triggered and begin to burn calories quite quickly.

Most oscillating machines recommend performing a high number of repetitions with low resistance while using your machine to lose weight.

Improves Circulation – Increased Blood Flow

When using a platform vibration machine, many muscles, ligaments, tendons, bones, and tissues are triggered. As they’re fired and are in use, they require more blood flow. Your heart starts pumping and your blood flow increases.

Increased blood circulation improves oxygen rich blood flow to your muscles, brain, organs and of course your heart and lungs. Improved blood circulation improves health, reduces stress, and can help eliminate toxins from your body more quickly.

Lymph – Improved Vitality

Vibration platform machines have been shown to improve the immune system. Your immune system is connected to your lymphatic system.

Your lymph system helps your immune system by facilitating the removal of waste, toxins, dead blood cells, pathogens, and cancer cells from your body. Massage therapy has been shown to improve lymph drainage or the removal of those toxins and vibration machines can be used as a massage tool. Lymph drainage also helps ease chronic conditions like arthritis and fatigue.

Improved Relaxation

Your platform vibration system can help create a state of calm. You can achieve this by using it as a massage tool.

Additionally, exercise and increased blood flow have been shown to help your body manage stress, improve sleep, and create a general sense of well being. Just a few short minutes on your vibration machine each day can dramatically improve your mood and state of mind.

Improves General Fitness

You might be surprised to learn how many professionals use vibration machines to improve their general health and fitness. For example, many professional sports teams and athletes use the machines for recovery after a challenging workout.

Some teams also use the machines before games to fire up the muscles.

Celebrities use the machines to improve vitality and help reduce stress and improve sleep. Rehab facilities use the machines to improve well being. Chiropractors and doctors use them to help patients achieve health goals.

Increases Bone Density

Muscular stimulation and strength training have been shown to improve bone density. The vibration machines add gravitational force to the body and thus make your muscles work harder and your bones get harder and stronger.

Improved bone density reduces your risk of injury including fractures. As you age, this single benefit can make a world of difference in your quality of life.

Who can most Benefit from vibration platform machines?

Who doesn’t want to improve their health and vitality while getting stronger? And the added benefit of increased relaxation when you use your vibrating platform on a low setting is quite desirable. It’d be like having your own masseuse on call.

However, the vibration platform machine may not be for everyone. Let’s take a look at those people who may benefit most from the vibration platform machines.

Those Who Need Low Impact Exercise

There are many reasons why someone may not want to participate in an exercise program with high or even moderate impact.

If you have a chronic condition, weak joints, or you haven’t exercised in a long time, then low impact exercise may be ideal. You’ll reduce any pounding or impact on your joints and muscles and therefore reduce your risk of pain and injury.

If you’re looking for a low impact way to get in shape, a vibration platform machine may be ideal. There’s little to no impact and you control the vibration amplitude and frequency so you control the impact on your body.

Those Who Want Something Easy

Some people love to lift weights and run marathons. Most don’t, yet most people do want to exercise and stay in shape. A vibration platform machine offers an easy exercise solution.

Will you feel the results on your body? Chances are if you haven’t exercised in a long time, then yes, you’ll feel it when you’re done with your vibration platform.

This is good. It means you’re working your muscles. However, you don’t have to run for an hour to get your daily exercise in.

Those Who Need To Lose Weight Fast

If you’re trying to lose weight then the vibration platform can help. When you combine it with a regular exercise program, you’ll see your strength increase, calorie burn increase, and you’ll lose more weight in less time.

If you use the vibration platform alone it can be an excellent way to lose weight. And let’s be honest here. Sometimes if you’re overweight, the last thing you want to do is exercise. It hurts and going to the gym can be an awful experience.

A Vibration platform machine can help you lose weight so that you feel more comfortable exercising in the gym, outside, or in the comfort of your own home. It can be a great kick-start to any weight loss program.

And chances are, with the aid of a vibration platform machine, should you choose to begin running or working out, you’ll be stronger and better able to jump right into an exercise program because the vibration machine has helped to tone and strengthen your muscles. If you want to lose weight, there are many ways a vibration platform machine can help you reach your goals.

Those Who Want To Build A Home Gym

There’s something just wonderfully convenient and peaceful about being able to exercise in your own home. You can play any music you’d like.

You can watch television. You can exercise in any clothing you desire and you don’t have to listen to or watch other people as they exercise.

Additionally, there’s no monthly gym payment and no commute. A vibration platform machine can be an excellent addition to your home gym and it works exceptionally well as a standalone piece of equipment – you may not need or want anything else in your home gym.

Those Who Want To Improve Overall Health

We’ve already talked about the health benefits of a vibration platform machine. If you are suffering from chronic pain, joint problems, sore muscles from stress or chronic illness, you may be an ideal candidate for a vibration platform machine.

It’s a fantastic tool for people of all ages and can be an exceptional piece of exercise equipment for older adults who wish to get in better health and stay healthy through their golden years.

How to Use a Vibration Platform Machine

There are many ways you can embrace the benefits of a vibration platform machine into your daily routine. Let’s take a look at a few approaches you might take and then explore a few sample exercises which can be incorporated into your vibration machine fitness program.

Remember that there are two different types of vibration platform machines? Oscillation is one such machine and tri-planar is the other.

Oscillation is the vibration type that facilitates the most weight loss.

If your goal is to lose weight, rather than to increase strength, fitness, and muscle power, then you would choose either an oscillation machine or a machine that has both oscillation and tri-planar.

These combination machines are generally more expensive. However, if you plan to increase strength and fitness in the future, then it’ll save you money in the long run as you won’t have to go out and purchase a second machine. You can simply transition into the strength-training program whenever you’re ready.

Experts say that you can lose weight by using a vibration platform just fifteen minutes a day, three times a week.

In fact, they strongly recommend not exercising more than this. Why? Because you’re working your large muscle groups when you’re on the vibration machine and these muscles need time to repair.

During this repair time you’re also burning calories, so don’t think that you’re missing out on valuable exercise time. You’re actually increasing your metabolism and burning more calories around the clock.

It’s important to know that you’ll achieve faster weight loss if you make lifestyle changes that include dietary changes and ensuring good quality sleep each night and a low stress level. But what if you want to use the vibration machine to get stronger?

Using the Vibration Platform Machine for Strength Training

If you’re already active and participate in a regular exercise program you may have found that you’ve hit a plateau. Maybe your strength, speed, or endurance has flattened out and you’re struggling to improve. A vibration platform machine with a tri-planar movement can help.

In fact, a large number of studies have been conducted on vibration training and improved athletic performance. Many of the studies looked at jump height gains and found that athletes that utilize vibration equipment improve the height they can jump when compared to control groups that did not use the same equipment.

You can perform a number of strength training movements on the platform to increase strength.

For example, a basic squat works the large muscle groups in your legs, buttocks and low back. Do this movement on the vibration platform and amplify the benefits. Lunges are another example of an exercise you can do on your vibration platform machine.

When creating your strength-training program, again it’s important to not train every day. Include a few minutes of strength training on your vibration platform at the end of each workout.

For example, if your workout consists of push-ups, pull-ups, and 100-meter sprints, you might conclude your workout with squats, push-ups, and lunges on the machine. Just be sure to save a little energy for it.

Using Your Vibration Platform as Part of a Comprehensive Fitness Program

For many people, they’ll want the best of both worlds. They’ll want to lose weight and get stronger and in better overall shape.

You can use the machine in several different ways. You can exercise three or four times a week and use the vibration machine on oscillation mode on your off days to burn fat.

If you have a machine that offers both oscillation and tri-planar, you can alternate. Use the tri-planar on your workout days and oscillation on your non-workout days. Remember to take at least one rest day each week so your muscles can recover.

Vibration platform machines can help with flexibility and mobility issues as well. The Journal of Science and Sports Medicine published a study that showed that competitive male gymnasts at the U.S. Olympic Training Center experienced a more significant increase in their range of motion after using vibration training to improve flexibility than with static stretching alone.

A few simple improvements to your mobility and flexibility can make your traditional workouts much more effective. You may get over those plateaus in no time!

And remember at low frequency you can use your vibration machine as a recovery tool. It can massage away aches and pains and help you relax and get a better night’s sleep.

Sample Exercises for Your Vibration Platform Machine:

V-Sit – Place your buttocks on the machine and raise your legs and torso so your body forms a V. Hold that motion. You’ll feel your abdominals engaged. Hold it as long as you can, relax and repeat.

Squat – With your feet placed slightly wider than shoulder width apart, bend at the knees and push your backside out – almost like you’re sitting in a chair. Keep your weight in your heels and your back as straight as possible. Lower your backside until it’s below the bend in your knees. Stand back up using the power from your legs and repeat. If you’re super strong, try a one legged squat.

Lunge – Place one foot out in front of the other and bend the knee at a right angle. The front foot should be on your platform. Your back foot should be on the floor. Using your gluteus muscles hold the position. Your back knee can be slightly bent. Switch legs. If you want to amplify the movement, hold dumbbells in each hand.

You can also do:

• Push-ups – place your hands on the platform keeping your feet, or knees, on the floor.
• Triceps dips – place your hands behind you on the platform and lower your body into a dip.

Comparing Vibration Platform Machines

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As you might suspect, there are many differences when comparing Vibration Platform machines. We’ve already talked about the most important difference – the type of vibration. Do you want tri-planar, oscillation, or both?

Keep in mind that each type works your body in a different way and offers different benefits. If you want to reap ALL the benefits possible, a machine that offers both tri-planar and oscillation is ideal.

So, what else is important to know about the various machines?

Portable vs. Stationary

Some machines are quite lightweight and can be moved to any area of your home. They’re usually simple platforms without a stand. They can weigh between 25 and 45 pounds.

The benefits of a portable machine are that you can easily store them in a closet or under a bed or couch. You can also transport them to any room.

So if you want to exercise in private, you can move the machine to your bedroom. If you want to exercise in front of the television you can move the machine to your living room or media room.

Stationary machines are much larger and usually have a stand. The stand contains the monitor and may have some belts or other devices that you can use.

Stationary machines often have a larger base that makes them easier to use for strength training exercises. They may also have handles that you can hold on to while you’re performing your exercises.

For example, if you need a little help balancing while doing a one legged squat on a vibration platform, you can hold on to the handle as you work your muscles.

If you plan to keep your exercise equipment in one room and don’t have the need to move it around or store it in a closet, the larger stationary machines are ideal. They’re larger and provide more functionality than most of the portable machines.

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Accessories

Some machines come with straps or bands. These are used to position around your body to vibrate a specific area.

Most machines don’t come with these so if you’re interested in spot toning or vibration, you may want to seek this machine out. However, in most cases you can receive the same benefits without the bands and straps.

Display and Functions

Most portable vibration machines do not come with advanced displays and multiple functions. If you want a versatile machine, then you may want a stationary machine with a display and multiple functions.

Like many other types of exercise equipment, there’s a benefit to being able to choose your workout. With a vibration machine this means choosing the vibration speed and frequency. And if you’re choosing a machine that offers both oscillation and tri-planar, then you may want to find one that also offers combination workouts.

Motor, Capacity, and Warranty

As it is with most fitness equipment, the more you use it the larger you’ll want the motor to be. There’s a direct correlation to use and motor life.

A larger motor will tend to last longer. That being said, if you’re only going to use your machine once a week then you may not need to splurge on a large motor.

Also listen to the machine when you’re on it. Does it sound like the motor is running efficiently? Is it loud?

Read the warranty to find out how long the motor is going to last and what your options are if it breaks. The wear and tear on a vibration machine isn’t too bad so your machine should last many years.

Finally, each machine has a weight capacity. If you’re overweight it’s essential that you buy a machine that works for you.

You want this to be a good use of your money and it can be if you buy the right machine. Some machines have a capacity of 250 pounds while others go up to 450 pounds.

When shopping be sure to test various models. Try them out. How do they sound? How do they feel?

How to Get Started Using Your Vibration Platform Machine

Once you’ve made a decision about what you’re going to buy and you’ve brought it home, it’s time to start using it. You want to get your money’s worth and you want to get in great shape, right?

So that means it’s time to start using your machine.

Step One: Become familiar with Your Vibration Platform Machine

If you’ve purchased a stationary machine you may have to do some assembling.

Most stationary machines arrive at your doorstep in two or three boxes. You’ll find the base, the post, and if there are handles those will be packaged separately. You’ll need to assemble your machine. Be sure to put it together in the room where you’re going to use it so you don’t have to move a heavy machine later!

If you’ve purchased a portable machine, then you’re probably ready to go. Before you jump on your machine take some time to read the manual.

Learn about the various settings, care and cleaning of the machine, and any recommended uses. You may find some interesting information in your manual. Also consider registering the machine so your warranty is active and you can receive any updates and information.

Step Two: A Trial Run

It’s important to start slowly when using your machine. Put it at the lowest settings and just stand on it.

Pay attention to what it feels like and what muscles you’re using. If you already have a vibration platform program in mind, start using your machine right away. However, don’t dive in and start using it for hardcore exercise. Ease into it.

For example, if you’re using a tri-planar machine to boost your current workout, instead of doing 50 squats on the machine, try 5 or 10. Seriously, you may be surprised at how your muscles react and it’s better to go slowly and have a speedy recovery time than to overdo it and have to lay off exercise for several days.

As you get used to your machine you can increase your time on it and your exercises.

If you’re using the machine to lose weight then you may also want to ease into it. Try using it for a few minutes the first day and add a few minutes each time you use it.

Of course, most people are gung-ho when they bring home new fitness equipment and they jump right into a full-scale fitness and weight loss program. This is probably the safest machine to do that on, just be careful and be safe!

Step Three: Create a Fitness Program

Once you’re comfortable using your machine, which may be right away if you’re impatient, it’s time to create a fitness program. Decide how often you’re going to use your machine, when you’re going to use it and any exercises you may perform before, during, and after your vibration platform workout.

For example, even if you’re simply using it for weight loss, you may want to stretch and warm up for a few minutes before and after. Keep a record of your results and be willing to change your program as needed.

For example, you may find that using your machine causes more muscle soreness than you expected. You might then reduce using your machine by a few minutes or only use it twice a week until your body is accustomed to the movements.

Once you have used a vibration platform machine you’ll be hooked. It’s a fantastic way to boost your strength and endurance. It can help you become more flexible and improve bone density.

Vibration platform machines have been shown to improve health and vitality by improving circulation, lymph drainage, sleep, and by reducing stress levels. It’s a simple machine with a myriad of beneficial uses. It may quickly become your favorite piece of home gym equipment.