I don’t mean with dancing, or draining exercises. I’m not talking about spin class or fidgeting at your desk all day trying to move your legs or arms around as much as possible. I’m talking about getting a good workout for your muscles and improving your health but just spending 15 minutes a day, well, shaking.
In the modern, highly competitive world, staying healthy and in shape is becoming ever hard what with our busy schedules thanks to work, school, families, and friendships. Even those who exercise regularly might feel they’re not putting enough time into their workouts to get the most from them.
Luckily, there are whole body vibration (WBV) machines to help you shake your way to a healthier life and body shape.
Seriously. You might have seen them, you might have not, but they exist and they actually work. These revolutionary machines are becoming more and more popular as more people are discovering their benefits. Get a better workout for your whole body, build muscle mass, reduce your body fat, promote better blood circulation, and enhance your flexibility. This is just a taste of the benefits you stand to gain-– all within a short time but in a fun way.
What Is A Whole Body Vibration Machine And How Does It Work?
So what exactly is a whole body vibration machine? Also known as a power plate, a whole body vibration machine is a special exercise equipment that sends vibrations to your body to trigger stress reflexes from your muscles. Don’t worry, triggering stress reflexes, in this case, is a good thing. I’ll get into that below.
It is fitted with a plate that vibrates, so all you need to do is stand, squat, sit, or lie (if you can fit) on the plate and its vibrations will send energy through your body.
Currently, there are various models and designs in the market, but all of them work based on the same principles. What might be different about the models is how the plate vibrates. While some vibrate pivotally (replicates the same movement of walking), others do so side to side, and yet others vibrate up and down.
Basically, the vibrations generated will contract and relax your muscles repetitively in a way that will make your body feel like you are doing the exercise yourself.
Who Are the Machines For?
In short, everyone.
Spending as little as 15 minutes a day on a whole body vibration machine helps to burn fat, lose weight, enhance blood flow throughout your body, increase muscle strength, reduce stress, and increase overall flexibility.
Just like your general fitness, you’re in charge of the insanity of your fitness program, making it perfect for the super active that want to keep their muscles warmed up and in use, or the less active that are looking to get a bit more movement in their scheduled.
However, it is always wise to consult your doctor if you have had recent injuries, surgeries, or are for any concerns.
Benefits of Whole Body Vibration Machines
Many fitness experts are in agreement that WBV machines are extremely efficient. As mentioned already, you only need 15 minutes per day on the machine for you to see a noticeable difference and increased health benefits. This means you can use it while watching your favorite shows, reading a book, catching up on work, or any other endless opportunities throughout your day.
It’s worth it. I know 15 minutes may not seem like a lot as a concept, but when you’re trying to carve the time out of your hectic day, it may seem impossible. Think of it this way, if you’re able to put in 15 minutes now, and gain all of these benefits, imagine how much time you’ll be saving yourself in the future in doctor visits or recouping from stiff aches and joints. I’ve spent enough time in doctor’s waiting rooms as it is and I bet you have too.
Exercise helps you be more productive at work, less stressed, and overall is good for your physical fitness.
Fifteen minutes. Can you find the time to benefit your life?
1. Weight loss
Perhaps the most well-known benefit of a WBV machine is its ability to burn fat and thus help lose weight. The vibrations it generates contracts and relaxes muscles in the same way that physical exercises do. That results in increased metabolic rate, fat burning, leaner muscles (and body) and eventually weight loss.
With this machine, you can practically shake away illnesses like obesity and being overweight.
2. Improved muscle tone and strength
While any type of exercise is good and helps you develop muscle tone it may be slow going and a secondary benefit. When you use a WBV machine, the exercises are primarily focused towards working out your muscles, so you’ll get more benefit and a faster result. As they work your muscles (through contractions and relaxations), the fat stored will be converted into energy while the muscle protein will be synthesized to create even more muscle mass. Those two processes result in better muscle tone and strength.
3. Increased flexibility
Apart from building and strengthening them, WBV machines also stretch your muscles and improve their range of motion. When your muscles are flexible, your whole body will be too because it is muscles that support the movement of bones and limbs. This helps with back aches, stiff joints, and better balance throughout your daily life.
4. Better circulation
Blood circulation is a crucial part of the human anatomy. When your circulation system works well, you will be at a lower risk of many cardiovascular illnesses like a heart attack.
Research indicates that the rhythmic vibrations of a WBV machine cause your blood vessels to enlarge as they increase the rate of transport of oxygen and nutrients to the contracting and relaxing muscles.
This means more blood will be able to get to where it needs to go in your body faster and easier.
Even better news is that this enlargement, or easing of the blood circulation, is not only limited to the time you’re doing the exercise, but it will also continue even after you’ve finished working out.
5. Reduced stress
Maybe you’re a regular exerciser and already know the joys of working out. For those who are not yet fully committed to gym time, once you push past that initial bump you’ll start to notice how good you feel after working out. This happens because exercise bumps up the production of endorphins, the feel-good neurotransmitters that not only improve your mood but also keep stress away.
Now when it comes to WBV machines, you not only get to enjoy increased production of endorphins but also a reduction in cortisol levels. Cortisol is a stress hormone that can potentially send you into depression if levels are high. Feel good and keep away depression. Remember, you just need 15 minutes a day.
6. Improves bone strength
Osteoporosis is a common, yet avoidable, disease where your bones become so weak and fragile that they can break or fracture easily. The disease mainly affects the aging population, but that is not to say the rest of the population is immune to it.
The good news is that you can easily prevent it by engaging in an appropriate exercise routine. One of the best and most recommended prevention methods is spending a few minutes of your day on a WBV machine. The rhythmic vibrations force the bones to adjust their strength and become more rigid with time.
7. Body shaping
Ultimately, using a WBV machine frequently will keep your body in shape. The combination of reduced fat, leaner muscles, improved blood circulation, stronger bones, reduced stress, and flexible muscles reduces cellulite and improves your overall health. With time, you will notice indirect benefits like reaching your target body mass index (BMI), a smooth and toned skin, and an increase in mood.
Quick Buyer’s Guide for a Whole Body Vibration Machine
Now you know the benefits of a whole body vibration machine it’s time to see how you go about getting one or finding one to use. While most fitness centers have them nowadays, it is always convenient to have your own.
But before you make a purchase, you need to be sure that you are getting one that fits your personal needs and a high-quality product, one that gives you the best value for your money.
Here is a guide that will give you some tips and pointers on what to look for, making it easier for you to choose.
The vibration type
All WBV machines vibrate, but they don’t vibrate the same way. It may sound odd at first, but think of it like shoes, all shoes serve the same purpose in theory, but it’s the little things that make running shoes different than dress shoes or boots. Like the vibration machine, it all depends on what you’re looking for.
Each type of vibration comes with its own unique benefits that the other models might lack. There are three main types of vibrations:
- Oscillation (pivotal): this type of motion imitates a see-saw in that the vibration plate moves up and down on either side while pivoted, or fixed, at a central point. This is best for weight loss, increases lymphatic drainage, and improving fast twitch muscles.
- Tri-planner: this vibration type moves the machine’s plate up and down as well as back and forth so that the overall effect is a spiral-type movement. It is ideal for building muscles and improving bone density.
- Dual: these machines combine oscillation and tri-planner vibrations while still allowing you to choose either one of the two at a time. Therefore, they offer all the benefits that come with oscillation and tri-planner WBV machines.
The design and construction of your WBV machine play significant roles in determining its efficiency and ease of use. In this case, there are two main things that you should look at.
First, consider the size and space of your home setting. While some machines are designed for domestic use, others are strictly meant for commercial use (such as in fitness centers).
Second, consider your balance. While some machines come with a frame and handles for you to support yourself with, others don’t. The latter are just fitted with a platform where you stand with no columns or handles.
Yes, standing is easy, but remember that the machine will be vibrating, so it is not the same as standing on the ground. If you find that maintaining your balance is a bit tricky, opt for one that has a frame and handles as they will support you if you need, and if not, just don’t use them.
Size of the platform
Most WBV machines have a fairly small platform for standing on, but the size can vary between different models. Keep in mind that the size of the platform determines how much you can move. A bigger platform increases your range of motions, while a smaller one severely limits the same.
Your best bet is to choose a platform that matches up with your body size. Ideally, you’re looking for a platform that leaves at least 5 inches of space from the edge on either side when you are standing with your legs shoulder width apart. This makes sure you can stand and squat comfortably while using it.
The weight it can support
Just as is the case with the size of the platform, the maximum weight that your WBV machine supports should be determined by your weight, and that of the other people who will be using it. This comes down to motor size. The more powerful a motor is, the more weight it can support.
Remember that you can always work with an over powered machine, if you’re lighter than some of the other people that may be using it, especially in a fitness or office setting. This is not true with an under powered motor, though. If the motor is not strong enough, the machine won’t be able to produce the types of vibrations you need to get all the benefits.
Always take into account the weight of the heaviest person who will be using the machine and not the lightest person.
Some people claim that when it comes to your health, you shouldn’t be afraid to break the bank. Well, with a WBV machine, that is not necessarily the best advice because some cheaper machines perform better than the high-end ones. It all boils down to what the machine can do and what you’re looking for.
For instance, a very good oscillation machine will typically cost you between $1500 and $2500, a tri-planar should be between $2000 and $3000, and a dual will cost anything from $2000 to $4500.
But again, if you don’t have that kind of money, it is still okay to buy a cheaper model.
Just make sure to check reviews from other buyers and get advice from experts, so you know you’re getting a good piece of equipment.
Top 5 Whole Body Vibration Machines
There are a lot of models to choose from. The reason? Because they work.
This is great for giving you more options but also makes choosing a machine for you a little more complicated. We’ve come up with a top five to help give you a little info about what is out there, the different features, and what works best for different heights, weights, and settings.
1. Confidence Fitness Slim Body Vibration Platform Fitness Machine in Black
This is one of the most effective whole body vibration machines on the market today. Apart from having a relatively large and stable vibration plate, it is fitted with yoga straps that you can pull against to work out your arms and the upper part of your body. This means you can work out more muscle groups than with your average WBV machine. Despite its compact size that allows it to be a household equipment, it is strong and powerful enough to support up to 300 pounds of weight without making any noise.
With an input power of 600W and voltage of 200v to 240v, this machine provides up to 1.5HP of power, the frequency of 50Hz to 60Hz and a speed range of 1 to 50. It measures 29″ x 27.5″ x 48″ and weighs only 70 pounds, meaning you can move it around easily. The only problem that you might encounter is during installation. The handlebars can be a bit tricky to install, but the good news is that there is a user manual.
Other than that slight demerit, this unit is an excellent one. It is recommended to spend 10 minutes on it for three days a week, and you will be as healthy as someone who works out for one hour on a daily basis.
2. Hypervibe Vibrating Platform Exercise Machine
A popular choice among professional doctors and physical trainers, this model outmatches its competitors due to its superb performance. It produces a force of up to 17.4G, which is almost double what your average machine can do. Its frequency ranges from 6Hz to 28Hz, and the whole unit weighs 110 pounds, and it comes with resistance bands that you can use to work your arms and upper body.
Of course, that incredible performance is made possible by its very powerful 900W motor that is fitted in the 29.9″W x 25.2″D x 55.1″H unit. The 22.2″W x 14.4″D platform is large enough for pretty much anybody. The machine can be used by a 396-pound person on a regular basis. One of the added benefits of getting this unit is that it has an LCD for ease of use and an interactive DVD.
A common complaint among buyers of this unit is that it can get noisy, but that is a small price to pay for such a fantastic workout equipment. Just put on some music, tv, or headphones.
3. Axis-Plate E6600
Axis-Plate is a renowned company with a reputation for high-quality products, and the E6600 is proof of that. With its two motors, you get a total of 1500W of power, 60 different speed settings, 3 pre-programmed workouts, and 3 user-programmed workouts. The benefits don’t end there; it also comes with balance straps that will help you work your arms and upper body, two LCD panels for easy control, and a BMI analyzer. All those features are compacted in the 29″W x 30″D x 56.5″H machine whose plate measures 27.25″ x 20″. That’s a wide enough surface for anybody.
Regarding usability, this machine is pretty simple to use. It has long handles that enhance stability, and its detailed user manual will ensure that you get your way around using it in the most effective way possible. One downside that you might encounter is the tire-like odor that the machine produces. But that goes away as you continue to use it, so it’s not permanent.
4. Sunny Health & Fitness Crazy Fit Massager
This WBV machine is perfect if you are looking for a low-end model that still packs a variety of helpful features. It comes installed with 3 pre-programmed workouts and a BMI analyzer that does a comprehensive body fat scan. Its vibration speed range from 1 to 20 and its LED display is a handy tool for showing speed, time, and your BMI.
The one feature that makes this machine really stand out is its construction. Although it can handle only 260 pounds of weight, the 25″W x 48.5″H x 24.5″D unit is pretty appealing to the eye and can be moved around easily thanks to the fitted wheels. The user manual is not the best we’ve seen, but if you have some experience with these types of machines or time to test out its settings, this is a great piece of low-budget workout equipment.
5. DKN Technology Xg10 Series Whole Body Vibration Machine
The Xg10 has several features that set it apart from the rest. First of all, it has an integrated personal trainer to guide you through your workouts. That means you get full details of what to do to get the best health and fitness results when using the machine. Secondly, its low-speed and low-frequency vibrations make it perfect for people who are looking for a simpler workout, recovering from injury, wanting a low impact exercise, or suffering from illnesses like MS.
The vibrations may be gentle, but they’re still making sure you’re getting a good work out. They’ll contract and relax your muscles up to 50 times per second, and you can adjust the settings to suit the workout you want. There are 7 frequency settings ranging from 20Hz to 50Hz together with 4 program profiles, so you can pick the intensity level that suits you.
In addition to the top-notch performance, the 25″W x 59″H x 29″D machine is superbly built. It features a steel structure with carbon reinforcements. While the materials make it a bit heavier than other models (161 pounds), they also contribute to its ability to support heavier frames (up to 330 lbs).
A powerful motor is included to accommodate larger body types.
The one thing that you might not like about this model is its price. It is a high-end product that not everyone can afford, but if you have the financial capability, it is totally worth every penny.
So Which Model Is The Best For You?
All the five models are perfect for different situations, so it really depends on what you need and want.
If you are shopping around for a machine to use at home, options 1, 3, and 4 are great. The fourth option is the best if you’re working on a budget and weight no more than 260 pounds.
Otherwise, 1 and 3 should be at the top of your list. Options 2 and 5 are perfect for professional settings like a hospital or fitness center because they offer a variety of functions that might not be necessary for a home setting.
Plus they are two of the more expensive options if just using at home.
Feel free to look at our in-depth reviews for more information and do your own comparison to find the right vibration machine for you. Fifteen minutes a day. You definitely can do it.
Photo: Emma Rogers, CC