Updated: October 14, 2016
Best Vibration MachinesEveryone is always looking for the next big thing - the piece of exercise equipment that will burn through calories like a wildfire and melt fat. The key to making fitness machines work, whether it is an elliptical machine, stationary bike, treadmill, or stair climber, is to commit to your health, make working out a priority, and continue to push your body to new heights. Without this drive, the best machine will collect dust in a corner and you won't see the weight loss or muscle gain that you want. There are, however, machines that give you better payout for the effort you put in. Is there a way to get the benefits of a full workout with less work? Vibrating machines offer an opportunity to get a great body with 1/3 of the usual work. What is a vibration machine? We have to go back to the Russian space program for that answer... When an astronaut is in space, the lack of gravity for extended periods of time can cause muscle to atrophy and lower bone density. To combat this, Russian scientists created the vibration exercise machine. Does vibration training work? It did for the Russians. The Russian space team was able to spend 420 days in space: by contrast, the Americans, with only traditional exercise equipment, could only stay 300 days. The extra days were possible because of better muscle tone and bone density. In this guide we will take a look at what vibration exercise machines are and how they work, with reviews of more popular models and pricing information as well. Amazon maintains a list of the current best-selling vibration platform devices here.
How Do Vibration Machines Work? - Vibration Training Exercises
A body vibration machine looks very much like a stair climber with no steps. Instead, it has a platform on which you stand, sit, or just place a particular area of your body, such as thighs or upper arms. The machine produces a vibration, which travels through the body. What do you do when you are standing on a moving subway or sitting on an exercise ball? You constantly move to maintain balance. Your muscles move and contract automatically as your body keeps upright. It is similar with the vibration machine. As the vibration passes through your body, your muscles contract at a rate of about 25 to 50 times per second. Like traditional exercise, proponents of vibration training say that this can help:Russian ballet dancers used this technology to heal from injuries; coma patients and accident victims can benefit from vibration exercise to stimulate and encourage the use of muscles. Today, the popularity of vibration machines is growing at an incredible rate, as health clubs, physiotherapists, and celebrities including Madonna, Kylie Minogue, Elle MacPherson, and others embrace this cutting edge health technology. Vibrating machines are still put to work in the sports world too; many of Europe's most storied football franchises use the machines for their players. A vendor selling body vibration machines claims that they provide all the benefits of an hour-long gym workout in only fifteen minutes. Who wouldn't want to skip the sweat and struggle and just hop on a vibration machine? This sounds like a miracle machine. Is it too good to be true?
- *Promote muscle growth
- *Increase bone density
- *Promote a greater range of motion
- *Improve coordination
- *Decrease the stress hormone, Cortisol, which can be a factor in weight gain or the inability to lose weight
- *Help heal injuries and tension-related pain
- *Lose fat
- *Build stamina
- *Increase blood circulation
- *Decrease cellulite
Vibration Machines Do They Work? Weight Loss?The answer to this question depends on what your expectations are. Do you want to lose 20, 50, or 100 pounds overnight using just vibration training? If so, you may be disappointed. John Porcari of the American College of Sports Medicine, says, "There's no question that your muscles, through the contraction provided by the vibration, will get stronger. If you can lift 100 pounds easily, doing so while standing on this machine will soon get you to lift 110." In other words, it can be a great complement to your fitness routine and a good balanced diet, but it is not going to replace traditional exercise as the best way to condition your muscles and help you lose weight. Science has demonstrated that vibration machines work muscle groups in the body by what is known as the stretch reflex. Muscles contract in the same way as if one was using free weights or traditional exercise equipment. The difference is that instead of you doing the work, these vibration machines work your muscles for you. They increase blood flow, drain lymphs, and strengthen bone tissue. Vibration machines decrease workout time by as much as 1/3 while also offering a more complete workout. Vibration machines also put much less stress on the body than other exercise methods, making vibration machines perfect for people with arthritis, seniors, and others who can't engage in traditional workouts
What about people with injuries? Dan Hamner, a rehab and sports medicine expert, says, "I usually come from the 'no pain, no gain' camp. But I've been amazed how this painless device has managed to help those people who didn't want to do anything."
What Types of Vibration Machines are the Best?By far the most popular type of vibration machine is the plate or disc model (see Health Mark). These resemble footstools, usually with a rubber pad on top. They are designed to work specific muscle groups in the body as different parts are placed on the vibrating area. They can be used in conjunction with other exercises including sit-ups and stretches. A variety of European companies including Sunny Crazy, Fitstar, Vibratone, and Health Mark make these popular vibration machine models and they can be imported. American companies making an impact in the market include Firm Body Evolution out of Los Angeles and Vibraslim. Power Plate is another popular brand for higher-end vibration machines ($2500+).
How Much Does Vibration Equipment Cost?While a high price doesn't always guarantee quality, it does make quite a bit of difference in vibration machines. You can buy a Rite Life Fitness vibration machine for about $200 to $350, the lowest end product available. On the high-end, though, you could spend over $10,000 for a top-rated Power Plate Vibration, which will provide better design, features, functions, vibration settings, power, and weight limits. Is there a middle ground that will give you the benefits of the training without the huge price tag? A VibraSlim Europlate offers greater benefits to users than lower-end products; it's more towards high-end than middle, but it will be one of the least expensive for the quality. It carries a price tag of about $1,600. The LifeSpan Fitness VP-1000 comes in at under $900, offering 20 vibration levels, 5 preset workouts, and a 300 pound weight limit (that is you and the weights you are holding). As kind of a middle of the road model, not too cheap, not too expensive, it gets great reviews from satisfied customers. Things to look out for when buying a vibration machine:
- *Steel construction. Some vibration machines have a plastic platform; this will break, you can be assured. Steel will stand up to body weight, vibration, and repeated use.
- *Options. Good machines have a least a dozen vibration settings, as well as automatic programs. Your body will gradually adjust to the vibration, meaning it doesn't have to work as hard, and if you don't have settings you can increase, you will probably not see the results you are expecting. Different settings are necessary to provide challenges.
- *Weight limit. Make sure the machine is built to accommodate your weight. If it can't, it will break or run at a less intense level.
- *A good warranty and service from a reputable company in case you have questions or concerns.