Research and Studies on Whole Body Vibration Machines

Despite the expanding use of Whole Body Vibration training among athletes, it is not 100% guaranteed that adding Whole Body Vibration training to the conventional training of sprint-trained athletes will improve speed-strength performance. Twenty experienced sprint-trained athletes (13 ?, 7 ?, 17 - 30 years old) were randomly assigned to a Whole Body Vibration group (n = 10: 6 ? and 4 ?) or a Control group (n = 10: 7 ?, 3 ?). During a 5-week experimental period all subjects continued their conventional training program, but the subjects of the Whole Body Vibration group additionally performed three times weekly a Whole Body Vibration training prior to their conventional training program. The Whole Body Vibration program consisted of unloaded static and dynamic leg exercises on a vibration platform (35 - 40 Hz, 1.7 - 2.5 mm, Power Plate®). Pre and post isometric and dynamic (100°/s) knee-extensor and -flexor strength and knee-extension velocity at fixed resistances were measured by means of a motor-driven dynamometer (Rev 9000, Technogym®). Vertical jump performance was measured by means of a contact mat. Force-time characteristics of the start action were assessed using a load cell mounted on each starting block. Sprint running velocity was recorded by means of a laser system. Isometric and dynamic knee-extensor and knee-flexor strength were unaffected (p > 0.05) in the Whole Body Vibration group and the Control group. As well, knee-extension velocity remained unchanged (p > 0.05). The duration of the start action, the resulting start velocity, start acceleration, and sprint running velocity did not significantly change (> 0.05) in either group.

Source: Thieme eJournals

Fourteen elite and 14 amateur athletes were subjected to vibration stimulation during bilateral biceps curl exercises. The athletes performed two separate series of three sets of exercises in random order. The second set of one series was administered with superimposed vibration of 44 Hz and an acceleration of about 30 m x s(-2) transmitted through the two-arms handle to the arm muscles. The mechanical power of each repetition was measured by the 'Power Gauge' instrument. The maximal and mean power values for each set were automatically recorded and shown on the screen. The acute effect was evaluated as the difference between the mean and peak power output in the second (with vibration stimulation) and first (without vibration stimulation) sets. Similarly, the residual effect was taken to be the difference between the power values of the third (after vibration stimulation) and the first (before vibration stimulation) sets. The results were subjected to a repeated-measure analysis of variance compared to a placebo group. The results showed that exercise with vibration stimulation had a significant immediate effect for mean power and for maximum power. The factor group (elite vs amateurs) resulted in a significant effect for maximum power only. The increase in explosive strength exertion attributed to vibration stimulation was 30.1 and 29.8 W (10.4% and 10.2%) for maximum and mean power respectively in the elite group, and 20.0 and 25.9 W (7.9% and 10.7%) respectively in the amateur athletes.

Source: US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health

Eighty-nine postmenopausal women, off hormone replacement therapy, aged 58 to 74, were randomly assigned to a WBV group (n=30), a resistance-training group (RES, n=30), or a control group (n=29).

The WBV group and the RES group trained three times a week for 24 weeks. The WBV group performed unloaded static and dynamic knee-extensor exercises on a vibration platform, which provokes reflexive muscle activity. The RES group trained knee-extensors by performing dynamic leg-press and leg-extension exercises increasing from low (20 repetitions maximum (RM)) to high (8RM) resistance. The control group did not participate in any training.

WBV is a suitable training method and is as efficient as conventional RES training to improve knee-extension strength and speed of movement and counter-movement jump performance in older women. As previously shown in young women, it is suggested that the strength gain in older women is mainly due to the vibration stimulus and not only to the unloaded exercises performed on the WBV platform.

Source: Journal of the American Geriatrics Society

As apparent from its name, in whole body vibration, the entire body is exposed to vibration, as opposed to local vibration (Biomechanical Stimulation), where an isolated muscle or muscle group is stimulated by the use of a vibration device. Whole body vibration is implemented through the use of a vibrating platform on which static poses are held or dynamic exercises can be performed depending on the type and force of the machine. The vibrations generated by motors underneath the platform are transmitted to the person on the machine. The intensity, defined by the parameters frequency, amplitude, magnitude (light vibration versus heavy vibration) and the direction of these vibrations are essential for their effect.

Scientific studies have proved that vibration palate/ machine therapy promotes normal bone formation rate. The study was conducted by NASA.

In one study (published in the October 2001 issue of The FASEB Journal), only 10 minutes per day of vibration therapy promoted near-normal rates of bone formation in rats that were prevented from bearing weight on their hind limbs during the rest of the day. Another group of rats that had their hind legs suspended all day exhibited severely depressed bone formation rates -- down by 92% -- while rats that spent 10 minutes per day bearing weight, but without the vibration treatment, still had reduced bone formation -- 61% less.

These results show that the vibration treatment maintained normal bone formation rates, while brief weight bearing did not.

Vibration training is the closest form of instance exercise that has been duplicated in space. There isn’t a better way to keep astronauts physically active in space than by using vibration machines or vibration plates. Vibration machines simulate the effects of gravity and physical exercise in space.

If highly trained astronauts are using vibration machines to stay in shape, image the kind of results average users get.

A scientific study presented at the European Congress on Obesity in 2009, found that overweight or obese people who regularly used vibrating equipment with a calorie restricted diet were much more successful at long term weight-loss. They also found that people who were using vibration machines lost more fat around their abdomen compared to those who combined dieting with a more conventional fitness routine.

SOURCES: ECO 2009 -- The 17th European Congress on Obesity, Amsterdam, Netherlands, 2009.

Sarcopenia is the degenerative loss of skeletal muscle mass and strength associated with aging. There aren’t many treatments for this condition. Vibration exercise is recommended as therapeutic alternative for preventing/reversing sarcopenia. Patients have noticed tremendous results.

Talk to your doctor if vibration exercise is right for you.

Whilst exposure to vibration is traditionally regarded as perilous, recent research has focussed on potential benefits. Here, the physical principles of forced oscillations are discussed in relation to vibration as an exercise modality. Acute physiological responses to isolated tendon and muscle vibration and to whole body vibration exercise are reviewed, as well as the training effects upon the musculature, bone mineral density and posture. Possible applications in sports and medicine are discussed. Evidence suggests that acute vibration exercise seems to elicit a specific warm-up effect, and that vibration training seems to improve muscle power, although the potential benefits over traditional forms of resistive exercise are still unclear. Vibration training also seems to improve balance in sub-populations prone to fall, such as frail elderly people. Moreover, literature suggests that vibration is beneficial to reduce chronic lower back pain and other types of pain. Other future indications are perceivable.

Source: European Journal of Applied Physiology

A 2001 study has shown that low-frequency vibrations increase blood circulation in patients suffering from blood circulation problems. Blood circulation problems cause many conditions. Among some of the common conditions caused with poor blood circulation are:

  • Dark Circles Under the Eyes
  • Cold Feet and Hands
  • Itching
  • Eye Problems
  • Vertigo and Dizziness
  • Muscle cramps
  • Numbness
  • Leg ulcers
  • Boils
  • Blood clots
  • Carpal Tunnel
  • Chilblains
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Raynaud's Disease
  • Varicose veins
  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Memory loss

Talk to your doctor to see if vibration therapy would be a useful form of treatment for you.

Vibration training pates and machines are safe and effective for elderly with osteoporosis. Vibration sessions should be no longer than 10 minutes posture should be maintained in a semi-squat position with knees flexed, and the patient should actively participate with the leg muscles to reduce the transmission of vibrations to the head.

The purpose of this meta-analysis was to attempt to gain a clear picture of the magnitude of adaptations in muscular power expected after acute and chronic training, as well as identify specific factors that influence the treatment effects. Studies using a power training intervention and containing data necessary to calculate effect size (ES) were included in the analysis a total of 30 studies. Effect size demonstrated that the type of vibration platform used is a moderator of the treatment effect of vibration on power development is the type of vibration platform employed. Differences were noted in both acute and chronic changes in power when vertical vibration platforms were compared with oscillating platforms. Vertical platforms elicit a significantly larger treatment effect for chronic adaptations (ES = 0.99) as compared with oscillating platforms (ES = 0.36). The data also show that age is a moderator of the response to vibration exercise for power. On the basis of the overall analysis, it is apparent that vibration exercise can be effective at eliciting chronic power adaptations. Exercise professionals can include vibration exercise as a means of fostering power improvements.

Source: Laboratory of Physiology, European University Miguel de Cervantes, Valladolid, Spain.

In 2009 the study has been done comparing patients that did multifunctional training alone (dancing aerobics, balance training, functional strength training and leg strength exercises) with multifunctional training + leg strengthening exercises on vibrational platforms.

After a year the results were compared.

They found that the multifunctional training resulted in a gain of BMD at the lumbar spine. Vibration training did not enhance the effect on bone but significantly reduced falls. So in this study the vibration platform did not enhance bone density but it did reduce the likelihood of falling - something that is important for those hoping to reduce their risk of hip fracture.

Seventy volunteers (age, 58–74 years) were randomly assigned to a whole body vibration training group (WBV, n = 25), a resistance training group (RES, n = 22), or a control group (CON, n = 23). The WBV group and the RES group trained three times weekly for 24 weeks. The WBV group performed static and dynamic knee-extensor exercises on a vibration platform (35–40 Hz, 2.28–5.09g), which mechanically loaded the bone and evoked reflexive muscle contractions. The RES group trained knee extensors by dynamic leg press and leg extension exercises, increasing from low (20 RM) to high (8 RM) resistance. The CON group did not participate in any training. Hip bone density was measured using DXA at baseline and after the 6-month intervention. Isometric and dynamic strength were measured by means of a motor-driven dynamometer. Data were analyzed by means of repeated measures ANOVA.

No vibration-related side effects were observed. Vibration training improved isometric and dynamic muscle strength (+15% and + 16%, respectively; p ‹ 0.01) and also significantly increased BMD of the hip (+0.93%, p ‹ 0.05). No changes in hip BMD were observed in women participating in resistance training or age-matched controls (-0.60% and -0.62%, respectively; not significant). Serum markers of bone turnover did not change in any of the groups.

These findings suggest that WBV training may be a feasible and effective way to modify well-recognized risk factors for falls and fractures in older women and support the need for further human studies.

Source: Journal of Bone and Mineral Research

American Astronauts are using vibration therapy to reduce muscle atrophy in space. They stand on the lightly vibrating machine for 20 min per day and the vibrations mimic the minute muscle reactions of daily activities under Earth's gravitational pull. Vibration exercise is one of a few fitness exercises approved by NASA for astronauts in outer space.

Eighteen elite women’s field hockey players each completed three interventions of WBV, control, and cycling in a balanced random manner. WBV was performed on a Galileo machine (26 Hz) with six different exercises being performed. For the control, the same six exercises were performed at 0 Hz, whilst cycling was performed at 50 W. Each intervention was 5 min in duration with ACMVJ, grip strength, and flexibility measurements being conducted pre and post intervention.

There was a positive interaction effect (intervention × pre-post) of enhanced ACMVJ (p ‹ 0.001) and flexibility (p ‹ 0.05) parameters following WBV; however no changes were observed after the control and cycling interventions. There was no interaction effect for grip strength following the three interventions.

Acute WBV causes neural potentiation of the stretch reflex loop as shown by the improved ACMVJ and flexibility performance. Additionally, muscle groups less proportionally exposed to vibration do not exhibit physiological changes that potentiate muscular performance.

Source: British Journal Of Sports Medicine

Prevention of muscle atrophy is very important, because the process of degeneration of muscle fibers develops quite rapidly and often irreversible. Moreover, if severe atrophy reaches a certain degree, restoration of muscle function may no longer be possible. Thus, prevention of muscle atrophy should be started as soon as possible. As an effective means massage, medical gymnastics, as well as electrical stimulation might be prescribed. In chronic bedridden patients individual muscle groups can be activated by isometric exercise, while avoiding unnecessary burdens on the heart and circulatory system as a whole. The essence of these exercises is that the patient is making efforts to contact specific muscle, overcoming resistance and trying to keep that particular muscle in this state for a few seconds, the additional movements in the joints do not occur.

For example, in the case of fracture of the radius it is important to focus on the biceps muscle, which in this type of fracture most vulnerable to atrophy. If, however, the fracture of the olecranon occurs, the state of the triceps should be keept under constant training, but if the fracture occurred to condyle of humerus, all muscle groups should be trained.

Also to prevent muscle atrophy electrical sismotherapy and vibration therapy are applied. Electrical sismotherapy - is the use of electric current to initiate or enhance the activity of certain organs or whole systems. But often, the word "electrical sismotherapy" refer to any electric shocks, which in general is absolutely wrong. Although the current can stimulate various organs and systems, in practice most commonly electrical stimulation of the heart, the motor nerves and muscles is used.

As for vibration therapy then vibration machine (Vibra Pro 5500) provides a massage effect on the tissue, improves lymph and blood circulation and activates metabolism and helps to strengthen muscles. Under the influence of such massage significantly improves performance of muscles, normalizes muscle tone and decreases muscle atrophy. Training on vibration machine results in relaxation and stretching of the muscles, improving coordination of movements, resulting in significant shortening of the time necessary for rehabilitation after injuries or other disorders of motor activity.

What it is and who is likely to be endangerd.

Muscle atrophy - a violation of muscular structure, weakening or reducing the size of the muscles, which occurs as a result of prolonged immobility.

What can cause the appearance of muscle atrophy?

Most often it occurs after trauma or neuromuscular disease, although it may appear as a result of some metabolic and endocrine diseases, as a result of prolonged compression of muscles and in older people due to their low physical activity.

In functional and ischemic atrophy, muscle do not receive the necessary nutrients in sufficient quantity, and for neuropathic form of the disease, they are simply unable to absorb all that gives them blood, due to violations of the functional connection between the muscles and nervous system.

The initial stage is characterized by abnormal muscle fatigue during prolonged physical activity, and sometimes muscle twitching.

The problem of muscle atrophy is relevant for the astronauts, who during a long flight lose their capacity for physical work for more than 40%. These findings were published in the Journal of Physiology based on the studies. In fact, a person of 30-50 years of age feels like 80 and for the restoration of motor activity requires a whole set of exercises and lessons on vibration machine (Vibra Pro 5500).

Also, researchers at Harvard University have established a connection between the progressive muscular atrophy and addiction, which is fought by the whole world - smoking. After analyzing the information contained in the 5 different scientific studies, involving more than 1 million people, they came to the following conclusions. Those people who quit smoking are already at increased risk. The risk of atrophy in those who does not want to give up the habit is increased by 42%. People who smoke regularly in large quantities for long period of time are even under higher risk. Every 10 cigarettes a day increase the risk further by 10%. Accessing this habit at an early age to further enhance the chances of suffering from the disease.

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