The origins of vibration exercise can be traced to the space program of the Russians. Russian scientists discovered that by using vibration exercise while in space, bone loss by cosmonauts could be arrested. Vibration exercise consists of standing on a platform that is vibrating, either up and down or side to side at a given frequency. Most vibration exercise platforms oscillate at between 24 and 50 times per second or 24 to 50 Hertz.
Using a Vibration Exercise Platform
Using a vibration exercise platform device is easy. You stand on the platform while the machine is vibrating and perform exercises such as deep knee bends or squats, push-ups or a variety of other types of exercises. The types of exercises that can be performed using a vibrating plate machine are really only limited by your imagination. As long as the portion of your body that you desire to receive the major portion of the exercise makes contact with the platform while it’s vibrating, you will see a benefit from it.
The vibrations cause your muscles to contract and release at the same frequency at which the platform is vibrating. According to most manufacturers as well as a few independent studies, you only need to use the vibrating platform exercise machine for 10 to f15 minutes per day. This is because your muscles are tensed and released at basically the same frequency as the platform is vibrating.
Increased Blood Circulation and Other Benefits
The vibrations coursing through your body while using one of these machines will help keep your blood oxygenated, which helps greatly with blood circulation. As stated previously, the vibration exercise machine was first developed to help combat bone mass loss by Russian cosmonauts caused by the lack of gravity in space. The rapid vibrations of the machine causing rapid tensing and release of your muscles will help build lean muscle mass.
University studies have shown marked (up to 361 percent) increases in the human growth hormone (HGH) in regular users of vibration exercise machines. This hormone helps maintain lean strong muscle mass and trimmer bodies. Having more lean muscle mass helps your body burn fat better. Another great benefit of these machines is that they help lower stress hormone levels in your body, which help with weight loss in numerous ways.
The Risks of Whole Body Vibration Exercise
There is very little actual professional medical research that shows any long term significant benefits of vibration exercise machines, except for very little muscle toning, circulatory system benefits and increases in beneficial hormone levels. However, the medical industry has shown that long term use of these machines can be injurious to your spine. This is especially true of the lower spine, the lumbar region. People that use these machines long term, especially those that use them for extended periods, beyond the recommended 10 minutes, have experienced lumbago, spinal deformation and sciatica.
If used as part of a complete exercise and diet regimen, use should be limited to the recommended 10 minutes per day, three to four times a week.