Over the last few years, Whole Body Vibration Training has become a popular and widely discussed exercise application. It is categorized as more of a passive workout, or in other words, a workout where you’re able to achieve more results with less effort. Although it seems like a fluky infomercial waiting to happen, Whole Body Vibration Training or WBVT is progressing as more of a scientifically proven exercise technique. We are excited to announce that we now offer one of the leading tools used for WBVT at DIAKADI:The VibePlate.
Based on an article written onSonicLife.com, vibration training was first introduced during the “space race” in the 1960s by scientists from the Soviet Union. Their goal was to ensure that their astronauts could stay in space for longer by reducing the adverse effects that no-gravity atmosphere causes, such as muscular atrophy and decreases in bone density. For 60 years scientists, therapists, and trainers have tried to find a way to perfect WBVT for the rest of us on earth.
There are range of different benefits to vibration training that can be prescribed to a wide spectrum of people. Improvements in muscle recovery and power, as well as overall flexibility are the most common uses for this type of training. WBVT is said to influence increases in bone density, so individuals with osteoporosis may also benefit from vibration training. Also some research has found that WBVT can have a positive effect on balance, which would be helpful for aging individuals.
Links to research articles that study the advantages of WBVT:
HOW IT WORKS
Standing on a standard vibrating platform, such as the VibePlate, emits oscillating vibrations that are measured in Hz. Basically, if you have the machine set to 10 Hz, it means your body is receiving 10 vibrations per second. Your muscles contract and relax with each vibration, and whatever part of the body touching the machine will obviously receive the brunt of the vibrations. For strength work and exercises, the vibrations allow for a more effective motor unit recruitment, which means that your entire muscle is contracting more effectively than it would if you were to do a squat on a normal surface.
During general exercise, varying combinations of more fatigue resistant type I muscle fibers and power based type II muscle fibers are in use, depending on the movement, load, tempo, and duration of the exercise being performed. Type II muscle fibers are often times neglected by the average person because they aren't implementing enough high intensity resistant type exercises into their workout routines. This neglect may be due to injuries or simply inexperience. Instead of forcing the muscle to perform an exercise it's not ready to do, or adding a resistance it's not conditioned to overcome, vibration training allows the individual to perform basic movements like lunges or body squats, and recruits the hard to stimulate type II fibers in the process. An interesting article written on EvolutionHealth.com, details some of these findings as well as more interesting benefits to WBVT.
Strength and power are not the only benefits found with vibration training. Flexibility and range of motion have been shown to increase significantly with WBVT. How this is done isn’t exactly clear, but a study written in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research by Roland Van Den Tillaar, alludes to 3 mechanisms which may cause ROM increases by way of vibration training. The first one is that added vibrations generate increases in blood flow to your muscles, which in turn causes heat production. This heat production enhances muscle elasticity, leading to better ROM. Another possible reason is that vibration training activates one’s muscle spindles. To put it simply, muscle spindles are sensory receptors inside your muscle that detect changes in length. So when you’re stretching and you feel a “wall” that seems impossible to go beyond, that’s your muscle spindle telling you that you don’t have enough ROM to stretch that far. With vibration training these receptors are constantly being stimulated, allowing for a far more intense and effective stretch. It is also said that the added vibrations increase pain threshold for the first 10-15 seconds into training. There isn't a whole lot of research done on this theory and we at DIAKADI don't recommend risking injury by testing pain threshold.
HOW TO USE IT
Using vibration equipment as a way to warm up before traditional resistance exercise, is probably the best way to utilize its effectiveness as a training tool. It’s clear that WBVT works your muscles at a rate that is impossible to achieve naturally, and is a wonderful way to get loose and ready for whatever workout. Vibration training also works your muscles more efficiently, and therefore allows you to get warmed up faster than you would be able to otherwise. Great applications of WBVT could consist of everything from static stretching and myofascial rolling, to more dynamic warm up exercises like body squats. The frequency of the power plate should be moderate to high ranging from 25 to 50 Hz and the amount of time spent on the power plate should be divided up into sets of only a couple minutes long. The parameters obviously change for specific populations and the application referred to in this article should be utilized by individuals looking for improvements in strength, power, and flexibility.
Here are some examples of stretches, myofascial release techniques, and dynamic warmup exercises. Included is the suggested range of vibration frequencies that you should use while performing these examples:
Standing Calf Stretch / Frequency: low / Duration: 30-60s each leg
Hip Roll-Out / Frequency: medium / Duration: 60s each hip
Body Squat / Frequency: high / Duration: No more than 30s at a time
If you're having trouble with finding different exercises you can do on the VibePlate, here are some great workout routines from YouTube that have a ton of variability:
There are some risk factors you should be aware of before including vibration training in your workouts. VibePlate lists a few contraindications on their website that are helpful for people just getting started with WBVT. If any of these risk factors pertain to you, we at DIAKADI recommend speaking with your physician before training. DON’T USE THE VIBEPLATE IF YOU ARE/HAVE:
“Recovering from surgery, current damage to the spine (Acute hernia, discopathy, spondyloysis), tumors, rheumatoid arthritis, serious cardiovascular disease, known neurological conditions, pregnancy, thrombosis or acute thombrosis, joint implants, pulmonary embolism, known retinal conditions, severe diabetes, pacemakers and implantable cardioverter defibrillators, poor somatosensory receptor sensitivity on the plantar surfaces of the feet, severe migraine, gall stones or kidney stones.” - VibePlate.com
PLEASE, STOP EXERCISING IMMEDIATELY IF YOU FEEL DIZZY OR LIGHT HEADED!
Whether you're looking for a way to add variability to your warmup routine, or you’re having trouble stimulating certain hard to reach muscles, vibration training can and should be utilized. It’s a wonderful tool for those who may be restricted by time, and can allow you to get more done in your workout that you normally would. Hopefully this summary was helpful to you and will spark some interest in WBVT. Our VibePlate at DIAKADI should be available for use in the near future so feel free to get creative and explore vibration training for yourself!