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What's Up Magazine

Shake It Like a Polaroid Picture

Feb 01, 2018 01:58PM
By Kelsey Casselbury

Picking up good vibrations? You just might be if you’ve ever tried whole-body vibration exercise machines. This form of passive exercise sounds too good to be true—just stand on a platform and get in your exercise? Yeah, right. 

In some cases, your instinct is spot-on. Vibration machines aren’t a panacea, particularly if you want to use them for weight loss. However, don’t rule out vibration fitness entirely—for some, it might be worth trying out. 

How It Works

The premise is pretty simple: Stand on a platform that vibrates anywhere between 20 to 50 times per second for a few minutes. Some says it feels like riding a rickety roller coaster while you’re standing up or like you’re in a seat over the wheels on a bus. Get off the platform, and do a short sprint, lift some weights, or see how high you can jump—you might see a difference. 

Skip It

Thinking that this form of passive exercise will get you out of going to the gym? Not so fast. Whole-body vibration isn’t going to lead to massive weight loss or build up buff muscles. There could be a few downsides, too. Research on truck drivers who are exposed to similar vibration frequencies for a long period of time may experience chronic back pain and nerve damage. Although you’re not going to be vibrating nearly as long as that, some experts are wary of potential joint damage. 

Consider It

If you think whole-body vibration therapy could be beneficial for you, chat with your doctor about its pros and cons before stepping on a platform. Those suffering from poor balance or degenerating bone density might just benefit from some good vibes. 

Worth It?

Evidence suggests that in certain cases, whole-body vibration can work. This includes: 

1) Reducing aging effects:
A study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine concluded that vibration therapy can be effective in reducing the results of the musculoskeletal structure’s aging process. 

2) Improving bone density:
Postmenopausal women who used whole-body vibration benefited from nearly a 1 percent increase in hip bone density, found Belgian researchers. 

3) Boosting balance:
The Keio Journal of Medicine studied the effect of vibration on older men and women, determining improved balance, as well as walking speed and step length. 

4) Short-term athletic performance:
After vibration therapy, athletes can jump higher, run faster, and lift stronger. This indicates that these workouts slightly enhance athletic ability for a short time.