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Do Vibration Plates Work? The Hack or The Hoax

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Vibration or shaking platforms are whipped out as a miraculous machine to shed extra pounds, gain some muscles, or win beauty pageants. It’s close to being a shooting star in the fitness world. 

So you might ask, do vibration plates work? If so, how come? Let’s figure it out. We’ll delve deep into the underlying mechanism, benefits, and risks of the whole body vibration (WBV) that scientific research has disclosed so far.

Do Vibration Plates Work? They may benefit various musculoskeletal conditions, such as osteoporosis, Parkinson’s disease, and fibromyalgia. Athletes can also rely on them for recovery and rehab. The key is to constrain and complement the usage of vibration plates with proven diet as well as workout requirements.

Vibration Plates work

How Does a Vibration Plate Work? And What Are They?

A vibration plate is a type of aerobic stepper, but not the typical one you see in gyms and group classes. It packs a motor under the main stepping board. Once powered up, it vibrates and creates a destabilizing surface. Meanwhile, your muscles are tricked into contracting reflexively.

As the theory goes, these successive muscle contractions and relaxations require energy. The longer you stand, the more calories you burn off, even though you’re not exerting yourself intentionally. Results would depend on the vibration range of the specific model: frequency, amplitude, and speed options. There are higher-end 3D plates that shake vertically and horizontally at the same time. People like to throw in resistance and bodyweight exercises to intensify the benefits.

Do Vibration Plates Work?

No matter how many vibration plates before and after images or filtered testimonies you browse on the manufacturer’s website, the contentious question remains unanswered. Do they really work?

We’ll share a couple of professional responses on the subject here. The next section has reviewed scientific literature in detail for each purported claim.

Benefits of Vibration Plates

A number of controlled experiments and meta-analyses have shaped the expert opinion, hinting at a multitude of health benefits. It’s pertinent to stress that the latest research is in the preliminary stages, and more quality endeavors are warranted to validate present findings.

✅ Bone Density

Vibration plates were originally invented for astronomers who experience bone loss in outer space. NASA approves that a 10-20 minutes stance on a vibrating platform increases bone density. A separate investigation spelled it as a preventive measure for declining bone minerals in dynamic tissues. It somehow improves osteoblast-osteoclast communication; however, the exact mediators are yet to be fully known. 

✅ Weight Loss

Do vibration plates work for weight loss? Losing weight is a dual-pronged process: diet and workout. WBV can help you empty stubborn calorie pileups, so body recomposition shouldn’t be a fanciful expectation, given that you keep tabs on your cravings. This review of over 2000 studies showed that vibration interventions reduce fat mass, especially when combined with traditional forms of diet and exercise.

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✅ Cellulite Control

Besides weight loss, cellulite busting is another hyped-up advantage. It’s a skin condition that forms lumps of flesh around the glutes, thighs, and stomach – harmless but unattractive in pop culture. A clinical trial involving two groups of 42 women tested WBV for the diminished appearance of cellulite. Participants improved aesthetics, satisfaction, and skin temperature. Vibration therapy doesn’t seem to eliminate but only disrupts fat cells from cellulite tissues. 

✅ Blood Flow

The smooth circulation of blood and other fluids is critical for the body. It supplies fresh nutrients and discharges wasteful toxins. It’s been proved that a minimum of 10-minute, high-intensity WBV increases skin blood flow, microcirculation, and lymphatic drainage. In addition, these subtle shockwaves can lower arterial stiffness and hypertension. Pairing them with exercises is recommended for quick and permanent effects.   

training on 3D Vibration Platform

✅ Back Pain

Strains and sprains in the lower back arise due to a sedentary lifestyle or old age. They weaken your muscles, ligaments, and tendons surrounding the spinal area. Vibration therapy is advocated to ease back pain, tighten core muscles, and correct body posture. A randomized trial confirmed the postural correction in people with back pain, pitching whole-body vibration, and classical physiotherapy head-to-head. Both protocols were equally effective.  

✅ Balance and Flexibility

Standing or exercising on a vibration plate is beneficial for seniors as it’s low-impact. They should hope to revive the range of motion. Compared to conventional training, it performs significantly better at balance performance and muscular power. The constant shaking also challenges mind-body coordination. A wealth of research indicates that WBV promotes flexibility. The suitable vibration range falls below 40hz and 6mm parameters. 

✅ Fibromyalgia

Take it as pain on steroids, affecting the entire body. Fibromyalgia is a chronic disease accompanying sleep, mood, memory, and exhaustion issues. What does a vibration plate do in this case? A study sought its efficacy in five areas: balance, quality of life, fatigue, disability, and pain. Older Galileo and Power Plates were used. Patients returned with enhanced stats, proposing that WBV may be a primary treatment for fibromyalgia.  

✅ Muscle Recovery

Therapeutic vibration isn’t eccentric hypertrophy. Building muscles all alone isn’t its cup of tea. However, the mounting evidence suggests you can combat post-workout muscle soreness and inflammation with vibration plates. WBV is super-effective in decreasing the timeframe of DOMS during training and competitions. Multi-sprint athletes are more exposed; thus, minimizing DOMS reduces injury risks and elevates sports performance.

female training on vibration platform

Are vibration plates safe to use? Yes, they’re safe and successful in general. However, overusing them might bring complications. 10-30 minutes is how often should you use a vibration plate daily, three to four days a week. There might be a few side effects to the long exposure.

❌ Body Aches

Long-term involvement with vibrating machines can result in widespread muscle pain. According to some studies, you can develop neck, back, shoulder, hand, and hip pain. It should be remembered that the studied vibration sources are related to occupational safety, such as jackhammers and excavators.

❌ Bone Fractures

The most reliable upside of a vibration platform is the improvement in bones, which makes them stronger and less vulnerable to fractures. Ironically, the same device may cause bone fractures at a high-intensity movement. It maintains that a low-magnitude, high-amplitude WBV is a safer and better approach.

❌ Other Drawbacks

The dangers of vibration machines lie in their repeated and long-term use. You can be at a greater risk of getting cardiovascular, digestive, and nerve problems. Individuals who are prone to falling should go for handled versions. 

Katherine Brooke-Wavell has highlighted the following inherent shortfalls despite validating various musculoskeletal and neurological gains.

training on vibration platform
  • The rate of bone density isn’t judged on specific body parts.
  • The optimum vibration range needs to be evaluated.
  • Many studies have not been compared with a control group.
  • Hip/knee flexion measures remain universally unaltered.
  • Discomfort is common, remedied by flexing knees or squatting.

Who Can Use Vibration Plates?

Vibration plates in a limited range and duration can do wonders for your health. They’re the guardian angel for anyone unable or unwilling to perform aerobic and strength exercises. People in the given situations should consult a doctor and seek vibration therapy. Supplementing the current regimen will speed up the process.

  • Older adults who have balance, flexibility, or back pain problems.
  • Those with limited mobility can ease stiffness and blood flow.
  • Obese folks looking to get in shape and rev up their metabolism.
  • Arthritis, osteoporosis, sarcopenia, and joint patients.
  • A low-impact rehab route to bone density and muscle power.
  • Individuals fed up with slouching, hunching, and bad posture.
  • Athletes for recovery and protein synthesis after a vigorous workout.
  • People having fibromyalgia, insomnia, and chronic fatigue.
  • Somatosensory input for children with autism and hypersensitivity.
  • Brave souls dealing with stress, depression, and anxiety in their lives.

Vibration Plate We Recommend

Sunny Health & Fitness 3D Vibration Plate

Sunny Health & Fitness 3D Vibration Plate

Sunny Health & Fitness 3D Vibration Plate provides you with 3D oscillation modes, 3 workout programs, and 16 speed options. There is a remote device and control buttons on the centrally-located display panel.

Its steel platform, covered for one year by the manufacturer’s warranty, stands firm with a textured rubber top and suction cups underneath. The max load capacity ranges up to 265 lbs. You’ll get detachable armbands to engage your upper body as well.

Last but not the least, SunnyFit App brings a lot of video lessons and daily challenges to squeeze the most use out of this high-quality power plate.

FAQ

Do Vibration Plates Work To Lose Weight?

Sure! In a research published in the Journal of Exercise Nutrition & Biochemistry, obese middle-aged women were divided into the following groups:

  1. Diet
  2. Vibration plus Diet
  3. Aerobic plus Diet

The latter two groups significantly improved body composition, bone mineral density, and bone mineral content. Therefore, it can be said that passive WBV aids weight loss.

Can I Use a Vibration Plate Every Day?

No, daily usage is a recipe for disaster. Limit your sessions to 10-30 minutes with almost 48 hours of downtime.

What Is a 10-Minute Vibration Plate Equivalent To?

It’s advertised that 10 minutes of sonic vibration equals one hour of cardio or strength training. However, these claims are yet to be substantiated by science.

Do Vibration Plates Work if You Just Stand on Them?

Standing on a vibration plate still forces your muscles to reflex. It won’t make a structured full-body workout you might need to attain fitness goals. Try slipping in a bunch of crunches, planks, push-ups, and band exercises.

Conclusion

Hopefully, you no longer doubt whether do vibration plates work or not. Consider them a microwave of training. Using one in a safe range will expedite results, not swapping traditional exercise and dietary requirements.

There are multiple whole-body vibration machines, ranging from stepping platforms to massage guns. What’s your experience and expectation with them? Let us know in the comment section.

Also read:

References:

  1. Is whole-body vibration a good way to lose weight and improve fitness? // Mayoclinic: https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/expert-answers/whole-body-vibration/faq-20057958
  2. 217 – Sarcopenia // Sciencedirect: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/B978032343044900217X
  3. Indications and contraindications in the clinical application of WBV: Immediate and long-term effects and their influence on the selection of dosage // Researchgate:http://surl.li/imrge
  4. Chapter 52 – Exercise Programs for Patients with Osteoporosis // Sciencedirect: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/B9780123746023000523
  5. Good Vibrations // Science: https://www.nasa.gov/stem-content/good-vibrations/
  6. Prevention of postmenopausal bone loss by a low-magnitude, high-frequency mechanical stimuli: a clinical trial assessing compliance, efficacy, and safety // Pubmed: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15040821/
  7. Osteoblast-Osteoclast Communication and Bone Homeostasis // Ncbi: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7564526/
  8. Does whole body vibration therapy assist in reducing fat mass or treating obesity in healthy overweight and obese adults? A systematic review and meta-analyses // Tandfonline: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/09638288.2019.1688871
  9. Whole-body vibration in the reduction of the cellulite // Tandfonline: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/14764172.2018.1525750
  10. The effect of whole body vibration on lower extremity skin blood flow in normal subjects // Pubmed: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17261985/
  11. Whole-body vibration combined with exercise may be more effective in lowering blood pressure and arterial stiffness than exercise alone in older adults with hypertension // Pubmed: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34710750/
  12. Effects of Whole Body Vibration Therapy and Classic Physiotherapy on Postural Stability in People With Back Pain: A Randomized Trial // Pubmed: http://surl.li/imrig
  13. Whole-body vibration training versus conventional balance training in patients with severe COPD—a randomized, controlled trial // respiratory: https://respiratory-research.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12931-021-01688-x
  14. Effects of Whole-Body Vibration on Flexibility and Stiffness: A Literature Review // ncbi: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6533098/
  15. Effects of Whole-Body Vibration Therapy in Patients with Fibromyalgia: A Systematic Literature Review // hindawi: https://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/719082/
  16. Whole-body vibration decreases delayed onset muscle soreness following eccentric exercise in elite hockey players: a randomised controlled trial // Josr: https://josr-online.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s13018-021-02760-4
  17. Health effects associated with occupational exposure to hand-arm or whole body vibration // Ncbi: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6415671/
  18. The Potential Benefits and Inherent Risks of Vibration as a Non-Drug Therapy for the Prevention and Treatment of Osteoporosis // Springer: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11914-012-0132-1
  19. Risks and benefits of whole body vibration training in older people // Academic: https://academic.oup.com/ageing/article/38/3/254/16658
  20. Understanding somatosensory deficits in autism spectrum disorder // Sfari: https://www.sfari.org/funded-project/understanding-somatosensory-deficits-in-autism-spectrum-disorder/
  21. Effect of Whole-body Vibration on Depression, Anxiety, Stress, and Quality of Life in College Students: A Randomized Controlled Trial // Ncbi: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9396709/
  22. The effects of long-term whole-body vibration and aerobic exercise on body composition and bone mineral density in obese middle-aged women // Ncbi: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4977903/

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Ihor Shymechko

Author: Ihor Shymechko
Pro Olympic Weightlifter, Coach

Experience: 26 years
Best Results: Snatch – 208 kg,
C&J – 240 kg

Ihor has been a professional weightlifter since 1996, boasting over two decades of competition experience. His notable achievements include clinching the European Championship in 2009 and securing a silver medal in the 105kg division at the Senior World Championships in 2011. Ihor represented his country in the 2008, 2012, and 2016 Summer Olympics. After retiring from competitive weightlifting, he transitioned to coaching, leveraging his vast experience to guide athletes who now compete on both national and international stages.

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