High frequency vibration: Case for low amplitude vibration machines

High frequency vibration machines with very low amplitudes have been undergoing research for years, but is the technology as effective as higher amplitude machines that we see being sold for fitness, weight loss and sports performance? Due to the many different types of vibration machines in the marketplace, it’s no wonder everyone is confused about what all these machines can do. This article discusses some of the benefits of low amplitude high frequency vibration machines, their limitations and future potential.

High frequency vibrationHigh frequency vibration machines combined with low amplitude

These type of machines are not the same as the standard fitness vibration training machines we see in fitness clubs and rehabilitation centers. When your typical fitness vibration machine has an amplitude (distance the platform drops up and down) anywhere from 0 to 4 mm on a lineal / vertical vibration machine, to 12 mm on a pivotal / oscillating vibration machine, the low amplitude high frequency machines have amplitudes in the MICRONS. This is a lot smaller. In fact, if you ever stand on a vibration machine in this amplitude range, you won’t be feeling any muscle contractions. You won’t need to be getting into an exercise position. You’ll be feeling a sort of ‘buzzing’ under your feet. That’s about it.

This feeling is one of the reasons people get confused between the different types of vibration machines. An example of a high frequency low amplitude machine is the Marodyne Liv Tablet. These vibration machines are generally promoted for bone density. Research has been quite extensive with these machines, and I foresee competitors popping up soon when the research continues to prove the benefits of this type of platform.

Pros and cons of Marodyne Liv Tablet

There are pros and cons of this technology. However, once you visit the website, you may come to the conclusion that this technology is the ONLY vibration platform on the market that is safe and effective. This is a shame. The marketing department certainly has a say in how to position their company in comparison to all the other technologies. In a future article, I’ll show actual proof that their marketing message of being the only safe and effective vibration machine is false. However, is not designed to play favorites and take sides. Our goal is only to provide you with the educational information you need to make the right choice in your vibration machine purchase or vibration training program.

The pros of these tablets is that they are really made for the geriatric population, or those that really can’t engage in any exercise program. The vibration training program is simple. You just stand on the platform for 10 minutes, twice a day. It’s not based on actual muscle contractions. You aren’t going to be sore after. You aren’t going to get a ‘workout’. The platform is easy to use and I see more attention paid to this type of device.

There are also cons. One con is that the original platform had issues with the amount of weight you place on the machine. I was also involved in a preliminary research study that looked at the effects of different weight loads on various vibration machines. Hopefully that study will one day be published. The original version of this device didn’t fare well with the increased amount of weight loads. Simply put, the heavier you are, the less precise this machine will be in delivering the right ‘dose’ of vibration frequency and amplitude. However, their new device appears to adjust for this weight difference. Still, the limit appears to be about 250 pounds.

High frequency vibration has it’s place in rehabilitation

The main area i see these devices gaining attention in is rehabilitation. Bone density with vibration is the main goal of the devices, although they did get into some weight loss effects with their technology. One of the things I like about the technology is that regardless of the limitations the devices have had, there is still solid pursuit of research that is going into this niche form of vibration technology. There have been a lot of animal studies and some human studies that have been done with the technology. However, don’t let their research fool you in believing other forms of vibration are lacking in research and practical outcomes. If you take the marketing spin with a grain of salt, I still believe there is merit in this technology.

Key reasons to buy high frequency low amplitude vibration machines

If you are looking to purchase a vibration machine, there are certain criteria that you may need to follow in order to understand the full potential of this device:

You are not looking for an exercise device

You have limitations that prevent you from engaging in a real exercise program

You are looking for something that helps with bone density

You weigh less than 250 pounds

All these factors may point to searching for this type of platform. One word of caution though. I am a big proponent of getting into some sort of fitness program. The higher amplitude vibration machines do provide a fitness effect. If done right, they can also be easily used over time. If you are still confused on what type of vibration platform to purchase, simply email us at the email at the top of our webpage. We’d be more than happy to give you the proper unbiased advice on finding the right fit for you. A high frequency vibration machine with a low amplitude may end up being the right fit for you.

About the Author Dr. Jasper Sidhu

Dr. Jasper Sidhu has been using vibration platforms for over 10 years in rehabilitation, sports, fitness and weight loss settings. In addition to hands on treatment of patients and clients in these settings, he has lectured at various universities and medical association meetings on the application of vibration training.  

Leave a Comment:

Lloyd Shaw says July 5, 2012

Jasper FYI..

You may want to know I designed a vibration tablet with the engineering limitations of previous units in mind.

The problem with past units was it was only tested on Turkeys and Mice. So using the kind of magnetic drive system Juvent used made sense. But once resistance via human body weight was encountered., it failed

But they had invested so much time , money , energy and ego into their “perfect” system. They could not admit the original design was the problem. Especially after all their “look at us we are geniuses, and everyone else is crap” publicity statements.

At this point they went from scientists to marketers.

Of course trying to overcome the overheating / resistance / drop in Fq issue, drove the price through the roof.

Silly academics living in la la land. .

Not saying my design is perfect. But at least I built it with humans in mind.

Dr. Jasper Sidhu says July 26, 2012

Hi Lloyd

you’re absolutely right about that. I’ve gotten some word that the new units take this into consideration, although I can’t validate that. A lot of benefits of different types of frequencies and intensities is now surfacing. I believe each machine has a place in the market. The only problem for the consumer is finding which type of machine fits them.

Richard J Drake says January 26, 2013

I am confused over certain statements regarding vibration exercises. One states for strength training must use higher mzh at least 19 to 25 mzh.Is that correct?
It seems to me, I am a 60 days user,that the effects are all lower body. Can the upper body be made stronger by vibration therapy? Finally in doing exercises, such a biceps is it better to curl the weight as in normal exercises or just hold in a static position?
I notice at 19 mzh on push ups and triceps workout the head is vibrated. I have a concern this may be harmful. What is your opinion?

    Dr. Jasper Sidhu says January 28, 2013

    Hi Richard

    It depends on what type of machine you have. If it’s a pivotal (teeter totter) then the higher frequencies are better for strengthening. However, also note that some studies done on a frequency of 1 to 4 hz on elderly men for 1 year showed significant strength gains also.

    The point is this…people have been weight lifting for years, yet you’ll still get 100 trainers tell you something differently. Some will say to do heavier weights, some lower weights, and they’ll also give you protocols for strength, or endurance, or slimming and toning. I’m even guilty of this some times because that’s what people want. Always remember one thing: everything works, but nothing works all the time.

    That means that if you continue doing the same thing over and over again, you’ll lose the benefits. Its the same with other forms of exercises.

    If you are doing push ups or triceps and your head is vibrating (I’m assuming you have a pivotal machine), then you’re in the wrong position. Go through the ‘vibration training sessions’ videos to see some of the subtle changes you can make with your positioning to avoid the head vibration. 90% of the time it’s about positioning. The other 10% is that you may not be ready for a higher intensity exercise. Then start on lower frequencies and work your way up.

    With the biceps, it depends on what type of machine you have, what you are using as straps, and your goal. I see that you are a paid elite member, so I will send you an email to discuss this in more detail. Thanks Richard.

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