Which vibration training machine increases metabolism and VO2 the most?

vibration training machineA recent study looked at which vibration training machine can increase your VO2, which is a measure of cardiovascular fitness. A lot of people are using vibration exercise machines for fitness and weight loss solutions. However, there is some confusion on exactly how vibration training is producing the results that so many people claim. We’re going to take a look at two studies that show the effects of vibration training on VO2, in addition to some of my own experiences regarding fitness and weight loss with vibration exercise machines.

Study shows VO2 increases more with pivotal, oscillating vibration training machines

A new study in the Journal of Sports Sciences compared vibration training on a vertical (linear) and pivotal / oscillating machine. They found that over exercise sessions, side alternating / oscillating vibration machines had a higher VO2 and heart rate response than the vertical vibration or a control group. This may lead to some marketing claims made by oscillating platforms that their machines are better at providing you ‘cardio effects’. However, the study also pointed to the fact that one needs to be on a vibration platform for longer than 20 minutes in order to achieve these results. This is in contrast to some vibration programs telling you that all you need is 10 minutes of vibration, 3 times per week. So why all the confusion?

Another study in the European Journal of Applied Physiology looked at the effects of a vertical vibration machine on VO2 over a 24 hour period. They had a group of volunteers perform regular exercises on a vibration machine that was on, a vibration machine that was off, and a control group that did not do any exercises. They found that the 30 minute session produced a 10% and 25% greater VO2 effect than the group that performed similar exercises without vibration and a control group. This study actually showed a more significant amount of VO2. So how does this apply to you?

The results from these studies show that yes, vibration training can increase VO2. However, here’s my experience with vibration training , VO2, calories burned and metabolism in general. This should put it all together for you. I’ve helped a lot of patients lose weight and get fit with vibration training exercises. However, each person had a customized program built specifically for their needs. If a person has never exercised before, simply putting them in various static positions would generate improved strength and energy. The person may not have been able to do any other form of exercise. Vibration exercise machines were a great way to begin their exercise program.

For more athletic and fit people, our goal was to progress them to a more intense vibration program. However, here’s one thing to ponder. These type of clients and patients had a preconceived idea about exercise. They felt you needed to sweat when you got on any form of exercise machine. It was initially very difficult to convince them that a static position on a vibration machine will produce great results. More often than not, we had to progress them rather quickly with their program, making them ‘sweat’ with more intense exercise positions. However, once they realized that vibration training worked, we began taking them a step back and showing them how a static position was just as effective.

Vibration exercise produces a very high intensity form of muscle contraction when a person is in an optimal position. The more muscles that are activated, the more calories a person will burn over time. We used to compare vibration training to weight training, which is one of the reasons why everyone assumed you had to do actual dynamic exercises on a vibration machine. However, if you compare vibration to Pilates and Yoga, you’ll begin to see the benefits of static exercise positions. The workouts can be intense while staying in one position.

The bottom line is, you should understand that having a good trainer or someone with experience in vibration training can go a long way in ensuring you get the right program. There are many programs out there, but you need to find the one that is right for you. The exercise program needs to fit your needs, goals and skills. If you have a competent trainer, then you can experiment with some really unique positioning to provide variety in your program. More often than not, I’ve found that the more simple you keep things, the better it is.

Studies will always be coming out comparing one type of machine to another. This is an invalid comparison since the exercise strategy on a vertical machine is a bit different than a pivotal  machine. I’ve experimented with ‘metabolism’ through monitors with the different type of machines. I’ve gone on a pivotal machine for 10 minutes and did a set of exercises on a vertical machine for 10 minutes. I burned more calories on a vertical machine. Does that mean it’s better for weight loss? No. It means the exercise programs I was told to do were different and produced different results. I did the exact programs that a vertical and pivotal company would tell me to do them. However, slight changes in the pivotal  machine exercises would make that more difficult and probably lead to better results. The key is knowing what type of program you need based on your goals and current fitness levels. The more you have access to comprehensive training, the less difference it will be on which vibration training machine increases metabolism and VO2 the most.

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.  

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CYNTHIA LONG says January 30, 2013


    Dr. Jasper Sidhu says February 1, 2013

    Hi Cynthia

    I had written an article for another vibration training site with respect to the right frequency. You can see the article on that site. Here’s a link:

    The bottom line is this. Let’s take weight training. What is the best intensity (meaning ‘amount of weights’ ) for weight training? You’ll get a lot of different responses. It really comes down to what you are wanting to achieve, what your fitness level is, and what type of exercises you can do. One school of thought is to go as intense as you can. Another school of thought is that proper form is more important than trying to go at as high of an intensity as you can. Yet still, others will tell you (including me) that you need to change up your frequencies and intensities on a regular basis so your body doesn’t adapt to the same stimulus. In the paid membership area, our customers are able to email us about their specific programs and we then discuss the specific directions they can go to maximize their gains. Take a look at the link. Let me know what you think.

Bill Gibbons says February 16, 2013

Hello Dr. Sidhu,

i am a 55 year old man. I’m 5ft 10in and weight 200lbs with high blood pressure. I do not drink or smoke, and was in good shape once when lifting moderately heavy weights.

My doctor tells me I need to lose 20lbs to get my blood pressure down, but recent arthritic pain in my left shoulder and left hip make it difficult for me to lift weights or do the treadmill. My heart and lungs are in pretty good shape (I get a stress test done every year), but I need something to do that will help maintain muscle tone and strength. I would also like to get off these darned blood pressure pills!

Can a vibrating plate machine help?


    Dr. Jasper Sidhu says February 19, 2013

    Hi Bill

    I’ve used vibration machines for weight loss for over 10 years. It definitely has a lot of positive aspects to it. However, it comes down to your goals and needs rather than whether vibration can help.

    One of the best advantages of vibration is for people like you. It allows those that may be unable to exercise with conventional exercise to get the same exercise effects. Also realize that to lose weight, you’ll need to use a combination of different strategies rather than relying on one exercise machine. All too often, people believe it’s like a magic pill. Vibration is far from that. When used with the right behaviour and lifestyle changes, you’ll find it to be really effective. I’ll send you an email privately so i can get you to answer some more questions about your goals and needs. We like to provide people with the right information and education so they can decide whether their goals and needs fits the need to use vibration. Thanks Bill

Danielle Pembleton says March 23, 2013

what intensity is the best for weight loss?
I am 42, 5ft 3 , and 160 pounds…

    Dr. Jasper Sidhu says March 26, 2013

    hi Danielle,

    there really isn’t a ‘best’ intensity for weight loss. That’s the problem with new technology, or any exercise device for that matter. We are all marketed with the assumption that there’s a secret intensity, or secret exercise that will help us lose weight. Here are some key points to note about vibration and weight loss:

    Vibration is an exercise device. With any exercise device, you have to fit the proper type of training with the equipment provided. With vibration, you generally are looking at getting as much high intensity muscle contractions as possible. Therefore, the intensity is really dependent on your fitness level. Someone starting out may start out with a lower intensity while someone that is active may progress to the higher ones right away.

    Training depends on you. The optimal way to use vibration for weight loss is to do super sets with minimal rest in between each exercise. Also try to do the most difficult exercise that YOU can do. Progress to the highest intensity level as possible. That’s the optimal. However, some people can’t do that. They may use vibration before and after they eat.They may get on a vibration machine a couple of times a day because they don’t have a set time to exercise. Everyone is different.

    It will also depend on the kind of machine you have. Do you have a pivotal machine? Vertical? In my experience, the higher the intensity the better, but i’ve been able to help people get to lower intensities but keep the right position. As you can see there are many factors at play. Stick to the right positioning, take less break in between each exercise and you should be able to find the right intensity that you can work out at.

Ingrid Reid says February 10, 2014

My husband is a diabetic and of course suffers high blood pressure as a result. we have been given a vibration machine and I was wondering if it would be safe for him to use the machine. He is 65yrs old and had a brain tumour 20 yrs ago He has also had 2 strokes, the second one left his left his left leg with a limp. His circulation is not too marvelous and his left foot is a little swollen.

    Dr. Jasper Sidhu says February 13, 2014

    Hi Ingrid

    For most, vibration is an excellent tool for someone with poor circulation. However, there are a few things to consider:

    1. What type of vibration machine do you have? Is it for fitness or wellness? Fitness machines are usually more intense. Last thing we want is for your husband to get on a high intensity machine and then get so sore that he doesn’t want to do it again.

    2. Remember that vibration is just ‘exercise’. The goal of vibration is to help you contract muscles that you may not be able to do otherwise. Has his doctor approved him to receive some form of exercise or gentle muscle contractions? As long as you know that vibration is going to get the muscles moving and maybe get the circulation going, you can better explain what the effects are to your physician to get an idea on whether your husband can use the machine. In most cases, physicians are not familiar with vibration. Therefore it’s important to discuss the benefits and what the machine can do rather than the technology itself.

    3. In my experience, we’ve had a lot of positive success with people with similar conditions to your husband. However, we also got feedback from the physician, made sure the patient was approved to begin some form of strengthening type of exercises and then monitored closely.

    4. Depending on the type of machine you have, if you are going to go ahead with it, start slow. Don’t rush into it. Vibration is deceiving. You may think its easy but it actually does generate a significant amount of muscle work. Start off with just the feet on the machine and do it for a minute or two. See what happens. Treat it as you would any intense exercise program. Rush into the program too fast and you’ll get sore or may get injured. Start off slow.

    Hope that answers your questions. If there’s anything else, please let me know

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