A 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.
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.
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.