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Training: Whole body vibration

Whole body vibration machines seldom take centre stage in gyms, yet research shows they are capable of improving both physique and health. We ask industry experts for their insight into the lesser-known benefits of vibration training

Published in Health Club Management 2017 issue 9

FOCUS ON Post-Exercise Recovery

Paul Edmondson
Paul Edmondson
Paul Edmondson,

Master trainer,

Power Plate


Recovery and regeneration after exercise of all types is currently gaining momentum in the fitness industry, and deservedly so. It can combat stress, improve mindset, increase mobility, and, of course, reduce the risk of delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) and injury.

Whole body vibration (WBV) training sits at the very top of the modalities that can boost the recovery process if used at the end of an exercise session.

After an intense workout, muscles and tissue fibres have a spike in acidity levels, which leads to a build up of hyaluronic acid in the muscles, causing DOMS. When a WBV training machine, such as Power Plate, is used post recovery, the vibrations created by the device help to massage the muscles and speed up the breakdown of hyaluronic acid. In doing so, muscles are likely to feel less sore after exercising.

WBV increases muscle stimulation, which resets the body’s preferred relaxed rhythm (known as parasympathetic tone). This stimulation benefits a number of internal body processes including blood flow, state of mind, cognitive performance, sleep management and post exercise recovery. In addition, the increase in blood flow brings much needed water, oxygen and nutrients to the body, while removing waste products. This ensures that acid levels are neutralised, permitting muscles to recover quicker, promoting relaxation and reducing the potential for injury.

The wide-ranging benefits of WBV are not often well promoted by gyms / Photo: burrelleducation.com
The wide-ranging benefits of WBV are not often well promoted by gyms / Photo: burrelleducation.com

Fitness Rehabilitation

Dave Mott
Dave Mott
Dave Mott,

MD and senior physiotherapist,

PhysioFitness


As a physiotherapist I’ve found WBV to be an invaluable tool when it comes to muscle building and rehabilitation after injury or surgery. I also recommend it to patients who are serious about using a good quality platform to maintain or improve their fitness and overall health. However, the type of machine used is key to the effectiveness of WBV as a fitness and rehabilitation tool. Pivotal platforms with a see-saw movement that simulate the natural movement of the hips are a personal favourite. They’re also more comfortable than the vertical-motion platforms many gyms have. In addition, quality machines, such as a Hypervibe or a Galileo, are essential for effective WBV training as they can withstand the higher frequencies and G-forces required to get the muscles truly firing.

The big advantage of WBV as an exercise tool is that it offers a relatively quick but efficient low impact workout. For many older adults and/or people with certain health conditions, even walking can be too much of a challenge. At appropriate frequencies and power levels, WBV triggers 95 per cent of muscle fibres and even the simplest of sessions – just standing on the machine – will increase heart rate and blood circulation, which is, of course, the aim of a cardio workout.

WBV is ideal for rehabilitation / Photo: SHUTTERSTOCK.COM
WBV is ideal for rehabilitation / Photo: SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

Increase Cardiovascular Health

Monika Akabusi
Monika Akabusi
Monika Akabusi,

Director,

POWRX UK


It is well documented that cardiovascular (CV) disease arises from changes to the normal structure and function of artery walls – changes that usually occur over time. Such alterations include endothelial dysfunction and arterial stiffness, which both make it harder for blood to flow through the body as normal. While unhealthy lifestyle choices are widely recognised as triggers for these blood vessel changes, an additional (and common) cause is reduced muscular strength and mass, often due to vascular ageing or disease, such as multiple sclerosis (MS). Vibration training can help to minimise this risk of CV disease as it creates an involuntary and immediate neuromuscular response, which in turn triggers muscle contraction. By stimulating muscle contractions, whole body vibration (WBV) training can not only help to prevent heart disease, it can also improve rehabilitation after CV events. The intensity and degree of muscle fibre recruitment that occurs during each neuromuscular response depends on the level of vibration frequency (Hz) and interval length (time).

While WBV training is considered a very efficient way of improving body composition and muscle strength, its impact on CV health is less often talked about. However, WBV can improve circulation and vasodilation, facilitating free blood flow to the heart and better distribution of nutrients and oxygen throughout the body. WBV also doesn’t require much movement, and so lends itself well to less mobile people, like the elderly and people recovering from injury.

WBV can aid heart health
WBV can aid heart health

Improving Balance

Haylley Pittam
Haylley Pittam
Haylley Pittam,

Director of vibration education,

Vibrogym UK & Ireland


The principle of vibration training is not only based on increased muscle acceleration during contraction, but also on muscle reflex. Tonic vibration reflex – the sustained contraction of a muscle subjected to vibration – can activate up to 95 per cent of a muscle’s potential instead of the 40 to 60 per cent muscle fibre recruitment seen with conventional fitness training. It’s this concept that allows WBV to deliver increases in strength and balance at a rate that’s simply not achievable with traditional training methods.

WBV devices, such as the VibroGym platform, vibrate 25 to 50 times per second, ensuring that targeted muscles are intensely stimulated. The involuntary contraction produced activates the body’s natural balance system, which, in turn, helps to improve overall balance and stability.

The ability of WBV to improve balance also relates to the establishment, correction and reinforcement of new motor patterns by vibration devices. In my experience, this can be particularly effective among individuals who have suffered a stroke, have MS or Parkinson’s disease. For the past three years I’ve been training a gentleman who suffered a frontal lobe stroke a year before coming to me. His condition left him unstable, very weak on one side and generally lacking balance. As such, his initial sessions were entirely seated and involved the placement of his feet on the machine for 10 seconds at a time. As a 30 second static squatting position on the VibroGym achieves the same degree of muscle activity as more than 30 conventional squats, over time we’ve been able to build up his leg muscles in a way that would not have been possible with conventional physio. While it’s been a slow process, vibration training has improved his strength, stability and confidence to the point that he’s now doing multiples of 45 second standing exercises. He has also reduced his medication and is enjoying improved overall wellbeing.

WBV improves strength
WBV improves strength

Latest research on vibration training

August 2017
BALANCE AND POSTURE CONTROL
A 33-study analysis by Swiss researchers showed that WBV improves balance and postural control in active older adults, and has some postural benefit in those with limited activity levels.

July 2017
BLOOD FLOW AND DIABETES
Brazilian researchers assessed eight studies (142 participants) and found that WBV can improve blood flow in healthy people and those with poor blood flow caused by conditions such as diabetes.

June 2017
Cruciate ligament rehabilitation
A study in the Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine revealed that eight weeks of WBV improved knee muscle strength among 32 female athletes who had undergone anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction.

WBV can improve blood flow / Photo: SHUTTERSTOCK.COM
WBV can improve blood flow / Photo: SHUTTERSTOCK.COM
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    features

    Training: Whole body vibration

    Whole body vibration machines seldom take centre stage in gyms, yet research shows they are capable of improving both physique and health. We ask industry experts for their insight into the lesser-known benefits of vibration training

    Published in Health Club Management 2017 issue 9

    FOCUS ON Post-Exercise Recovery

    Paul Edmondson
    Paul Edmondson
    Paul Edmondson,

    Master trainer,

    Power Plate


    Recovery and regeneration after exercise of all types is currently gaining momentum in the fitness industry, and deservedly so. It can combat stress, improve mindset, increase mobility, and, of course, reduce the risk of delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) and injury.

    Whole body vibration (WBV) training sits at the very top of the modalities that can boost the recovery process if used at the end of an exercise session.

    After an intense workout, muscles and tissue fibres have a spike in acidity levels, which leads to a build up of hyaluronic acid in the muscles, causing DOMS. When a WBV training machine, such as Power Plate, is used post recovery, the vibrations created by the device help to massage the muscles and speed up the breakdown of hyaluronic acid. In doing so, muscles are likely to feel less sore after exercising.

    WBV increases muscle stimulation, which resets the body’s preferred relaxed rhythm (known as parasympathetic tone). This stimulation benefits a number of internal body processes including blood flow, state of mind, cognitive performance, sleep management and post exercise recovery. In addition, the increase in blood flow brings much needed water, oxygen and nutrients to the body, while removing waste products. This ensures that acid levels are neutralised, permitting muscles to recover quicker, promoting relaxation and reducing the potential for injury.

    The wide-ranging benefits of WBV are not often well promoted by gyms / Photo: burrelleducation.com
    The wide-ranging benefits of WBV are not often well promoted by gyms / Photo: burrelleducation.com

    Fitness Rehabilitation

    Dave Mott
    Dave Mott
    Dave Mott,

    MD and senior physiotherapist,

    PhysioFitness


    As a physiotherapist I’ve found WBV to be an invaluable tool when it comes to muscle building and rehabilitation after injury or surgery. I also recommend it to patients who are serious about using a good quality platform to maintain or improve their fitness and overall health. However, the type of machine used is key to the effectiveness of WBV as a fitness and rehabilitation tool. Pivotal platforms with a see-saw movement that simulate the natural movement of the hips are a personal favourite. They’re also more comfortable than the vertical-motion platforms many gyms have. In addition, quality machines, such as a Hypervibe or a Galileo, are essential for effective WBV training as they can withstand the higher frequencies and G-forces required to get the muscles truly firing.

    The big advantage of WBV as an exercise tool is that it offers a relatively quick but efficient low impact workout. For many older adults and/or people with certain health conditions, even walking can be too much of a challenge. At appropriate frequencies and power levels, WBV triggers 95 per cent of muscle fibres and even the simplest of sessions – just standing on the machine – will increase heart rate and blood circulation, which is, of course, the aim of a cardio workout.

    WBV is ideal for rehabilitation / Photo: SHUTTERSTOCK.COM
    WBV is ideal for rehabilitation / Photo: SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

    Increase Cardiovascular Health

    Monika Akabusi
    Monika Akabusi
    Monika Akabusi,

    Director,

    POWRX UK


    It is well documented that cardiovascular (CV) disease arises from changes to the normal structure and function of artery walls – changes that usually occur over time. Such alterations include endothelial dysfunction and arterial stiffness, which both make it harder for blood to flow through the body as normal. While unhealthy lifestyle choices are widely recognised as triggers for these blood vessel changes, an additional (and common) cause is reduced muscular strength and mass, often due to vascular ageing or disease, such as multiple sclerosis (MS). Vibration training can help to minimise this risk of CV disease as it creates an involuntary and immediate neuromuscular response, which in turn triggers muscle contraction. By stimulating muscle contractions, whole body vibration (WBV) training can not only help to prevent heart disease, it can also improve rehabilitation after CV events. The intensity and degree of muscle fibre recruitment that occurs during each neuromuscular response depends on the level of vibration frequency (Hz) and interval length (time).

    While WBV training is considered a very efficient way of improving body composition and muscle strength, its impact on CV health is less often talked about. However, WBV can improve circulation and vasodilation, facilitating free blood flow to the heart and better distribution of nutrients and oxygen throughout the body. WBV also doesn’t require much movement, and so lends itself well to less mobile people, like the elderly and people recovering from injury.

    WBV can aid heart health
    WBV can aid heart health

    Improving Balance

    Haylley Pittam
    Haylley Pittam
    Haylley Pittam,

    Director of vibration education,

    Vibrogym UK & Ireland


    The principle of vibration training is not only based on increased muscle acceleration during contraction, but also on muscle reflex. Tonic vibration reflex – the sustained contraction of a muscle subjected to vibration – can activate up to 95 per cent of a muscle’s potential instead of the 40 to 60 per cent muscle fibre recruitment seen with conventional fitness training. It’s this concept that allows WBV to deliver increases in strength and balance at a rate that’s simply not achievable with traditional training methods.

    WBV devices, such as the VibroGym platform, vibrate 25 to 50 times per second, ensuring that targeted muscles are intensely stimulated. The involuntary contraction produced activates the body’s natural balance system, which, in turn, helps to improve overall balance and stability.

    The ability of WBV to improve balance also relates to the establishment, correction and reinforcement of new motor patterns by vibration devices. In my experience, this can be particularly effective among individuals who have suffered a stroke, have MS or Parkinson’s disease. For the past three years I’ve been training a gentleman who suffered a frontal lobe stroke a year before coming to me. His condition left him unstable, very weak on one side and generally lacking balance. As such, his initial sessions were entirely seated and involved the placement of his feet on the machine for 10 seconds at a time. As a 30 second static squatting position on the VibroGym achieves the same degree of muscle activity as more than 30 conventional squats, over time we’ve been able to build up his leg muscles in a way that would not have been possible with conventional physio. While it’s been a slow process, vibration training has improved his strength, stability and confidence to the point that he’s now doing multiples of 45 second standing exercises. He has also reduced his medication and is enjoying improved overall wellbeing.

    WBV improves strength
    WBV improves strength

    Latest research on vibration training

    August 2017
    BALANCE AND POSTURE CONTROL
    A 33-study analysis by Swiss researchers showed that WBV improves balance and postural control in active older adults, and has some postural benefit in those with limited activity levels.

    July 2017
    BLOOD FLOW AND DIABETES
    Brazilian researchers assessed eight studies (142 participants) and found that WBV can improve blood flow in healthy people and those with poor blood flow caused by conditions such as diabetes.

    June 2017
    Cruciate ligament rehabilitation
    A study in the Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine revealed that eight weeks of WBV improved knee muscle strength among 32 female athletes who had undergone anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction.

    WBV can improve blood flow / Photo: SHUTTERSTOCK.COM
    WBV can improve blood flow / Photo: SHUTTERSTOCK.COM
    http://www.leisureopportunities.com/images/HCM2017_9training.jpg
    Whole body vibration machines often get neglected – but research shows a wide range of benefits that result from their use. Experts explain...
    Latest News
    David Lloyd Leisure (DLL) has reopened 50 of its clubs for socially distanced outdoor exercise. ...
    Latest News
    The Beau Sejour leisure centre on the island of Guernsey has become the first public ...
    Latest News
    Mike Lamb CEO, Asia of Jetts 24 Hour Fitness, which has clubs in south-east Asia, ...
    Latest News
    The varying approaches taken by the UK's four home nations to reopening businesses is creating ...
    Latest News
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    Latest News
    ukactive has questioned the government's decision to make all employers start paying towards the wages ...
    Latest News
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    Job search
    POST YOUR JOB
    Opinion
    promotion
    Hedgehog Concept Ltd has developed software that allows its clients to track usage and customer volume on a minute to minute basis.
    Opinion: Is your software fit for COVID-19?
    Featured supplier news
    Featured supplier: Adidas calls on BLK BOX for flooring solutions at new World of Sports complex
    Adidas believes that creators, just like athletes, need an environment that inspires their employees to perform and believe that through sport, we have the power to change lives.
    Featured supplier news
    Featured supplier: Bicester hotel opens purpose-built performance facilities to attract new target audience
    The Bicester Hotel and Spa has launched purpose-built fitness and performance facilities to create a standalone, unique offering to attract a new demographic to the site.
    Video Gallery
    Technogym mywellness app
    Technogym
    Improve your training experience. All your data in a single app. Read more
    More videos:
      Company profiles
      Company profile: MiE FitQuest
      FitQuest (MiE Medical Research) are specialists in the field of human performance measurement. We have ...
      Company profiles
      Company profile: Healthcheck Services Ltd
      Here at Healthcheck Services, we want to empower you, your clients & your staff to ...
      Catalogue Gallery
      Click on a catalogue to view it online
      Directory
      Spa software
      SpaBooker: Spa software
      Wearable technology solutions
      MyZone: Wearable technology solutions
      Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
      Kemitron GmbH: Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
      Gym flooring
      REGUPOL/Berleburger Schaumstoffwerk (BSW): Gym flooring
      Management software
      Fisikal: Management software
      Lockers/interior design
      Crown Sports Lockers: Lockers/interior design
      Skincare
      Sothys: Skincare
      Fitness equipment
      Stages Cycling: Fitness equipment
      Fitness software
      Go Do.Fitness: Fitness software
      Independent service & maintenance
      Servicesport UK Limited: Independent service & maintenance
      Property & Tenders
      Greywell, Hampshire
      Barnsgrove Health and Wellness Club
      Property & Tenders
      Derby City Council
      Property & Tenders
      Diary dates
      13 Jun 2020
      Worldwide, Various,
      Diary dates
      06-07 Jul 2020
      Eastwood Hall, Nottingham, United Kingdom
      Diary dates
      28-31 Aug 2020
      Expo Centre & Riviera di Rimini, Italy
      Diary dates
      21-24 Sep 2020
      Loews Coronado Bay Resort, Coronado, United States
      Diary dates
      01-02 Oct 2020
      Whittlebury Hall, Whittlebury, United Kingdom
      Diary dates
      11-12 Oct 2020
      ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
      Diary dates
      17-23 Oct 2020
      Pinggu, Beijing, China
      Diary dates
      27-30 Oct 2020
      Messe Stuttgart, Germany
      Diary dates
      30-31 Oct 2020
      NEC, Birmingham, United Kingdom
      Diary dates
      27-28 Nov 2020
      Athena, Leicester, United Kingdom
      Diary dates
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