Even though it is a bit different than conventional weight lifting or bodyweight exercises, working out on a Whole Body Vibration Machine is still a form of strength training, and studies have displayed that the effects of this type of physical activity are comparable to those achieved through traditional exercising.
Regardless, some avoid Whole Body Vibration training mainly because they think this form of exercise is “too new”, and they are just not quite convinced of its effectiveness or safety. Indeed, there are fewer studies on Whole Body Vibration than on conventional exercise and its effects on one’s health and fitness level, but this doesn’t mean there’s no Whole Body Vibration Machine research at all.
Opposite to popular belief, there are a variety of studies that support the use of Whole Body Vibration Machines and training in an assortment of groups of individuals, and not just in healthy adults or seniors, but also in people dealing with different conditions that make conventional workouts hard to tolerate.
So it’s worth taking a look at the existing studies on the effects of long-term whole body vibration, to see whether this form of training is really that dangerous or if it’s safe and suitable for your fitness and health goals.
How do long-term Whole Body Vibration Machine exercises impact one’s health?
The first study we’ll analyze was published in the International journal of sports medicine by scientists from Belgium. In this study, researchers wanted to figure out how 24 weeks of Whole Body Vibration Machine training influenced body composition and muscle strength in untrained females, when compared to traditional fitness training.
48 females participated in the study, the average age being 21.3 years. Part of them performed Whole Body Vibration Machine workouts – unloaded static and dynamic exercises, while the other part followed a cardio and resistance training program. Both groups trained three times per week.
The results showed that the fat-free mass increased significantly in the Whole Body Vibration Machine group only, and drastic improvements in muscle strength were noticed in the vibration and fitness groups. No change was noticed in total weight or body fat percentage.
Another study published by Spanish researchers in the Journal of strength and conditioning research showed that 8 months of vibration training could prevent loss of muscle mass in the lower body of elderly women. 37 women involved in this study were randomly assigned to either a Whole Body Vibration Machine or a control group.
The whole body vibration group performed vibration exercises twice a week, while the control group didn’t change their lifestyle. After 8 months, the control group showed significantly decreased muscle mass, while in the Whole Body Vibration Machine group the mass increased. No changes were observed in balance, gait, functional capacity or handgrip strength in the two groups.
Finally, one study displayed that Whole Body Vibration Machine exercises practiced long term and combined with caloric restrictions can improve the body weight and composition in overweight and obese adults, if done for 6 months or more. 61 participants completed this study, data being registered at the beginning and 3, 6 and 12 months after the study.
Results showed dramatic reductions in body weight in all groups, but only the fitness and vibration group managed to maintain the weight loss in the long run, and the vibration group saw the biggest changes in the percentage of visceral adipose tissue.
This study suggests that long-term WBV training combined with caloric restriction can help one lose 5-10% of their body weight and maintain the results in the long run.
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