You’ve seen them around quite a lot, but never had the courage to try a vibrating machine, perhaps because of the potential side effects of this form of training? You’re not alone: lots of people are curious to know the pros and cons of vibration machines, so we’ll list some of the proven advantages and known risk of using such fitness devices.
Advantages of vibration machines
One of the first reasons people love exercising on a vibrating machine is that unlike conventional exercise, this form of training is a low-impact activity that requires less effort and is suitable even for those who aren’t in their best shape. The intensity of workouts can be varied and adjusted for different fitness levels, and if using pivotal machines for example, by moving the feet further or closer to the platform’s center, you can vary the amplitude as well.
All these translate in a better control and a greater versatility, not to mention the vibrations make the muscles contract and relax a lot faster than during classical workouts. This happens because of the increased acceleration (gravity), and explains why whole body vibration training is perceived as a safe and effective replacement for conventional strength exercises.
Another positive aspect about vibration machines is that they’ve been proven to be efficient in relieving symptoms in various conditions from diabetes to neurological disorders. This is a huge advantage, and recommends WBV training as alternative or addition to conventional rehabilitation exercises for people who struggle with ailments that affect their physical strength, flexibility and balance.
Cons of WBV machines
With all its positive effects, vibration training is still not for everyone, and it’s a must to learn about its potential side effects before starting to exercise on a vibrating machine. Although not many, the existing contraindications show that this form of workout has its disadvantages, just like regular strength exercises or cardio workouts.
Vibration machines are not safe for people with gallstones or kidney stones, and they shouldn’t be used by those with recent implants or surgery. Also, vibration training shouldn’t be performed by pregnant women, as even if there aren’t studies to show any side effects, it’s safer not to recommend this form of workout to expecting women. Those with active infections, people with metastatic cancer and those with joint replacements shouldn’t use WBV machines either.
Besides these contraindications, a vibrating machine also has the disadvantage of being more expensive than lots of the conventional gym tools. If you’re planning to build a home gym with minimum investment, a set of dumbbells, a barbell, some ankle weights and an exercise mat, or even some fitness machines for strength training, can be less expensive than a good vibration machine.
On the other hand, with a WBV platform you can practice multiple workouts, vary the amplitude, intensity and force, so it’s a one time-investment. Conventional gym machines often require additional tools and upgrades, so in the long run they can be pricier.