What is a whole body vibration machine?

A whole body vibration machine is used to enhance muscle function. It vibrates which causes muscles to contract and relax multiple times during each second.

A new study published in the Endocrine Society’s journal Endocrinology. suggests that a whole body vibration machine exercise is a less strenuous form of exercise that “can mimic the muscle and bone health benefits of regular exercise in mice.

Mice were broken into different groups based on weight. Some mice were of normal weight and others were obese. These 2 different groups were then placed on different exercise programs. Some mice remained sedentary whereas other mice were placed on either a treadmill or a whole body vibration machine.

Mice who were sedentary gained the most weight.

Mice who had been placed on a whole body vibration machine, as well as those who exercised, had increased muscle mass and insulin sensitivity.

“Our study is the first to show that whole-body vibration may be just as effective as exercise at combatting some of the negative consequences of obesity and diabetes,” said Meghan E. McGee-Lawrence, Ph.D., of Augusta University in Augusta, Ga.

“However, because our study was conducted in mice, this idea needs to be rigorously tested in humans to see if the results would be applicable to people.”

Prior studies using whole body vibration machines

Studies published in the International Journal of Sports Medicine and the Journal of Sports Science Medicine showed no benefit of using a whole body vibration machine.

“In conclusion, 24 weeks whole body vibration training did not reduce weight, total body fat or subcutaneous fat in previously untrained females. ”

Increased muscle strength increased in those participants who used whole body vibration machines.

Osteoporosis and whole body vibration machine use

Although the recent mouse study showed benefit in mice, prior studies in humans have not shown improvement in people who have decreased bone density and used whole body vibration machines.

Whole body vibration machines and neuromuscular diseases

There does not appear to much support for using whole body vibration machines in people who have multiple sclerosis and or Parkinson’s disease. The studies are unclear and further investigation is needed.

Whole body vibration machine use and flexibility

There is some evidence that whole body vibration machine use can help with flexibility.

According to US news,

“Perhaps WBV’s  (whole body vibration machine use) greatest potential is to contribute to enhanced joint flexibility and improved flexibility in the muscle groups surrounding the skeletal joints,”

Whole body vibration machine use and athletic performance

According to US news,

“some encouraging results have been found with athletic training. Research suggests that WBV training can help younger athletes gain flexibility and help sedentary and older people gain muscle power and performance. Indeed, in a 2015 study, researchers from the University of Texas–El Paso found that eight weeks of WBV training improved risk factors for falls among older adults, particularly by increasing their range of motion in the ankle joints and reducing their fear of falling.”

According to US news,

Whole body vibration machines have been used to prime the muscle right before a competition.

An article in Journal of Sports Science Medicine showed increased athletic performance in sprint runners who used a whole body vibration machine.

Whole body vibration machine use and a sports injury

According to US news, There may be some benefit to using a whole body vibration machine when there is a sports injury. Muscles can still contract and get a workout without the need for strenuous exercises which can do more damage.

What do you think of whole body vibration machine use?

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