The Truths About Whole Body Vibration Machines
I love looking at health products. And after I had bumped into the person who eventually became my business partner, I ended up getting really passionate about health gadgets. One such gadget is the whole body vibration machine, or WBV, or just vibration machine, as most people call it. It's been more than 5 years now that I've been studying these devices (and finding a lot of bad brands!).
Me and my partner have opened many of the brands and models that are available today in the market, to manually inspect inside and see how they work (and whether they do what they claim to do). That's when we decided to start a website to help researchers, readers and potential buyers point out the best units available today. I can't remember how many bad manufacturers and problematic models we have identified so far. And on top of that, there are too many websites with bogus reviews/ratings and fake comparisons.
We get almost 10 calls a day (1-888-228-4387), and more on some days. (a) We get a large number of question calls from new buyers. (b) Then, there are the feedback calls from machine users and people researching the devices for learning or buying. Not all vibration technologies are suitable for everyone, and I have set up a quiz here to help identify the right technology for you, from the six different technologies available. (c) People who want to buy call me just before buying and after having made their choice, as I personally promise the lowest price that exists anywhere in the USA/Canada. (d) Thank you calls from buyers - to me, these calls feel really good and fulfilling. And no, they need not buy from us for that, me and my partner love talking to people whether they are our customers or not, simply because we are interested in vibration technologies and machines available today.
Note for buyers: I personally promise the lowest price anywhere, and guarantee a refund of the difference if the customer can find it listed for a lower price within 30 days of making the purchase. Often, you can save anywhere between $200 to $600, and sometimes even $1,000+ over the factory prices. I have these special prices always (guaranteed!) for all brands, but do not have the permission to show these prices online. Call me for these prices: 1-888-228-4387.
Next step: If you know the six primary vibration technologies that are available today and how they impact the human body, great! However, if you don't, the first point that I want you to know is not each technology suits all health conditions and all exercise requirements. I have set up a quick and easy quiz here, to accurately identify the technologies that will suit your needs, and eliminate the ones that could be harmful for your health.
Not too surprisingly, over the years of experience of opening these machines apart, I have learned the following:
1. A lot of brands and models that are technically good and being sold at the right prices.
2. Another lot that are also technically equally good, but being sold at higher-than-deserved prices. I've seen $2,400 units (as advertised by one brand) being sold at $5,995 (by another brand, after "rebranding").
3. I've seen a lot of makes that have some solid parts mixed with some crap.
4. And then, I've seen way too many imitations and cheap-quality (bull crap, if I may say so) being sold all over the places.
Here is the reaction of a first-time user of a vibration machine. The two videos show what the user thought of it.
Steve on a vibration machine for his first time ever
Steve's impression about his first-ever vibration session
Here we open up a Turbo Sonic machine in the video below, and an introduction to different vibration machine technologies in general!
Introduction to vibration machines
Opening a vibration machine apart
Shoes or No Shoes?
Improving blood circulation using WBV
There are six different core vibration types that are available today. The key question to ask here is not "which is the best technology?" The key question really is: "Which technology is the best for me?" I have given an overview of the six vibration types on the following six tabs.
An obvious question that would be raised is, what are the technical aspects of a vibration machine to look at, in general? I mean, not each technical aspect will be good for you (some that are good for your WBV needs may not be good for others, and vice versa). Here are some general features to look at.
Motor type is one of the main features to look at. There are two types of motors - AC and DC - as far as the nature of power consumption is concerned. And then, there are motors with and without brushes. A WBV unit can be single-motor or dual-motor. I discuss the full details on this page.
Platform type and weight capacity are two other key factors. Most people like a large enough platform so that you can move and do exercises while the machine is switched on and you're on the machine; however, you don't want the platform to lag in movement. So as the platform grows larger, you would need the device to compensate with a larger motor, so that there is no lag time. This especially comes into play when using the unit for lymphatic benefits as this is achieved at the slower speeds, so lag time will affect the benefits tremendously. Steel platforms in my opinion are usually a must for solid performance and stability. You also want a platform big enough and a motor powerful enough to have weight capacity sufficient to give you exercises. I recommend you follow the 100-lbs thumb rule and stay at least 100 lbs less than the specified limits. If you are too close to the said maximum machine power limits, the chances of wear and tear go sky high.
Vibration frequency, amplitude and g-force are three other main aspects to look at. Across technologies, the frequency will range from as little as 2 Htz at the lower end, to as high as 60 Htz at the higher end. The lower frequencies are for lymph drainage while the higher ones are for muscle building. Along with the frequency, the machine needs to produce an amplitude in the range of 1-14 mm. In general, anything above 10 mm is high and can leave a jarring effect. Exercising within a range of 3-8 mm is good enough in most cases. The other related factor is the G-force. This determines the acceleration and is measured using G (the unit of gravitation). Usually, a range of 5-8 G is good enough for most people. Interestingly, the higher G-force machines tend to have smaller platforms. DKN, Vivo Vibe and Hypervibe are good examples of this phenomenon. And further, you would want to have a unit with low noise levels.
To read up the full details of each technical aspect, feel welcome to click the buttons below.
Some of my favorite machines that I recommend
VMax Trio 2 is a dual DC brushless motor spiral vibration machine made in Canada. The frequency range is 5-50 Hz. Steel platform. Comes with a 5-year warranty.
More on VMax models
VMax Pulser 2 is the next generation successor of the Trio 2. The platform is larger than Trio 2, but a bit smoother. Most prefer the newer Pulser 2 over Trio 2, but both are great units with no complain.
More on VMax models
Turbo Sonic X7, a sonic machine, provides a vibration frequency range of 3-50 Htz. The best unit available today. Overpriced. Sonix Personal and Professional are affordable alternatives.
More on Turbo Sonic models
VT 500 uses a spiral technology with awesome vibration capabilities. Powered by a 1,000 watt and a 500 watt brushless DC motor, and a platform 26" X 30" wide, this is one of the most elegant models existing.
More on VibraTrim models
Nitrofit Deluxe Plus provides a wonderful 12.5G force at peak. With its powerful pivotal vibration motor and small platform, it provides an amazing workout. Pivotal technology like Hypervibe G17, but nearly $1,000 less expensive.
More on Nitrofit models
Vibra Trim VT 400 provides an outstanding WBV experience. Won the editors choice award 3 consecutive years. Stand really well by sales promises. Spiral machine with oscillating and pivotal motors inbuilt. In-depth video training included.
More on VibraTrim models
Powervibe Zen Pro is a great linear vibration machine, that has been around since 2006. Quiet and effective. Top-of-the-line linear motor with great power. Solid build with long life. Great for weight loss and bone density.
More on PowerVibe models
DKN has been producing great linear WBV units since around early 2000's. Powerful models with high G-forces. Favorite among gyms and health clubs. Quiet and sleek, with robust build and stellar performance.
More on DKN models
Vibacore 3000 offers tri-planar vibrations. Strong and robust build. Boasts of the most modern design and features. Commercial units with huge power. Great value for money, as similar other models are priced much higher.
More on Vibacore models
So many machines... Here is how to choose the right machine for your exercise needs
The human body is made up of an interconnection of many muscle groups, skeletal structures and neurological connections that transmit signals across the body. The vibration frequency you set (the Htz level) will set signals of different nature and intensity to specific muscle groups, bone joints and neurological connections. The vibration frequency, which causes involuntary contraction of the muscle groups, will lead to muscle workouts. The motions that your body will undergo because of very fast accelerations at very small scales at really high rates, will impart a significant amount of exercises to the muscles. However, you need to understand the vibration types and technical factors before you make your choice. Those factors are discussed in this site, just follow the links on the big buttons that appear on the page, to read up all of that.
And, to identify which vibration technology and possibly a set of brands and models that will be suitable for your conditions, get started with the quiz - click here.
Now that you are here, there are a few more points that you ought to look at before you move further forward. I have created separate informative articles and linked them from the following buttons. A much wider set of articles with more in-depth content is available in our information center library - those articles will help you learn a lot.
Summary of Benefits of using WBV Machines
It all started with the astronauts needing a form of exercise that would work while in space, whole body vibration was their best form of exercise due to the zero gravitation. These machine provided artificial form of gravity impact on the body. This is what was necessary and helped tremendously.
Since then, there have been numerous research studies to find the exact quantum of how much WBV helps which part of the body. However, there are several research papers from scientific scholars (and I have read through many of them on the science article portal of Google, namely Google Scholar). If you want, here is a Google Scholar page for you: scientific documentation on benefits of vibration machines.
Some of the possible benefits that one could get by using vibration exercises are the following.
Lymphatic drainage: Vibration exercises drain your body's lymph. Lymph drainage is best done at low frequencies. Units using the sonic, spiral and oscillating technologies do a great job of lymph drainage. Pivotal machines are also do some lymph drainage.
Blood circulation enhancement: Whole body vibration can help in improving blood circulation. Again, this is best materialized at lower frequencies. By the way, the lowest frequency producing vibration machine that I recommend is Turbo Sonic - it can go as low as 3 Hz.
Cellulite decrease: This is a general benefit that these devices are capable of producing. A health-friendly outcome, this.
Detoxification: Take a gentle vibration session - mostly under 15 Hz, and a lot of your body toxins will be removed. 10 minutes of a session at the end of a hectic day makes one fresh!
Massage effects on the body: Vibration machines, when used at low frequencies, will produce an amazing massage-effect on the body. Apart from Turbo Sonic, two other brands that do really well in this are Vibra Trim and VMax Fitness.
Weight loss: Helps greatly in weight loss, by getting rid of unnecessary fat. Vibrations cause accelerations and decelerations of the muscles and body. The rapid change of directions of movement of the body renders a wonderful amount of exercise, which in turn leads to weight loss. In fact, these are among the laziest and most comfortable forms of exercises that exist!
Muscle flexibility improvement: Muscle building and muscle flexibility management are two of the best benefits. These benefits are delivered at high G-forces and high frequencies. Hypervibe, a pivotal vibration machine that delivers an astounding 17G (to put in perspective, only a few machines go anywhere over 10G) as the force, does a great job of this. Turbo Sonic, of course, is good. Other machines that are wonderful in improving muscle flexibility, tone and strength are DKN, Power Vibe, HyperGravity and Vibe Plate. Also, note that Vivo Vibe is a direct competitor of Hypervibe, specifically with their wonderful Vivo Vibe 460 model. The tri-planar machines, specifically the Viba Core, does a great job of muscle and bone related development and maintenance of the body. Sonic models are great for almost everything.
Muscle tone management: Please read the muscle flexibility improvement section above.
Muscle strength increase: Again, please read the muscle flexibility improvement section above. Note that, linear vibration machines are the ones that I most thoroughly recommend for developing muscles. In fact, linear and triplanar machines are the dream units for muscle builders and body builders. DKN, Power Vibe and HyperGravity are some of the best options for increasing muscle strength.
Bone density improvement: Improving bone density is possible with WBV based exercises, and specifically at medium-to-higher vibration frequencies.
Joint relaxation and massage: Oscillating, pivotal, spiral and sonic technologies are great for this. Triplanar models are also okay. Avoid the linear technology if joint management is your primary goal, or is among the main goals, but muscle development is not.
Joint pain reduction: Same as joint relaxation and massage points mentioned above.
Injury recovery: WBV based exercises are very helpful in injury recovery. In case of minor injuries, and late stages of major injuries as advised by your doctor. Sonic models are great for practically everything that you can get with vibration equipments. Otherwise, spiral and oscillating models are great for recovering from injuries.
Exercising the heart muscles: If you have heart issues, think of getting your doctor's consent. Having said that, some of the low-frequency vibrations are simply great for the heart. Spiral, pivotal and oscillating vibrations are great in general.
General fitness improvement: Vibration exercises tend to improve the body fitness in general. If you have some specific medical condition, speak to your doctor and get his/her recommendation. But generally speaking, WBV heal a lot, and has been found to have a large number of benefits by scientific research communities (click here to check on Google Scholar a bunch of scientific research papers by reputed University professors - opens a new window/tab).
Critical: Please note that, because of health conditions and objectives, not all the six vibration technologies suit all individuals. Some technologies will be good for some folks, and others good for others. To help in identifying what's good for you, please take our quiz. It ought to help you significantly, unless you are really experienced with vibration machines.
These benefits are significant. Add the fact that these are obtained by very little work because most of the work is done just by standing on the vibration plate machine, and it becomes clear why these machines have become so popular among health conscious people.
Please note that, the benefits will range over the vibration frequency spectrum. For example, at lower vibration frequencies of your machine, the benefits you would enjoy are lymph drainage, cellulite decrease, blood flow increase, joint relaxation and gentle massage of the body. As you go higher, the bone and muscle exercises go up. At the higher end of the frequency spectrum, you would work on getting muscle power build up and high bone density development.
When to restrict
There are certain conditions when you would want to avoid using the vibration machines. And then, there are other conditions when you would want to use the machines in a certain way rather than all frequency and amplitude ranges. Here is a list.
Pregnancy: If you are a pregnant woman, whole body vibration is likely to cause damage to the foetus. Avoid vibration machines at all costs unless your doctor explicitly asks you to use.
History of brain injury and/or existence of blood clots: If you have a history of brain injury or blood clots in past, then you would want to use the machine cautiously. If needed, consult your doctor.
Existing heart weakness: Use low frequencies to gently massage your heart tissues with vibration. Do not go towards the higher end of frequency range. If your condition is serious, then consider asking your doctor.
History of spinal injury and/or slipped disks: If you have had a history of spinal injury and/or slipped disks then don't go for the linear plate configuration. The spiral and sonic vibrations could be great for you in these conditions though. Think of getting your doctor's opinion.
Cartilage and/or knee issues: If you have a known knee or cartilage prior injury or damage then thorough exercise may hurt the injury or damage in certain cases. So avoid linear and tri-planar vibration machines. Use oscillating, pivotal, spiral or sonic vibration machines. Stay at the lower end of the vibration spectrum. Speak to your doctor if you want.
History of retina detachment: If you have a history of retina (eye) detachment then you need to be cautious and only use the lower end of the vibration spectrum. Think of the spiral or sonic technologies. If needed, speak to your doctor.
Pricing Promise: Why Buy From Us?
I promise to have the lowest prices anywhere, for all brands and models. If you find a machine listed at a lower price within 30 days of purchase from me, I shall refund what you paid extra. Call me before you buy (1-888-228-4387) and ask for the lowest prices. You will save at least $200-$600, if not more. I am not permitted to advertise those prices online, not even with coupons, so call me up or write me an email.