Whole body vibration uses a vibrating platform to increase the forces on your body during which 98% of muscle fibers are engaged. This allows for a better workout in a shorter amount of time.
How do you describe what whole body vibration is?
Dr. Chris Serafini: Whole body vibration is when you’re standing on a vibrating platform, you’re really increasing the forces on your body, which is really what puts the work into your workout. By increasing gravity, it effectively increases the G-forces exerted on the body. A high quality vibration platform really can generate forces from 2-6 Gs depending on the frequency and amplitude settings that are used. This means that even at the lowest setting, you nearly double your body weight in terms of the forces applied, but when you stand on the vibrating platform, each muscle in your body reacts in continuous flow of really micro-adjustments contracting reflexively by engaging up to 98% of your muscle fibers, including the fast and the super fast muscle fibers, so you get greater rewards and shorter workouts.
What type of equipment is used during whole body vibration, and how do you use it?
Dr. Chris Serafini: You really want to use a high quality device that vibrates in all three dimensions, vertical, horizontal, and sagittal, which is really front to back. Some whole body vibration machines provide only side to side motion, so it’s really giving you a wobble board effect. You want to avoid machines like this and look for two-motor systems that provide a genuine 3D workout. The up and down movement improves your muscle tone. The left to right and front to back movements improve your balance and coordination. The net result is really a dramatic improvement in your strength, power, flexibility, balance, tone, and leanness.
What are the benefits of using whole body vibration?
Dr. Chris Serafini: The benefits of whole body are really many and plentiful, and the reason for this is because the whole body vibration stimulations affect not only your musculature, but also your internal organs and glands, including your brain. Your muscle spindles are on fire secondary to the mechanical stimulation produced by the vibrating plate. This rapid firing of the muscle spindles causes a neuromuscular response that ripples throughout really the entire body, causing a wide array of physiological changes. Subsequently, research has shown that whole body vibration can really help with a lot of things, and I have a list here that I want to read because there are plenty, many and plentiful.
It can increase muscle strength, reduce pain, increase hormonal secretion, counteract age-related muscle wasting, increase fat loss, increase bone mass and mineral density, thereby decreasing risk of osteoporosis, improve blood circulation, increase flexibility and mobility, improve proprioception and balance, speed up recovery from injury, improve fitness in the elderly, and improve neurological condition.
I think that many of those are really important, so I didn’t want to skip any. I know the list is a little long, but I think it was important.
Are there any risks associated with whole body vibration?
Dr. Chris Serafini: Obviously, if you have any health challenges, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, you’ll want to consult with your health provider before starting really any new fitness program, but overall, whole body vibration is so gentle that even frail and disabled people can tolerate it.
Can whole body vibration replace regular cardiovascular exercise?
Dr. Chris Serafini: It actually can be used as a form of cardiovascular exercise, depending on what activities you’re doing on it, but I would really recommend it and use it as a complement to your cardiovascular exercise.
If you are interested in speaking with Dr. Chris Serafini, visit www.thescottsdalechiropractor.com or call 480-443-7678 to schedule an appointment.