Exercise has long been known as a nonpharmacological therapeutic modality to improve heart health, restoring impaired cardiovascular function. Recently, whole body vibration has emerged as a useful method for improving overall health, with improvements in body composition, muscular strength and cardiovascular health common. Whole body vibration training is also particularly effective for elderly and deconditioned people who cannot participate in traditional exercise.
Over the next few weeks we will take a look at just how whole body vibration has been proven to be a very useful therapy tool for improving cardiovascular health.
This week I will give you a quick overview of what whole body vibration is and the features to look for in a machine to give you these benefits.
There are different types of vibration platforms used in clinical studies including rocking side to side action of the platforms, uniformly up and down action, and triplane in which the surface moves font to back, side to side, and up and down directions.
The mechanical action of the vibration causes a change in length of the muscle-tendon complex, which activates reflex muscle contractions. Performing an exercise on the vibration plate causes more muscle activity than performing the same exercise on the floor – more muscles, doing more work, more often.
The rate of vibration (or Hz) has an influence – with frequencies between 35Hz and 45Hz creating more activation than frequencies below 35 HZ, and therefore delivering more benefit.
Power Plate has tri-planar movements with a set frequency of 35Hz.