Shake It, Baby! Madonna Does!
Madonna shakes it. Shaquille O’Neal, Lance Armstrong, Sean "Diddy" Combs, Jane Fonda, LeBron James, Claudia Schiffer and Natalie Imbruglia are among many celebrities that are said to shake it. What do they shake? Everything. They do whole body vibration exercise (WBV) and there are several good reasons why....
WBV, when used just a few minutes a day a few times a week, has been shown to increase strength, speed, stamina, recovery time, flexibility, mobility, and coordination. That's why WBV has proved to be as effective a workout for athletic training as it is for therapeutic settings. Older and sedentary persons are said to receive the most measurable benefits from vibration exercise, often increasing bone mass, improving joint mobility, muscle strength, and reducing arthritis pain. It's good for your heart and happiness, increasing serotonin levels, and some even claim that it reduces cellulite (but who doesn't claim that?)
According to VibraSlim®, a WBV machine manufacturer, the first known users of vibration exercise technology were Russian astronauts, who set a record of 420 days in outer space due to their greater endurance, bone, and muscle strength provided by the WBV training. American astronauts had to return from their space station after 120 days because of bone and muscle degeneration occurring while in space.
The explanation for all of WBV's benefits is that the vibration amplifies your movement by three to 50 times per second, depending on the speed of vibration you choose. That means that your muscles are contracting and relaxing many more times and faster than one simple weight lift, for example, would cause. That is why the workout routines with WBV are much shorter than a traditional training session. WBV is more efficient.
Here is a short You-Tube video, put out by WBV machine manufacturer VibraSlim, showing a progression of exercises that can be done on a whole body vibration machine.
One problem is, the WBV machines are not available at too many fitness centers, and the second one is that the highly rated machines are expensive to purchase for your home -- between $4000 and $12,000. (Update: Vibration Training Machines are now inexpensive. You can see a wide selection of Vibration Exercise Machines available in the market here.)There are cheaper machines, but you want to make sure you get a machine with a minimum of the following features:
(from July 1, 2008 Mercola.com Newsletter)
- 1. Solid Steel Construction
- 2. Reputable Company: If you’ve never heard of the company, check them out first. How long have they been in business?
- 3. Warranty
- 4. Maximum user weight: Make sure the machine can handle your body weight. Cheap machines can wear down and operate at a lower frequency than indicated, and in the case of lineal vibrating machines, low frequencies can be harmful.
- 5. Features and Noise: Does the vibration machine have at least 15 speeds? Does it have automated programs? How noisy is it? (Be aware that many machines are quite loud, even expensive ones.)
- 6. Manuals and Videos: Does the company provide you with a positions guide and user manual? Do they have videos you can watch of the machine in action and demonstrations of the different exercise positions?
Here are a few good sources to check out the proven benefits of WBV as well as some reviews of available equipment. Then, go shake it!
Amazon's Selection of Vibration Exercise Machines
Medical Research Reports on Vibration Exercise Benefits
(Madonna photos from the DailyMail)
Related read: Chi Machines Rock!
Keeping you posted!