Conventional theories stating hard work is the key to good health clash with scientific data pointing towards the efficiency of vibration technology to enhance fitness. A "Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research" article says vibration exercise may improve muscular strength. Another piece in "International Journal of Obesity" reports that research using laboratory rats as subjects found the activity slows weight gain and encourages greater bone density. Instead of just standing or sitting on the machine, increase benefits even more by combining it with your workout.
Do abdominal exercises while on the machine to increase workout results. Put your hands behind your head and tuck your pelvis under, slightly bending your knees, and hold the contraction for five seconds. Release back to your natural stance. Repeat for a total of 25. While sitting on the machine with your back to its controls, hold your legs straight out in front of you, parallel to the floor. Contract abdominal muscles while exhaling and pull your knees into your chest. Hold for two seconds. Repeat for a 25 count. Hold a weighted ball while standing on the machine, facing away from the controls. Take the ball out in front of you and twist from your waist to your right and hold for two seconds. Return to center and twist to your left. Repeat 12 times each side.
Standing on the machine provides an excellent opportunity to incorporate time into your routine for weightlifting. Move through your complete range of motion slowly, maintaining your form. Bicep curls, triceps overhead extensions, lateral arm raises and shoulder presses are all good choices for free weights while vibrating. Choose a weight that is challenging toward the end of your 12 repetitions, but light enough to keep proper form. Do three sets of 12 for each exercise.
Body Weight Resistance
Without using any additional equipment besides the whole-body vibration machine, you can get a great resistance workout. Squats can be done facing the machine, holding support bars for balance or away from the machine while holding a weighted ball out for an extra challenge. Do lunges facing the machine with one foot on the floor, one foot on the vibrating platform. Keep your front knee behind your toes and drop your back knee towards the floor. Repeat 12 to 25 times on each leg. Do pushups from knees or toes, with palms on the machine's platform. Try different hand placements to target different areas.
When your workout is finished and your muscles are warm, it is time to stretch. The machine provides an optimal location for calf stretches. Hold the handles and drop one heel off the back of the machine at a time. Hold the stretch for 15 seconds. Come off the machine and onto your knees on the floor with your hands on the platform. Place your head on the floor to stretch chest, back and legs in the yoga "child's pose." Back on the machine, facing away, stand on the tips of your toes, stretching your arms up, making yourself as long as possible then bend all the way forward, resting your hands on the floor. Breathe deeply.
Whole-body vibration exercise is not a magic solution for weight-loss problems, but it is a tool to add to your fitness routine. Using the machine does not replace the need for cardiovascular exercise. With any new exercise program, consult your doctor before you begin.
- "The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research"; Effects of Vibration Training on Muscle Strength: A Meta-Analysis; Pedro J. Marin, et al.; Feb. 2010
- "International Journal of Obesity"; Whole-body Vibration Slows the Acquisition of Fat in Mature Female Rats; G. F. Maddalozzo, et al.; March 2008
- GreenPerform.com: Exercise Positions for Whole Body Vibration
- Creatas/Creatas/Getty Images
This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.