Whole body vibration therapy has the competitive advantage over conventional training due to its ability to provide an effective and efficient exercise session without the constraints associated with regular training. Common constraints of traditional training protocols include joint stress, lengthy repetitions, and high time commitments.
Researchers have shown similar strength gains to conventional resistance training at a fraction of the time when utilizing whole body vibration. 10 minutes of vibration therapy produces similar results to 30-45 minutes of conventional training.
Whole body vibration provides an effective solution to those that may benefit from weight training, but are unable to engage in the program physically, or are unable to commit to the amount of time required. When performing exercise on whole body vibration there is less stress on the joints, ligaments and tendons with vibration therapy in comparison to regular resistance training.
Whole body vibration exercise has been shown to increase resting metabolism of research participants. Metabolism is our body’s ability to burn a certain number of calories each day. The higher our metabolism, the more calories we burn and, more importantly, the more energy we have.
The literature suggests that vibration therapy will allow patients to burn up to 30% more calories each day than before vibration training. This will help in preventing a drop in metabolism with a reduction of daily caloric intake and allow patients to maintain their weight loss over time.
According to Berschin et al. (2014), whole body vibration causes an involuntary contraction in one hundred percent of the muscle. Including both slow and fast twitch fibers; 40% of which is slow twitch and 60% fast twitch. Traditional isometric exercise stimulates only certain fibers.
Because of the effectiveness of the muscle contraction, 10 minutes of whole body vibration training provides better results than 30-45 minutes of traditional strength training. In fact, it is suggested by fitness professionals that you can expect similar results in just one month with vibration that would take months with traditional weight training.
When comparing whole body vibration training to traditional resistance exercise protocols, vibration therapy does not represent a stressful stimulus for the neuroendocrine system, which is the opposite of most conventional training.
A famous study done in 1995 by Perna and McDowell states that cortisol levels spike 20 hours after conventional training. This stress can negatively affect the body’s recovery process. Whole body vibration training decreases cortisol levels in the body during and after training.
In two separate published clinical studies, whole body vibration increased the natural secretion of Growth Hormone by 320% and 464% leading to an improvement of neuromuscular performance (Giunta et al., 2012).
These results suggest that vibration therapy elicits a biological adaptation that is connected to a neural potentiation effect, similar to those reported to occur following resistance and explosive power training.
Vibration Therapy Protocol for Increased Muscle Strength:
To increase muscle strength and improve athletic performance, there is a specific protocol to follow. For individuals seeking performance-based results they should perform Vibration Therapy with the following recommendations.
Type of Vibration: Vertical Tri-planar whole body vibration
Frequency: 25-35 Hz
Time: Intervals of 1 minute to 30-second ratio for 20 minutes. One minute of exercise with 30 seconds of rest. During the rest period the patient is still using whole body vibration, but they are standing without performing exercises.
The patient should feel fatigued, that they had a good workout. If the workout becomes “easy” for the patient, continue to progress the patient by adding more exercises or time. The patient should not utilize weights more than 20% of their body weight while performing these exercises.