For the longest time, we have been on the lookout for new ways to get fit while pandering to our busy lifestyles. You have your work deadlines, housework and on top of all that, a social life to manage (we are no cavemen). It comes as no surprise there are always new and modern inventions being thought of at every hour of the day for fitness enthusiasts and couch potatoes alike, to get maximum gains in the least amount of time. For the modern office worker, you have your juice-cleansing diets, your standing desk and now we have vibration machines to add to that compounding list of hacks.
These vibration machines have been introduced as a way to burn energy fast, with losing weight as the ultimate end goal. For many of them, they are thought of as a quick fix to get over the idea of the uncomfortable stickiness after a sweaty workout or the weariness of having to get up an hour early to put on their running cleats.
How Do Vibration Machines Work?
The basic premise of vibration machines is that they are supposed to transmit energy to the body through the oscillating vibrations reverberating from the source, similar to how vibrating belt machines work. Every second, the vibration machine would send around 30 to 50 pulsating waves around your body each second and in response, the muscles are pushed to contract and relax as your body attempts to balance itself. Much like what exercise does to our body, this contracting and relaxing improves muscle strength, coordination and balance. Thus, ten minutes on the machine would cause you to experience the exact same tingly sensation that follows after a workout.
As compared to the results of our regular workouts that are determined very much by the effort we put in, the intensity of the workout and the load of weights used, one can easily dial the weight loss progression up a notch by increasing the frequency and amplitude of the vibrations on the machine.
Do They Work?
In theory, it makes perfect sense, since the muscles are constantly activated, much like our conventional workouts. This would, of course, mean that our workouts can be sidelined for a short session on the vibration machine. But, if we are making that argument, why aren’t they utilised by Olympians and sportsmen while preparing for their tournaments?
In reality, just sitting or standing on a vibration machine, as suggested, would do little if your goal is to lose a few inches off your waist. Why is that so? The passive nature of the machine simply does not force your body to actively work in the same way that conventional exercise would do. With that being said, if you are utilising the vibration machine as the only way to shed those pounds, you may find yourself venting your anger onto the machine in no time.
Combining Callisthenics with Vibration
But that is not to say there is not a place for vibration machines in the home, since they have been proven to work extremely well when callisthenic exercises are involved. What research has proven is that the vibration machine can be put to good use, when the user includes callisthenic movements while they are utilising the device.
Callisthenic exercises like squats, body twists, lunges and push-ups actually intensify the workout, since they help reduce pain and stress associated with the workout, while also raising the effectiveness of these exercises. It has been known that when these two exercises below are paired with a vibration machine, they would reap greater mobility, physical conditioning, muscle strength and stronger bone health for the user.
When done on their own, isometric squats target and build strength in the quadriceps. When done on the vibration machine, you will find yourselves pushing other parts of your body like your abs and back muscles, due to the additional balance needed to stay upright. When you stand on the vibration machine, do the same squat as you would normally and keep your feet at shoulder-width distance apart. As you squat, bend your knees and descend slowly until your thighs are parallel with the floor, before reversing the process back to your original position. To make it slightly more challenging, hold the second position for another 30 seconds before returning to your base.
Lunges are a routine exercise of most fitness trainers, since they tone up your legs and buttocks. On the vibration machine, the effectiveness of the movement is doubled, since you have to maintain your balance and work the muscles in your lower body in a different manner. To perfect the form of lunges without placing stress on your joints, keep the upper body upright and your shoulders back before moving forward with one leg and lowering yourself down till the knee of your forward leg is at a 90-degree angle. As you reverse the process back to your original position, you can move into performing the lunge on the opposite leg. Initially, you would find the movement of lunges unsteady on the vibration machine as you lift your feet off the mat. To mitigate that shaky start, hold on to the handlebar to keep your balance.