NASM CPT Podcast

Do Vibration Platforms Really Work?

National Academy of Sports Medicine
National Academy of Sports Medicine
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In this episode, host Rick Richey separates fact from fiction on vibration platforms. He details their intended purpose, cites a collection of professionally recoded data in their effective, share a few personal experiences with the device, and many more helpful tips. The “NASM-CPT Podcast” will give you the good vibrations knowledge base to help further your training career! See also the episode on if massage guns work.




**This transcript is generated with an AI transcription service. There may be typos and grammatical mistakes.

Rick Richey 00:15

Hey y'all, and welcome to the NSM CPT podcast. My name is Rick Ritchie. And today we're going to do another episode of Do they really work? And we've talked about several things. We've asked the question about several gizmos and modalities Do they really work, and today is no different word. Today we're going to talk about whole body vibration, or those vibration platforms.

I know some of some of the listeners here may have some of these in your gyms. They are found in a lot of the professional teams, the the D one athletic departments for for college football teams and things like that, these vibration platforms. And you know, I all want to know, do they really work Now full disclosure back in the day was a it was a few days back, I was employed briefly by one of these companies.

So power plate, which is kind of the name in the whole body vibration, the vibration platform. I worked for them. But I never worked for them. I was actually employed on paper, but I never actually did anything with them. And then they switched how they were doing their workshops. And I actually never got a chance to teach one. But I think I think it's good material. I haven't used any of PowerPoints material.

In fact, I skipped over some of the methods to so I didn't even see whether or not that particular brand was the brand that was providing what we're looking to do here. So whole body vibration. Let's look at the first category of people to see whether or not this is beneficial.

And whole body vibration. Let's just talk about it. You stand on top of this platform and the platform vibrates. It shakes some of them undulate, they go side to side and they vibrate. Some of them go straight up and down. Some have kind of a three dimensional movement, but no matter how you look at it, it is a vibration.

Well, that type of vibration. It was. I mean, I've heard claims for this. I've heard claims it can make you stronger, it can make you jump higher, make you more flexible, gets rid of cellulite, I remember hearing when somebody says it got rid of cellulite, a buddy of mine at the time turned to me and said it gets rid of cellulite. How does it make pants? So I don't think Cellulite is one of those things that this actually supports. However, there are some beneficial outcomes. So let's talk about him.

We've got let's see Marin case galahs at all 2018 10 rent. So this is a meta analysis for a whole body vibration and bone health in postmenopausal women, and systematic review and meta analysis. So the first one, we've got 10 randomized controlled trials, 462 postmenopausal women, significant pre post improvement in bone mineral density of the lumbar spine after doing whole body vibration, so the lumbar spine. After doing this, I think this one was a six week study.

Doing this for six weeks helped to increase the bone mineral density in the lumbar spine, there were significant differences in the femoral neck. So the neck of the femur is when people say that they've broken their hip, it is the neck of the femur is usually the portion that gets broken. So there were significant differences in the femoral neck when it comes to bone mineral density. And they were also found between the intervention and the control group, but only for those postmenopausal women younger than 65.

So I thought that was interesting. And they found that the effective hertz which is the the speed at which this moved was greater than 20. So the Hertz were greater than 20. Let's keep going. Let's look at the effects of whole body vibration on muscle strength and power. Hmm. Now I know some of you are have piqued your interest, we want to know what's it like for muscle strength? What's it like for my power? Now this is a meta analysis in the Journal of musculoskeletal and neural interactions. 10 studies 314 participants for knee extension strength. They also same study, seven studies 400

Sorry 249 participants encounter jump height. So when they did this one they found that both of these increase the outcomes compared to the identical control but without the whole body vibe. here's the quote from the study. And to wrap it up, it says based on the findings, they concluded that the use of whole body vibration would lead to greater improvements in both knee extension, muscle strength and counter movement jump, then, under identical conditions without whole body vibration. Alright, seems to be pretty beneficial there. Let's look at Wallman at all 2019.

The effects of whole body vibration on vertical jump, power, balance and agility in those who are untrained. So we have untrained adults hear, hearing, we looked at the results and indicated that the whole body vibration produced significant differences in the main effect of time and agility and endpoint and maximum in point excursion left for both men and women.

In the acute phase, females performed better in the balance compared to males, and were poor in the vertical jump. And in fact, females had a significant decrease in vertical jump after doing whole body vibration, which I thought was was a very strange, I thought that was an unusual outcome.

But males did perform better and they perform better in agility, and power. All right, well, there's some other studies that show shows that whole body vibration on one test test, and they found that, that you could do a whole body vibration, and then you could do kind of traditional interventions for other tests with athletic populations for chronic ankle instability.

And they didn't find much difference in that. Well, the good news is you could do a lot of the exercises that they provide traditionally, or you could do some of those exercises on whole body vibration, didn't find much of a difference there. Another study, that was Sierra Guzman at all 2018.

Rick Richey 07:00

This is be done day at all. 2017. And then they just looked at an inconclusive outcome for those with fibromyalgia. And Fibromyalgia is kind of if you've ever heard the this phrase that Fibromyalgia is, it can be incredibly painful. And my allergy is muscle pain, so fibers muscle pain that is going on. And there's a term that they call idiopathic.

And idiopathic is a fancy word that says, I don't know, we don't know that the etiology of it, we don't know how it came about. So it is idiopathic, we don't know. So they found no difference, or it was inconclusive using whole body vibration for those with fibromyalgia. What I don't want to do is I don't want to give you just a bunch of stuff and be like, Look how good it is. It does everything.

It doesn't do everything, but it does have some pretty nice outcomes. Here's another one by Custodio boyo at all 2018. And they concluded in their study some of the studies they found improvements in muscular strength. They found improvements in muscular capacity, coordination, resistance, balance, and some areas in these different things they found but however, they identified limitations in some of the studies that they coordinated in this systematic review.

And there's still a few publications on vibration training and multiple sclerosis to ensure training effectiveness. So this is found for people sorry to be clear, only on people with multiple sclerosis in this but they did find some benefits with muscular strength, functional capacity, coordination, resistance balance. But there's a lot left to be done.

The initial findings are actually quite nice grubs at all 2020 whole body vibration on frail, so on the frail in nursing homes, and this one I thought was pretty good. So they did a post hoc paired t test analysis and they found out that a whole body vibration training, improved knee extension strength and improved the physical performance battery performance approach. And they found that it was also well tolerated in the group and that occurred without any adverse health complications.

So they conclude that whole body vibration can be used to counteract losses and leg strength without adverse health complications in skilled nursing home residents. Alright, that's, that's kind of beneficial.

Rick Richey 09:48

Let's do another one. We got Cara Trelew at all 2019 And this one was the effects of whole body vibration. Frequency on muscular performance and randomized control study. And what they found is that when you condensed weekly hold body vibration, to improve body composition, flexibility, lower limb strength and power in young, inactive individuals, this whole body vibration protocol with higher dispersion of training per sessions per week, which means that lower training frequency every week, it did happen to improve the squat jump performance, but it did not have any effect on whole body composition, flexibility, or maximal strength.

Now, we do see that there are also some acute responses to flexibility training, that does seem to loosen people up and it does not tend to decrease your ability to produce force. So, the whole body vibration, these platforms have been around for a long time, I think they're very interesting.

I think there's something to consider that if you are considering getting them in your facility, you need to do a little bit more research than just this podcast, because they tend to be expensive. And if you're going to spend money on it, then make sure you're finding that the outcomes that you're looking for that there are good studies, not just studies that have been done, but they're good studies that have been performed, look at meta analysis and systematic reviews, and make sure it's addressing your population.

Because if your population is young, athletic, right, then you got to look that up, you can't be like, Hey, I got some great information on fibromyalgia, from the NSM CPT podcast, do they really work and I'm gonna apply it to my athletic population. That's not how it works. So you want to find out who it is, who who's your base, and where did the demographics and where you are. And then find the correlative research that supports the outcomes that you're looking to give to the people who are coming to your place.

Now, we will say this, that there was one place I went two years ago, it was in Arizona, and it was in a retirement community. And they had one of these machines set up, and you actually put money on a card and you use your card to do like a 20 minute vibration platform series. And there's a series of exercises that you do on them, I want to be clear that it is not just that you are on a vibrating platform, but it is what you do on a vibrating platform. So it's not just standing on it or sitting down on it.

But there are movements that tend to happen to increase some of the activations that take place, though. With that said, I know that there, there are people out there that have these in their facilities, and they're looking at them and they're like, I don't know, I don't know, if we should do step up to balance on a vibrating platform, well, there's some indication that it is beneficial. And it does help to support those. When it comes to balance. There's some indications that strength and counter jump movement are also beneficial.

So if you got them, use them, put them to use and get your clients on it. And the other thing too, is that if your clients like it, and it allows them to say I like to come in, I like to do this train this way on these platforms and I find benefit, and it gets them moving or showing up more. That's that's a win. I don't care how you look at it. I don't care how you look at it. So when Alright, thank you so much for joining me on this episode of Do they really work vibration platforms, we're looking at whole body vibration.

And this was actually brought up to me by somebody. So when I say Hey, y'all reach out to me and let me know what you want me to look up and explore. And then I'll get back to you. This is one of those things. So if you want to reach out to me, let me know whether or not you've got something that you would like to know doesn't really work.

Then you can DM me on Instagram where I'm most active at Dr. Dot Rick Ritchie Ric hE y or you can email me Rick dot Ritchie at any This has been the NSM CPT podcast

The Author

National Academy of Sports Medicine

National Academy of Sports Medicine

Since 1987 the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) has been the global leader in delivering evidence-based certifications and advanced specializations to health and fitness professionals. Our products and services are scientifically and clinically proven. They are revered and utilized by leading brands and programs around the world and have launched thousands of successful careers.


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