There’s no doubt that vibration machines offer a ton of health benefits, from weight loss to increasing bone density. With continued scientific research that backs up the health benefits of these machines, including well-known companies such as NASA, it wasn’t long before the home market became flooded with all types of vibration platforms.
Still, finding a vibration platform for your specific needs can be confusing with words like Linear, Tri-Plan, and Oscillating vibration flying around. Understandably, most people get confused about which plate to buy.
Today we’ll break down the lingo and explain everything you need to know.
How To Choose A vibration Machine For Home? First, Let’s Look At Vibration Type.
There are two main types of vibration one is oscillating (pivotal) the other is linear (up and down)
1. Oscialtting Vibration is by far the most popular type of vibration used by people at home. This type of vibration is usually seen in the smaller vibration machines, the machines without handles and center columns. You may have heard of popular ones like the LifePro Waver.
Any age or ability can use small oscillating plates. Why? Because oscillating vibration has less vertical impact than the other vibration types, it’s generally supported by the medical community as a healthier type of vibration. Its gentle see-saw type motion mimics how we walk, making it a more natural vibration type.
Oscillating vibration contacts our muscles alternately, much like when you’re walking, so the same muscles on both sides of the body are never activated at the same time.
These gentle rocking motions make our muscles contract and relax to achieve balance. Not only does this type of exercise improve your balance, but it will also tone and strengthen the muscles in your legs, butt, and core.
Weight loss? Yes, you can lose weight on an oscillating vibration platform. A powerful oscillating vibration platform will vibrate thousands of times every few minutes or up to 50 times per second, causing thousands of muscle contractions; muscle contractions require energy, energy = calories.
If you want to speed up weight loss and muscle toning, it’s always a good idea to incorporate other exercises into your vibration session, such as squats, press-up lunges, etc., or use the resistance bands that come with many of the small oscillating plates.
Linear Vibration – is different from oscillating in that it moves both sides of the body simultaneously, resulting in high impact up to 6 x the user’s body weight. And while this great for weight loss and muscle toning, it’s not so good for people with joint issues or neck problems who may find the simultaneous movent of both sides of the body uncomfortable.
Still, linear is very similar to oscillating because it too contracts and relaxes the muscles in the legs, butt, and core.
Linear vibration is a popular choice for sports training as linear vibration mimics the jump reflex. Profession basketball and football players are known to use linear vibration machines.
Linear vibration machines are usually more powerful than oscillating machines and come with larger motors and vibration plates, so they are very popular with people looking to lose weight and tone muscle. Linear machines typically have a center column and grab handles. The BlueFin Pro is a popular Linear Vibration machine.
Is The Weight of The Machine Important?
The weight of a vibration machine is more important than most people think because the weight of a machine is a telling sign of the overall quality. Still, it’s also the machine’s weight that will determine how much energy is lost from the vibrations.
Lightweight cheaply built vibration machines tend to shake too much; this causes the energy from the vibrations to disperse sideways, downwards, and upwards instead of just upwards into our bodies.
Heavier machines stay planted to the floor. This stops the machine from shaking too much and concentrates the energy upwards into our bodies, and that’s exactly what we want from our vibration machine.
Some of the smaller oscillating machines are too light, a few weighing just 15lb. If you’re going to choose an oscillating vibration plate, look for plates that weigh at least 30lb. I know an extra 15lb doesn’t sound much, but it helps a heck of a lot at keeping the machine planted to the floor.
Large linear plates have less trouble with energy loss. These things can weigh up to 100lb. Even affordable ones like the BlueFin Pro weigh 65lb.
Monitors on vibration machines are not that important as long as your machine has separate LEDs for a timer and vibration levels. That’s all you really need.
However, some machines also come with features such as BlueTooth or MP3 Players and built-in speakers. All of which are not essential. Workout programs can be worthwhile, and many monitors include workout programs.
Something I would recommend you look for when choosing a vibration plate is a remote control. These come in handy as they stop you from having to bend down or step off the machine in the middle of a workout to change vibration speed. Instead, you can effortlessly change the level and set the timer from the remote while working out.
Vibration speed and the amount of levels a machine comes with are also important. Some machines provide you with speed levels others are measured in Hz.
Speed levels – You dont need hundreds of speed levels. Anything with more than 30 is fine.
Most affordable oscillating vibration machines (under $200) are usually equipped with one single 300w.
Larger Linear Plates usually start at 1000w and can go up to 3000w. It all depends on how much you want to spend. While a more powerful motor will ensure stronger vibrations, it’s really acceleration speed that most people should look out for.
Acceleration speed is the G force of a vibration machine, and typically you won’t see the G force mentioned on cheaper vibration machines. Minimum G Force is 10g while optimum is 16g delivered at a frequency anywhere between 20-35hz. However, you’d have to spend close to $2k to find these types of machines.
If you’re after the more affordable options, and don’t want to pay over $200 for a vibration machine at the very least, shop around and make sure your machine has a minimum 300w motor.
If you plan to just stand on the vibration machine, the plate size isn’t something you need to worry about, as all vibration machines come with vibration plates large enough for standing workouts. If, however, you want to incorporate floor exercises into your vibration sessions, then the larger the vibration plate, the better.
Thankfully some of the cheaper oscillating vibration machines have increased their plate size, much larger than a few years back, so they are suitable for nearly all floor exercises.
Still, the largest vibration plates are reserved for the upright machines with the central columns, and you don’t have to spend tons to get hold of one.
We already mentioned the Bluefin pro, and there many more such as the Pinti 2000w, that have large linear vibration plates perfect for floor exercises and cost less than $300, which is great news.
To Sum Up
There’s a reason why oscillating vibration is so popular, and that because anyone can use an oscillating plate, even people with joint issues. And you don’t have to break the bank to purchases one.
Even an entry-level oscillating vibration machine will help tone muscle burn fat, increase metabolism, blood pressure, and bone density. Oscillating vibration continues to receive the most positive research, and it’s a vibration type I’m happy to recommend.
You might wonder why there’s no mention of dual vibration or 3D in this article, and that’s simply because the research is so limited it’s hard to make a case that combining vibration types is better than using oscillating or linear independently.
The only research carried out on dual vibration (3D) showed 25% less muscle activation than using oscillating vibration on its own. So, for now, I’d probably stick to buying either an oscillating vibration machine or a linear one until more research has been done.