You may wonder how Whole Body Vibration training can affect building bone mass and preventing falls. Studies show the regular use of Whole Body Vibration machines increase and maintain bone mass and density.
Whole Body Vibration equipment was introduced in Europe in the mid to late 90’s, with the original intention of osteoporosis prevention. Soon after, people realized that these machines were also beneficial for rehabilitation and general fitness training.
A study documented in the American Journal of Bone and Mineral Research (2004) included 70 post-menopausal women over a 24 week period. One group used a Whole Body Vibration Plate for their training and another used conventional resistance training. All the women using Whole Body Vibration therapy saw a 1.5% increase in bone density, while the other group saw no significant increase. Surprisingly the Whole Body Vibration exercises were even done in a sitting or lying position.
A more recent study again compared Whole Body Vibration training versus a resistance training group. In this case, the strength training group used more conventional training, which involved exercising in standing positions. This would place greater stress on the bones than doing isolation exercises done while sitting or lying down. This would also have more carryover to doing activities of daily living, as most of our daily movements occur while standing. Both groups saw an increase in bone density at the spine and maintained bone mass at the hip. The group using Whole Body Vibration had a significant decrease in the number of falls versus the control group. The hip and the spine are vulnerable to bone loss and potential fracture. If bone loss occurs here, it is also likely that resistance training isn’t taking place, which can cause muscles to weaken, probably increasing the risk of falling and/or loss of mobility.
When the low impact Whole Body Vibration exercises are done in a standing position on the platform they build a combination of strength and balance, as well as improving overall coordination. It’s basically a use it or lose it situation, and with Whole Body Vibration therapy, muscle strength, mass and flexibility are increased in very little time and with a minimum of effort. Lunges and squats are two types of exercises that put the necessary and beneficial stress on bones and muscles to get the desired results. These types of movements involve multiple muscles and joints, making them very efficient, especially when preformed on a Whole Body Vibration platform.
Another study saw 89 post-menopausal women between the ages of 58-74 increase not just their leg strength with Whole Body Vibration therapy, but their speed of movement. Muscle power and reaction time usually decreases with aging, therefore it is very important to train regularly. How fast your muscles contract (react) can be the difference between losing your balance and falling, or not.
More and more wellness centers and clinics have incorporated Whole Body Vibration training with their aging clients and some are particularly aimed at senior citizens.
For additional information on Whole Body Vibration, visit us at KWIKFIT4U