In order for the average layperson to fully appreciate the benefits Whole Body Vibration exercise therapy, it’s important to understand the underlying mechanism behind how it works. This article will discuss the science behind Whole Body Vibration exercise, helping those who are unfamiliar with the technology to get a better appreciation of the physiological effects that it will have on the human body.
Vibration therapy can come in many forms, from hand held devices to platforms the size of a large scale, like the ones found in a doctor’s office. The ancient Greeks used a saw and a board, placing one end of the board on an area of the body while sawing the other end. So, it might be a bit of misleading to call it ‘vibration’, when a better analogy may be that of “Biomechanical Muscle Stimulation” (BMS). With BMS, the goal is to create muscle contractions involuntarily; however, you are limited to the muscles or muscle groups that are directly associated with the motor units that are in contact with the stimulation’s source. In addition, this is a passive form of therapy. If we called vibration exercise “Biomechanical Muscle Stimulation”, then it would be a bit clearer as to what it actually does. Vibration exercise therapy is more of an active form of therapy, allowing an individual to progress in various exercise positions, poses and postures from static to dynamic. Thus Whole Body Vibration would be best explained as biomechanical muscle stimulation of all the muscles and muscle groups in the entire body simultaneously.
Whole Body Vibration exercise basically works through a “fast twitch” stretch reflex. This is identical to the fast twitch reflex that happens when the doctor taps just below the knee with a reflex hammer, initiating a strong involuntary contraction leading to a subsequent contraction of the quadriceps muscle. An oscillating Whole Body Vibration platform works in much the same way. For example, someone assumes a squat position on a Whole Body Vibration platform; as it oscillates in a sea saw motion, first one side of the platform will drop a few mm, leading to a quick fast twitch reflex of the muscles. As an immediate response, there will be a strong involuntary muscle contraction that occurs in the quadriceps muscle. Now consider that this platform alternately and repeatedly drops up and down 20 times per second. That leads to 20 muscle contractions per second, and 1200 contractions within 1 minute. Since this happens involuntary, a lot of people who would normally be unable to engage in most forms of conventional exercise can now have an option that will allow their muscles to get the workout they require, and without any conscious effort on their part.
Hopefully, this will give you a basic and simplified explanation of the mechanics behind Whole Body Vibration exercise therapy. Once these mechanisms are understood, it’s easier to comprehend the multitude of benefits that are achieved when one maintains a regular exercise regime of ten minute Whole Body Vibration sessions, repeated 3-5 times per week.
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To find out more about Whole Body Vibration training, exercise, therapy and equipment, please visit our homepage at: www.kwikfit4u.com, and to learn even more about how Whole Body Vibration and how it helps with Blood Circulation and Oxygenation, click on the “Healthy Heart”.