What is Whole Body Vibration?
Whole body vibration (abbreviated as WBV) is a term used to describe a vibration at any frequency that is sent through the human body. Whole body vibration was first established as a way of conducting resistance training. Vibration training entails a number of frequencies of vibrations sent through different parts of the body. This is done at specific angles at the joints for a limited amount of time. Each set takes about a minute.
Vibration training is done so that unconventional reaction of muscles can be established, hence facilitating the burning of energy without using oxygen (this is referred to as anaerobic activity—it is the opposite of cardio).
Whole body vibration is not the same as the uncontrolled vibrations one may receive from living their everyday lives—that is, vibrations experienced from activities such as driving, drilling, working with tools and machinery, etc cannot be termed as whole body vibrations.
There are two categories of whole body vibrations; these are the WBV Training and the WBV Physiotherapy.
WBV Training includes at least five compound poses to make up a series. These poses are a half-push up, a half squat, a tricep dip, a wide stance and a plank hold. One must hold these positions for a minute at most. These poses are meant to help one burn as much energy as possible in as short a time as possible. These poses also do not cause any damage to the person’s joints. It is important to know the intended purpose of each specific position before going through the training, otherwise one may end up doing unnecessary work (depending on the needs of your body). By holding a position as it should be held the muscle fatigue of the body part being targeted should be achieved in about a minute. Keeping this position without any exertion can be classified as therapy.
WBV Physiotherapy incorporates various massaging techniques and various stretching positions. There is usually very little contact between the machine and the body. It can also be done with very little weight being exerted on the targeted body part. In WBV Physiotherapy, the positions are achieved without burning energy (also called zero effort).
Whole body vibration can refer to a number of different disciplines; vibration therapy (or vibration training), biomechanical oscillation (BMO) and biomechanical stimulation.
Biomechanical oscillation refers to a training routine that utilizes very little amplitude and very little frequency in a mechanical simulation. This helps in working the various musculoskeletal constitutions of the body so as to improve the strength of the muscles, the body’s flexibility and its overall power.
There are a number of conditions that utilize vibration training as a treatment method. Some of these conditions include sarcopenia, osteoporosis and metabolic syndrome. Whole body vibration is also used to improve one’s fitness, for physical therapy, in professional sports, for rehabilitation and for various wellness and beauty purposes.
Extended exposure to whole body vibrations in day-to-day life can be harmful to one’s health. It can be the cause of back pains, fatigue, organ irritation and/or interference, problems with one’s vision and various other problems with the digestive system and the female reproductive system.