Tuesday, January 3, 2012

whole body vibration and your whole body

linda melone, a fitness reporter, often calls me for guidance and ideas for articles she's writing. this one, in the link above, on whole body vibration (wbv), featured some of my comments on the science and my experiences with wbv. let me add some thoughts, tho.

the science is not quite prescriptive enough to warrant jumping on the bandwagon for certain physiological outcomes. that is, many studies show value for bone building, muscle strengthening, flexibility improving, and power development. few, however, have nailed down the precise number of minutes or the kinds of intensities that physicians or even exercise professionals would like to know to implement a prescription. thus, you may get contradictory studies and counter arguments against the use of wbv for any one or more of the above benefits.

but note this: as far as bones are concerned, since the general prescription is for fairly heavy loads imposed on the spine or hips in closed chain exercises such as squats and lunges, wbv offers the following value: by its very actions, it increases the value of any exercises done on it in closed chain and does not require heavy loading. therefore, simple and light squats with curls or overhead presses, lunges with tubing rows or dumbbell curls, or mini-jumps are enhanced while standing on a wbv machine. to what degree or for how long or how many days/wk - we just do not know. but at STEPS, we have seen nominal benefits at even twice/wk. by nominal i mean reduced rates of bone loss, or for some, some gain, if taking meds, too. in other words, while studies suggest 3/wk x 10-15 mins of vibration, even twice/wk seems to confer some benefits. and you get stronger and more coordinated while doing the exercises - without having to lift heavy.

therefore, the primary benefit is - older, esp more feeble or injured, women can get some benefits from wbv that they can't get from doing the same exercises with the same light wts on the floor.

well worth docs considering that.

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