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Vibration Exercise

Everything you ever wanted to know about vibration exercise

Vibration exercise is the newest wave of workout to hit the exercise world.  After all, who wouldn’t want to lose weight by simply letting a machine vibrate various parts of your body?  It sure sounds like the old adage, “No pain, no gain” just isn’t true anymore. 

The theory about vibration exercise actually comes from the space program in Russia.  Russian astronauts developed vibration exercise as a way to work their muscles while in the zero gravity effect of space.  Vibration exercise machines basically shake any part of the body, or even the entire body.  This causes the affected muscles to contract, theoretically becoming stronger and leaner.  Manufacturers of vibration exercise machines are making all kinds of claims about their products, including that they help with range of motion, posture, bone density, and even stress.

The Russian space program gave enough indication that vibration exercise actually works, and many research organizations have been conducting studies on its effectiveness here on Planet Earth.  These studies have found both good and bad effects caused by this type of exercise.

One of the dangers associated with vibration exercise is spinal trauma.  This is especially a danger for those who have frequent and prolonged periods of this type of exercise.  Studies have shown that people who overuse this type of exercise may especially have problems with their lower backs. 

On the flipside, researchers have also found that shorter periods of this type of exercise can be very beneficial for those who have musculoskeletal problems.  They say that short-term exposure to whole body vibration or using vibrating dumbbells can be especially effective.  The only problem with these studies so far is that they have left out one very large group that could benefit from this type of exercise: the elderly.  More studies need to be done on the effects this type of exercise has on the elderly body.

Some medical facilities are also using this type of exercise to rehabilitate accident victims or coma patients.  However, it’s very important to notice the examples in which this type of exercise is effective and remember that it probably won’t help you to lose weight.  Astronauts are already in great shape, so they don’t need to lose any weight.  All they need to do is keep the muscle mass they already have.  You’ll also notice that the use of this type of exercise for rehabilitation purposes is simply to get the muscles moving again.  It’s being used to simply increase mobility, not to help anyone lose weight or become stronger.

It certainly seems that there are plenty of benefits from this type of exercise, although it’s very important that anyone who uses it be supervised by a doctor.  Many of the machines that are being sold for home use probably can’t do a lot of the things the manufacturers say they can, although they may be a good idea for those recovering from diseases or problems that resulted in the loss of ability to move.


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