Whole Body Vibration

Whole Body Vibration

We are proud to introduce you to the newest form of resistance training, whole body vibration. Medical literature has shown that this form of training helps build muscle strength, bone density, and improve both flexibility and circulation.

Our program involves performing a specific 15 – 20 minute protocol of lower body, upper body and core strengthening exercises on a total body vibration platform. Your program which was designed by the physical therapy staff of KIMA will be chosen for you before you begin participation. KIMA offers instructions from a certified and qualified Physical Therapist and will design and teach you a vibration training program that best suits your needs and capabilities.

History of Whole Body Vibration:
Vibration has been used as a therapeutic tool since the late 1800s. The use for muscle, bone and performance began in the late 1960s / early 1970’s with the development of a vibrating pulley system by one of Russia’s key sports scientists, Dr. Vladimir Nazarov. He first introduced this training technique to Olympians, ballet dancers, and the Russian Space program. The Russian Space program, the European Space Agency, and NASA are actively using vibration in ongoing studies for the maintenance of muscle strength, muscle mass, and bone density in low gravity environments. There has been a proliferation in research in WBV and there are over 600 studies dealing with the effects and benefits of WBV. The first commercially available platform was a German Pivotal platform called the Galileo, founded in 1996. Galileo laid claim to exclusivity of the Pivotal vibration method via an earlier patent. Years later, numerous other Pivotal machines emerged. These platforms also produced Pivotal vibration. Because the Galileo patent was so strong, it gave rise to the next vibration method, Lineal vibration. Dr. Carmelo Bosco, an Italian scientist who initially let the way in WBV research with the Galileo platform, soon developed his own machine. This Lineal platform was called the NEMES. Many people believe that the existence of such a large number of Lineal platforms on the market is a reflection of its superiority, but it is a reflection of the lack of any existing patent and the ease at which this platform type can be reproduced. Despite the emergence of seemingly different technology since then (i.e. spiral, triplanar etc.), since the original Galileo and NEMES, there has not been any significant change to the way vibration is delivered to a user.

KIMA has both types of Whole Body Vibration (WBV) technology:

1. Pivotal – at KIMA this is the Vibraflex Platform. Pivotal is also referred to as:
a. Oscillating
b. Side Alternating
c. Rotational
d. Tilting
e. Teeter-Totter

The plate of a Pivotal platform moves like a seesaw and exerts its influence on the body in an alternating right and left vertical motion. As the platform moves up and down, it places a vertically directed force on each lower extremity (or upper extremity when training the upper body) in an alternating fashion. The design of the Pivotal platform was based upon observing the mechanics of human gait with specific attention to the superior and inferior motions of the lower extremities and pelvis.

pivotal diagram

2. Lineal – at KIMA this is the GLOBUS platform. Lineal is also referred to as:
a. Vertical
b. Synchronous
c. Uniform
d. Piston
e. Elliptical
f. Triplanar

A Lineal platform exerts its influence on the body by moving both lower extremities (upper extremities) at the same time. As the platform moves up and down, it places a vertical force on both legs at the same time. The Lineal platform design occurred after the Pivotal platform was patented and is thought to have a less functional benefit to the user, as it cannot train a reciprocal movement pattern.

lineal diagram

Clinically Supported Benefits of Whole Body Vibration:

1. Increased Muscle Power & Force – This is achieved through increasing the level of acceleration (gravity) that the body works against (force). Also, inherent to WBV training, is improving the speed of contraction or force generation (power)

2. Increased Muscle Flexibility – This is achieved by utilizing vibration to release fascial tightness while also increasing local circulation.

3. Improved Balance and Reduced Fall Risk – This is achieved on three primary levels. First is by increasing joint proprioception. Second by increasing flexibility so movement is capable when stability is challenged. Third, WBV increases muscle power and can therefore enable a more rapid response in the muscle when stability is challenged.

4. General Proprioception and Postural Stability – This is achieved through WBV’s unique ability to stimulate nerve receptors, while also directly activating the muscle spindles.

5. Increased Bone Density – This is achieved through both local circulatory changes in the bone as well as the “mechanostat theory” whereby bone and muscle communicate. When increases contractile force is generated, bone responds with corresponding changes in density.

6. Increased Circulation & Oxygenation – This is achieved through both local vibratory effects as well as increased muscle activity.

7. Pain Reduction & Improvements in Quality of Life – This is achieved through “gate control theory” principles as well as general changes in strength, stability, and movement.

8. Improvements in Functional Outcome Measures (i.e. TGUG, 6 Min. Walk Test etc.) – This is achieved through a wide variety of benefits provided by WBV.

9. Increased GH / Testosterone Production & Reduced Cortisol Levels – Multiple theories exist as to why this is the case. Majority focus on power training effects of WBV. * Many studies placing WBV Training against traditional methods have shown it to be equally effective, but requiring less time.