• Whole Body Vibration

Whole Body Vibration at Physio & Fitness

The science behind Whole Body Vibration

The technology behind Galileo was originally developed in the Soviet Union to treat Cosmonauts who experience bone and muscle wasting as a result of living in zero gravity and has since been refined to enhance the performance of Olympic athletes. This innovative and ground breaking technology has been subjected to extensive research and studies in over 30 Universities world wide and the European Space Agency.

The effects of the vibrations can be targeted to specific areas-back, quads, calf, hamstrings, pelvic floor etc. An intense workout is performed in a brief time, without muscle soreness following exercise. 

Do you suffer from... ?

  • Back or neck pain
  • Arm or leg pain
  • Poor balance
  • Difficulties with walking
  • Muscular weakness
  • Osteoporosis
  • Diabetes-Poor Circulation of the legs & feet
  • Poor muscle control
  • Incontinence

You can use whole body vibration therapy to:

  • Reduce/Eliminate Pain
  • Improve muscle strength
  • Increase joint motion
  • Increase muscle tone & muscle mass
  • Increase bone density associated with osteoporosis
  • Increase flexibility & co-ordination
  • Improve circulation associated with Diabetes
  • Strengthen pelvic floor muscles and improve pelvic floor function
  • Improve balance & decrease risk of falling
  • Rehabilitate with CP, Parkinsons
  • Improve core stability
  • Decrease diastolic blood pressure

Conditions not suitable for use of whole body vibration or for which programs need to be modified:

  • Pregnancy
  • Pacemaker
  • Acute Thrombosis (blood clots)
  • Malignant tumours
  • Recent fractures
  • Gallbladder or kidney stones
  • Metal implants
  • Acute inflammation/Pain
  • Epilepsy
General VibroGym Questions

How long has Vibration training been around?

With the onset of space travel in the 20th century, it was found that the bone density of astronauts declined significantly while in space.

Vibration therapy was developed as a way to re-build bone density on their return. From this, the link was made to the elderly, who lose bone density as they age and scientific studies showed that vibration training actually increased bone density significantly.

Further scientific research discovered that vibrations caused a stretch-reflex in the muscles producing continuous muscle contractions. The former Soviet Union began using the principle to improve performance in sporting events and during the 1970's, Russian Scientists continued the research into vibration training, finding significant improvements in muscle strength and flexibility and decreases in recovery times after exercise. It was only after the Iron Curtain was pulled down that the western world caught onto the training method, when scientists from Italy and Israel began their own research into the field.

It is now widely acknowledged as an exercise tool, with further applications in rehabilitation and pain relief.

Could a VibroGym workout replace my entire fitness programme?

The VibroGym can increase isometric (static) and isotonic (dynamic) muscle strength, increase flexibility and mobility, improve co-ordination and improve core stability. It really depends on your personal aims but in most cases, the VibroGym is a great replacement for an entire fitness programme.

Why are there 2 modes - 'high' and 'low'?

The 'low' mode on the VibroGym is a more comfortable intensity, ideal for training children and the elderly and infirm. It is also the perfect intensity when using the VibroGym for the first few times, to allow your body to get used to the vibrations.

The 'high' mode would probably be uncomfortable and very intense for the first time user, so to ensure continued use on the machine, it is advised to start people on the 'low' setting. The 'low' setting can also be used when other parts of the body other than the feet are in contact with the vibrating surface (abdominal exercises for example). The 2 modes mean there are 8 different intensities all together, which means that progression on the VibroGym can be done gradually in small steps to allow the body to adapt sensibly. Also, the intensities on the VibroGym can be changed while the machine is in use which means interval training is possible.

Can I use the VibroGym to increase my flexibility?

The VibroGym uses the Janda Stretch method to increase joint mobility. In this process, the muscle contracts and relaxes and all muscles and joints that are utilised during the exercise are fully mobilised. Furthermore, adhesions are loosened by the vibrations, which also helps to increase flexibility. Additionally, the Golgi apparatus in the muscles are activated while training on the VibroGym, which causes high levels of relaxation. As the muscles are lengthened during active and functional positions while on the VibroGym, explosive muscle strength is not affected.

I don't feel anything either during or after training on the VibroGym, am I performing the incorrectly?

If you don't feel anything while training on the VibroGym, you will need to increase the intensity of your exercise in the ways described previously. There should always be a feeling of fatigue after each session, in order to produce a physical training effect.

I am a well-trained individual so can I start using the advanced VibroGym programme immediately?

Even the most trained of athletes will need to time to let their body get used to vibration training, so it is advised not to start immediately with an advanced programme. However, it will be possible for highly trained individuals to progress more quickly than the untrained person, by increasing the intensity as described previously. You must always ensure that VibroGym training is fatiguing though, to guarantee a training effect.

Can I train my entire body on the VibroGym in one session? Or should I split it up?

The VibroGym has an immense advantage over conventional training. As the sessions are shorter and less strain is caused, there is considerably less muscle damage caused. Therefore, there is no reason why the whole body cannot be trained on the VibroGym in one session.

Should I alternate the muscle groups I am exercising on the VibroGym?

It is completely up to the individual whether muscle group exercises are alternated in a session. However, it is sensible to alternate between upper body, lower body and abdominal exercises to allow each group a rest in between. After a while, this can be performed without breaks, which will keep your heart rate up throughout the whole session thus training your cardiovascular system too.

I occasionally get headaches immediately after training on the VibroGym, why is this?

Firstly, ensure you are using the VibroGym according to our instructions. If this is the case, then your headaches will be caused by lack of fluid intake before training. Almost 70% of the population is at times suffering from dehydration and as our bodies consist of over 50% water, fluid balance is vital. Training on the VibroGym causes activation of the lymphatic system, which results in a loss of body fluids so we advise to drink about 500ml of a glucose drink, half an hour before training.

Should I avoid using the VibroGym with bare feet?

To ensure correct transfer of vibrations to the body, there should be as little friction as possible between the body and the VibroGym. This is most easily achieved while wearing flexible-soled shoes (while these do not have to be training shoes, they are recommended). However, if you would like to train barefoot and when you are performing exercises where other parts of the body are in contact with the machine please ensure the rubber mat supplied is used.

Medical Questions

My doctor/specialist has never heard of the VibroGym, what should I do?

Vibration training is getting more widely known internationally at a very rapid pace and with this the knowledge of how to apply vibration training is also growing. This is not only in the health and beauty world but also in the medical sector. If your doctor, physiotherapist or specialist wants to know more about vibration training and the VibroGym, please refer them to our website (www.physioandfitness.com.au). 

Can vibrations be harmful?

The human body is perfectly built to absorb the vibrations that we may encounter in everyday life. However, in the increasingly mechanical world we live in, certain occupations (helicopter pilots, truck drivers, pneumatic drilling) cause workers to absorb high levels of vibrations on a daily basis. This has been shown to elicit many physical complaints, mainly in the spine and joints.

The VibroGym however has many fundamental differences to these cases. While exercising on the machine the muscles are actively absorbing the vibrations, not the joints and where as the population above are exposed to the vibrations for many hours every day, the training time on the VibroGym is far shorter. It is important to note that the VibroGym complies with the I.S.O standards for industrial use, so long as training does not exceed 2 hours a day (it is actually appears pointless to train any longer than 20 minutes a day anyway). If the VibroGym is used under qualified supervision and according to our instructions, vibration training is actually much safer than any other sporting activity.

If I have arthritis how should I train on the VibroGym?

Arthritis is an affection of the cartilage in the joints, which is very common among the elderly. Of people over 65 at least 25 % are suffering from some form of arthritis. It causes the quality and the amount of cartilage to slowly diminish, so that outside forces will ultimately have to be absorbed by the joint itself. In the early stages, arthritis can go unnoticed. But over time it will cause pain, swelling, stiffness and restricted movement of the joint. As a result, muscle strength will decrease as well as co-ordination and endurance. Especially if the ankle, knee or hip joints are affected, arthritis can be a severe impediment to everyday life.

So far, no effective drugs have been developed to treat arthritis. It is a progressive disease, meaning that the quality of the cartilage gradually decreases. Exercise is an important part of the treatment, as it slows down the deterioration. By using the VibroGym regularly it is possible to increase flexibility, muscle strength and co-ordination. Some doctors prescribe their patients anti-inflammatory drugs and sedatives. In conjunction with vibration training this may have some negative effects. The natural warning signals of over-taxation the body gives off might be overlooked when suppressed by medication. Establishing limits to the capacity for training should be done with extreme caution for the group of patients with serious arthritic complaints.

Training on the VibroGym can lead to the reduction of complaints, as well as to a decrease in the amount of painkillers that patients need. By exercising and training on the VibroGym, the cartilage is "woken up", as it were, to maintain its function. Cartilage is a like a sponge squeezed dry under pressure, and like a double action pump then fills itself with synovial fluid. In this way the cartilage is provided with necessary nutrients. Muscles, ligature and tendons have an important function in absorbing shocks and in providing stability in the joint, and they are trained by exercising on the VibroGym as well. The vitalising effect of the VibroGym will ensure more self-confidence in these patients. They will be more independent and less apt to end up in social isolation. This will lead to more exercise and more endurance in the long run.

Our advice to people suffering from arthritis:

Any form of exercise that avoids excessive strain on the afflicted joints is recommendable. However, you should pay attention to certain aspects, such as not overextending the joints, and preventing sudden, unexpected shocks and strain. Because of the nature of the exercises performed on the VibroGym, this has proved to be an extremely suitable form of training

Exercises that are too intense will aggravate the arthritic complaints. The pain will worsen, the joints swell and feel warm to the touch and gradually become less flexible, in effect causing a lowered capacity for movement. This can be prevented if the supervisor carefully monitors the intensity of the training, and assesses the capacity of the patient accurately during the intake. The schedule will have to be built up very gradually, and the proper frequency and position during training will have to be monitored constantly. If pain and stiffness increase during and after a training session, the schedule will have to be (temporarily) altered. Some very important tips for the coaching and training of patients with arthritis are: Avoid draft, dampness and cold; bear in mind that many people with arthritis cannot stand for extended periods of time; avoid putting strain on the joint in extreme positions and do not stimulate the joint in the full extent of its movement during the dynamic exercises. You should also allow the patient a longer rest period in between the exercises and try to convince patients to train more than once a week, obviously only if this does not cause any excessive complaints.

Can varicose veins be prevented or treated using the VibroGym?

Blood from the lower limbs is pumped back to the heart using valves in the blood vessels, which stop the blood returning to the lower extremities. Varicose veins are caused when these valves leak. As the VibroGym causes a huge increase in circulation it can improve the return of blood from the lower limbs if used on a regular basis, especially when performing exercises dynamically. It should be noted that we advise you to massage around varicose veins manually before using the VibroGym for massage exercises.

Physiological questions

Is the 'High' mode more effective?

In the 'High' mode, the impact on the body is heavier and the extent of the movement is twice as much as the 'Low' mode, so the 'High' mode is a more effective way to train.

How is circulation affected by the VibroGym?

During exercises where the muscle is contracted, circulation usually decreases (vasoconstriction), but when training on the VibroGym, circulation in both the muscles and skin tissue is increased significantly, which is very beneficial. Furthermore, during the massage exercises circulation will improve locally, with the benefit of reducing cellulite.

Why should I perform some exercises dynamically?

The advantage of the VibroGym over other fixed resistance training equipment is that you can train functional movement - the movements we use in everyday life. As we are constantly using our bodies and muscles, training dynamically on the machine more closely reflects our normal functions. However, we do suggest that when you first start using the VibroGym, you perform exercises statically to ensure you have the correct techniques, with perfect posture and positioning. Once this is learnt, you can begin dynamic movement.

How does the VibroGym cause involuntary muscle contraction?

If you are standing on the VibroGym while it is turned off, your body will be naturally balanced. As soon as you start the vibrations, the natural balance of the body is interrupted so to recover this balance, the muscles of the body will be stimulated immediately. When performing different exercises, the muscles supporting the joints in action will stretch, which is registered by the muscle spindles. This in turn sends a message to the cortex of the brain, which then sends signals through the spinal cord to cause a reflex contraction. Therefore changes in position are countered immediately.

Is it normal for my legs to itch during and after training?

Itching may occur while using the VibroGym, which is due to the large increase in circulation caused while training. This is completely normal. However, in rare cases erythemia may occur which is a severe reddening of the skin - usually on the legs. It is normally just a temporary phenomenon..

How long will the training effects of the VibroGym last after I stop using it?

Due to the principle of reversibility, the effects of training on the VibroGym would diminish with time, if you were to stop using it. This is the same with any type of training. If any muscle tissue in the body is not being used, the body will begin to break it down. The rate of this decline is dependent on many other factors though and is greatly individual.

Will I sweat during the VibroGym workout?

Any exercise or physical effort performed to cause a training effect will cause an increase in body temperature and metabolism. This in turn will cause you to perspire so you will sweat during your VibroGym workout.

How many days rest period do I need between training sessions?

Due to the nature of vibration training, recovery times after training are greatly reduced when compared to conventional training. Therefore, you can train on the VibroGym every day if you have gradually increased your training intensity are comfortable to do so.

Should I train larger muscle groups before smaller groups?

It is generally advised to train your larger muscle groups at the start of your VibroGym workout, integrating the smaller muscle groups towards the end of the training.

Why do the VibroGym programmes begin with so few exercises and only increase the intensity gradually?

The high intensity of stimulus provided by the VibroGym causes huge adaptations in the early stages of vibration training, and only a few exercises are needed to do this. However, as the body adapts to a stimulus it begins to cope with the training without difficulty, which means you will have to train longer and harder to produce similar results. This is why you add more exercises and increase the intensities after using the VibroGym for some time, so your body is constantly challenged to adapt.

Will I lose weight when train on the VibroGym?

YES!

The principle of energy balance is such that the calories consumed during a day would have to be less than those expended to start a reduction in fat stores. Training with the VibroGym has a large influence on many of the processes involved with losing weight though so you will most likely lose fat stores while training on the machine. This will depend on how fit you already are - the more fatty tissue you have in the body, the more you will lose. Training on the VibroGym has been shown to increase metabolism, which means you will burn more calories while exercising and the hormones produced with vibration training also have a significant influence on reducing fatty tissue.

Are there specific exercises for the stomach, thighs, buttocks and lower back?

YES!

What are the massage exercises used for?

The massage on the VibroGym enhances circulation considerably, which can be seen by the slight redness on the skin and felt by a tingly, warm sensation. This in turn increases lymphatic drainage and reinforces collagen, which together with the increases Human Growth Hormone production, contributes significantly to combating cellulite. You can use the massage exercises as part of your warm-up programme prior to a workout to warm up your muscles and you can use the VibroGym massage after your workout to help remove training's waste products.

How many times do I have to train on the VibroGym in a week?

For optimal results it is best to use the VibroGym at least 3 times a week, although even using the machine once a week would be beneficial.

We advise training 3 times a week, as frequent stimulation of your body will help you achieve your training goal much sooner. To achieve a training effect you have to keep overloading the body so it adapts to withstand extra stimuli. If you only train occasionally your body will not have the need to adapt so your training will not have any effect.

If you suffer from pain, arthritis or other injuries, we prefer you to have a supervised Vibrogym session. Alternatively if you are fit and looking for a challenge, a supervised Vibrogym session ensures that we keep your program interesting, challenging enabling us to incorporated a wide range of exercises ensuring your program is directed to your goals.

For more info click here: vibrogym.com.au