Jun 23, 2022
Do Vibration Plates Work for Weight Loss?
When you hear the term “whole-body vibration machine,” you may remember those fat jiggling machines of the 1950s. Those crazy belts shook a lot of belly fat, but they didn’t make a pound of difference in burning calories.
Fast-forward 70 years and you have TV ads promoting vibration plates, pulsating platforms that claim to help people lose weight effortlessly. Do these machines do anything, or are they just another fad that ends up gathering dust in the basement?
The shocking answer is that some recent studies say that vibration plates may work for weight loss! People using the vibration plates lost a significant amount of fat. That’s not bad for investing 15–20 minutes three times a week.
Should you go out and buy one right away? Not necessarily. There are a few “buts” that scientists aren’t convinced about yet.
For example, even though the studies showed a lot of fat loss, they didn’t show any differences in body fat percentage, which is a more important number. That means that even though the vibrations were encouraging fat loss, they weren’t actually helping people build lean muscle.
Exercise for Lazy People? Maybe Not
One common complaint by people who aren’t convinced that vibration plates work is that it’s just another excuse for lazy people to avoid exercising. That’s a fair point, but it may not paint the whole picture.
Supporters of whole-body vibration machines include some fitness enthusiasts. Instead of just standing on the machine for 15 minutes without doing anything, these exercise lovers try to max calorie burning by performing exercises on the vibration plates.
As long as you have good balance, you can do a pretty impressive workout on one of these things:
- Knee bends
- Heel raises
The goal is to enhance the results you would get from your regular lower body exercises. These machines can speed up your workout.
The Skinny on Vibration Machines
How do vibration plates work? They’re designed to force your muscles to contract in response to firm but gentle vibrations. This process happens automatically. The shockwaves from this machine can make your muscles tighten and relax 20 times a minute or more.
Every time muscles contract, they use up energy. It’s like walking on the beach, forcing your muscles to constantly shift and increasing the burn. After 15 minutes on a whole-body vibrator, many of your muscles end up with that good “tired” feeling.
Depending on the type of exercises you do, vibration machines affect all the major muscle groups in your body. You can give your calves, legs, glutes, lower back, upper back, shoulders and chest a workout.
Other Potential Benefits of Vibrating Exercises
It’s not hard to find testimonials from people who swear they’ve seen amazing results with these vibrating platforms, though you should take them with a grain of salt:
- Improving muscle tone and strength
- Reducing blood pressure
- Alleviating stress levels
- Helping with back pain
- Increasing blood flow
- Improving balance and flexibility
The Verdict: 50/50
More research is needed to prove that vibration plates work for weight loss. If you want to experience the best results with one, don’t just stand on it. Use it to enhance a moderate-intensity workout several times a week. Don’t forget to give your body the healthy fuel it needs for fat burning.