With the click of a button, can whole body vibration therapy passively:
- Activate muscle
- Burn body fat
- Naturally detox
- Boost circulation
- Accelerate athletic recovery
- Facilitate injury repair
- Build flexibility & coordination
- Optimize anabolic growth & repair hormones
While this one therapy won’t passively turn you superhuman, it’s a powerful low-impact health optimization tool. For general wellbeing, but as a performance enhancer too.
Vibe therapy is becoming popular globally among professional sports teams, Olympians, health clubs, medical facilities, and biohacking centers. Although it appears new, cosmonauts first used whole-body vibration to preserve muscle and bone while living in zero gravity.
Since then, a large body of science and anecdotal case studies have shown wide-ranging benefits. But here’s the thing.
Most whole-body vibration plates are junk. Fooling you into thinking you’re getting all the benefits when in reality, they’re little more than placebo. This includes the ones I’ve seen recommended in tons of other comparison & review articles.
I’m regularly asked about particular products and the highest-quality, best vibration machines on the market. So I decided to compile the research and top systems.
In this post, we’ll cover the latest whole body vibration therapy science, the health & performance benefits, and the ONLY best vibe machines you should consider buying.
Best Whole Body Vibration Machines
I’ve read all kinds of blogs “reviewing” the best vibe plates on the market.
But here’s the thing…
Most of their “recommendations” are trash.
I wonder if they’ve even tried (and compared) them to the real machines.
Very few whole-body vibration systems actually provide the studied benefits. Most lack the power, configurability, and material quality to make a significant health & performance difference.
I’ve used many different brands and models. When my living space permits, these are the ONLY popular vibe plates I will consider buying.
Power Plate MOVE
Frequency Range: 30 – 40Hz
Vibration Type: Triplanar PrecisionWave™
Modes/Programs: 6 programs
Motor Power Rating: 250 – 285 watts
User Weight Capacity: 300 lbs
Dimensions: 20″ x 24.7″ x 9″
Machine Weight: 87 lbs
Features: Remote control, strap set
Certifications: MDD-certified medical device, class 1c US FDA-registered device
Warranty: 3 years
Price: $$ (code URBAN saves 20%)
Power Plate pioneered the whole body vibration therapy field, releasing their first product over 20 years ago. To this day, they’re still widely considered the global leader. In fact, it’s become a top tool used by advanced fitness facilities, doctors in nearly 100 countries, and high-achievers. Olympians, pro sports teams, coaches, and well-known celebrities. Names like Morgan Freeman, Serena Williams, Clint Eastwood, Mark Wahlberg, Hilary Swank, Elle MacPherson, Dr. Hilary Jones, Sting, Craig Fitzgerald, and many others.
Power Plate makes several different models. My favorite all-around vibe plate is the Power Plate MOVE model. This is the best blend of desirable features: affordability, quality, customizability, and power.
I used to frequent a boutique gym popular with professional athletes. This was their preferred whole-body vibe system and the first that I used regularly. I like it because it’s well-built, has multiple modes, uses clinically-proven vibration, and is quiet. Every component on the machine feels durable and professional.
The technology alone sets it apart. Their multi-planar patented PrecisionWave tech has made it the choice of researchers used in dozens of medical and scientific studies. It’s also one of the only systems third-party certified. Power Plate MOVE is MDD Certified Medical device and is Class 1c US FDA-registered device. To have more discount not just with vibe product, visit this link and unlock a lot of different products with massive discounts.
Power Plate MOVE is one of few vibe plates validated by third-party certifications and real-world use in clinical studies, and if you have the budget, it’s an excellent buy.
Use the exclusive Power Plate coupon code URBAN for 20% off
Power Plate Personal
Frequency Range: 35Hz
Vibration Type: Triplanar PrecisionWave™
Modes/Programs: 6 programs
Motor Power Rating: 185 watts
User Weight Capacity: 264 lbs
Dimensions: 27.5″ x 18.7″ x 6.2″
Machine Weight: 40.4 lbs
Features: Remote control, strap set
Certifications: MDD-certified medical device, class 1c US FDA-registered device
Warranty: 3 years
Price: $ (code URBAN saves 20%)
Power Plate MOVE isn’t cheap, and comes with a few downsides. If you’re looking for an affordable, portable, lightweight system with fewer configurations, Power Plate Personal is a solid contender.
Power Plate Personal is still an MDD Certified Medical device and is Class 1c US FDA-registered device.
You get the same multi-planar patented PrecisionWave vibration technology and quality, but just slightly reduced technical specs. The main differences are the lighter weight and the static 35 Hz frequency. If ease of use is your goal, Power Plate Personal delivers. No need to tweak the frequency to guess what will work best for you.
The main drawback is the timer. Annoyingly, you can only choose 30-second or 60-second sessions. Of course, you can continue and start another session, but it would be nice to have the same 9-minute option that the MOVE has.
I personally would rather save up for the MOVE model and grab it when it goes on sale. Planning to give this as a gift? Click this link for more discount and other discounted products to choose from.
If you’re looking for portability, ease of use, or affordability, and want the same tech used in research, Power Plate Personal is excellent value.
Use the exclusive Power Plate coupon code URBAN for 20% off
Genesis Kinetic X8
Frequency Range: Unspecified
Vibration Type: Oscillation
Modes/Programs: 3 modes
Motor Power Rating: 900 watts + 400 watts
User Weight Capacity: 400 lbs
Dimensions: 54″ x 7″ x 29.5″
Machine Weight: 128 lbs
Features: Vibration dampening system, 2 sets of workout straps, air-cooled electronics, roller wheels
Warranty: 30 days
VibraPro is another popular high-quality vibe plate manufacturer. Over 10 years ago, they introduced their first model, and have been meticulously refining and improving since then. Like Power Plate, it’s often used by injury rehab clinics, fitness centers, professional sports teams, hospitals, and medical facilities.
When I joined a friend’s wellness resort, I used this every day for a week. It felt like quality craftsmanship, so I looked into the system. It stacks up nicely against other top vibe machines.
What sets VibraPro apart is their patented Vibration Dampening Technology (anti-shock mat and dampeners). Making the machine feel smoother at much higher speeds, and usable for a wider demographic.
I also like that all of their Genesis models include a control panel, giving you granular control over time, speed, and motion settings.
Although they offer several different product lines, the Genesis systems feature soft multiplanar (oscillation, spiral rotation, and triplanar) and cross-lateral motion.
Their customer service is also in a league of its own. If anything goes wrong, they work hard to accommodate customers. Plenty of folks have commented that they tried to buy an out-of-stock model, and their team upgraded them to a superior model — free of charge!
My primary complaint is that the included warranty is a scanty 30-days, and they charge extra for an upgraded warranty.
VibraPro runs some great sales, so I suggest keeping your eyes peeled (and they sell out fast!).
If you want high-quality craftsmanship, an LED control panel screen, at great prices, check out the Genesis line from VibraPro.
Frequency Range: 10 – 60Hz
Vibration Type: Vertical
Motor Power Rating: Unspecified
User Weight Capacity: 2400 lbs
Dimensions: 24″ x 24.” x 4″
Machine Weight: 45 lbs
Features: aluminum and steel options, customizable
VibePlate is the last of the major whole-body vibration brands. Generally, it’s hard to go wrong with products heavily endorsed by public figures. This is no exception. They claim to be the trusted provider of the US military, American Posture Institute, Under Armor, UFC, NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, and SNA Biotech.
Don’t let the average name fool you, these vibration machines are high-quality and built to last. Each model contains the same specs, with the only real difference being size. The frequency range is awesome, giving you a full 10-60 Hz range, and the 2400 lb weight capacity is unparalleled.
They chose to use vertical vibration because it’s mimicking the natural force of gravity. This type of vibration also minimizes impact and stress, making dampening technologies less necessary. Their marketing materials suggest that it was built primarily as a platform to augment exercise.
This is also the only company I’ve come across that publicly advertises custom vibe machine builds. Answer a few questions and they will create exactly what you’re looking for.
With most models model, you can choose between steel or aluminum. Steel is slightly cheaper, but more than twice as heavy! If you need something smaller, the VibePlate Mini is very portable, has lightweight aluminum construction, and is the most affordable model.
VibePlate also offers financing and random mystery deals, so you’ll want to check out their current special.
You can’t go wrong with their full lifetime warranty, another VibePlate perk.
The systems made by VibePlate are powerful, durable (lifetime warranty), great value, and among my favorites.
Vibration Therapeutic VT007
Frequency Range: 15 – 40Hz
Vibration Type: Linear
Modes/Programs: 3 programs
Motor Power Rating: 80 watts
User Weight Capacity: 308 lbs
Dimensions: 22″ x 16″ x 5.7″
Machine Weight: 23 lbs
Features: Less mechanical noise, adjustable wide frequency range, two amplitude settings
Warranty: 10 year
The market for home vibration plates has exploded in the last decade. Dozens of brands “make” their own systems. Most are just generics shipped overseas from China and white-labeled with some random company name. That’s also why they lack vital technical specs.
One Minnesota-based brand is developing, manufacturing, and distributing quality (yet affordable) vibration plates designed for home use. Since 2017, they’ve been producing plates with their own patented technology.
Yet unlike most truly affordable products, they’re fully transparent about their supply chain and process. They source materials from the Chinese JT Mechanical & Electrical Manufacturing Ltd, which provides the world with 300,000+ vibe plates every year.
This model uses linear vibration, with frequency adjustable from 15Hz to 40Hz. You also have amplitude settings options.
VT007 is just one of their three models, and they’ve already sold 12,000 vibe plates in the USA alone. It’s an upgraded version of their popular VT003F model.
My favorite part of this system has to be the industry-leading 10-year warranty, 15-year replacement parts supply guarantee, and lifetime customer support. Showing you that they really stand behind their products. Their CEO is an engineer and it really shows. Although this is technically only an 80-watt motor and I generally dislike low-power systems, the tech and overall value make it a good buy.
The primary downsides are the single (linear) plane of movement, lower power output, and the limited frequency range.
Without a doubt, the VT007 is the only truly budget (<$500) vibe machine on the market comparable to industry-leading products that’s worth considering.
Bulletproof Vibe Vibration Platform
Frequency Range: 30Hz
Vibration Type: Linear
Motor Power Rating: 186 watts
User Weight Capacity: 300 lbs
Dimensions: 24″ x 27″ x 9″
Machine Weight: 61 lbs
Warranty: 1 year
Father of biohacking, Dave Asprey, founded Bulletproof in 2011 to bring consumers powerful mind and body optimization tools. They’ve significantly helped popularize whole body vibration. Bulletproof markets their vibe plate more as a 30-second to 15-minute workout replacement, but also for enhanced stretching, faster recovery, better microcirculation, and cognition.
Like many of the other models in this price range, the Bulletproof Vibe platform operates at a fixed 30 Hz frequency. Bulletproof claims that using unifrequency ensures a longer life of the product.
It’s super simple. You just plug it in, and flip the switch on.
Most things about it are middle-of-the-pack. It makes this list because it’s backed by a large company (Bulletproof) and is subject to more rigorous quality assurance testing than most.
The Bulletproof Vibe Plate is a simple and reliable machine, backed by the QA of Bulletproof, and a decent pick when on sale.
GForce Portable 1500W Dual Motor Whole Body Vibration Machine
Frequency Range: Unspecified
Vibration Type: Unspecified
Modes/Programs: 9 programs
Motor Power Rating: 1500 watts
User Weight Capacity: 330 lbs
Dimensions: 16.5″ x 22.25″
Machine Weight: 28.6 lbs
Features: Arm strap, easy-to-read LCD screen display
Warranty: 1 year
HEALTHandMED created the GForce brand back in 2012 to bring affordable multi-planar vibe machines to the public. With their 2020 launch of the new GForceVibration website, they now offer different systems for both home use or professional clinics. Units range from $200 for a barebones home device up to $2,400 for their most powerful vibe machine.
This comparison is for their GForce Portable 1500W Dual Motor model, which sits at around $610. Of all the plates on the list, this has the best power-to-price ratio. Most other systems in this price range only offer linear vibration. This one provides oscillation and triplanar vibration.
It also has a mini LCD control panel embedded on the floor of the unit. This model is lightweight, weighing in at just 28.6 lbs. My primary criticisms of this system are the tiny size (limiting what you can do on top of it), the lack of vibration-dampening technology, and most importantly, zero details about the frequencies used.
If you don’t mind a few missing details (mainly, frequency), enjoy having a control panel screen, and want a powerful option under $700, the GForce Portable 1500W Dual Motor model belongs on your list.
Popular Vibe Plates I Don’t Recommend
I’ve compiled a long list of the brands and products that I personally wouldn’t even consider.
Many for the same reasons, and some due to unique flaws. I will order them from the closest contenders (best of the non-recommended), to the ones I wouldn’t touch.
Hurtle Fitness Vibration Platform Workout Machine HURVBTR30
I wanted to like the Hurtle HURVBTR30 Vibration Platform. They actually mention the important tech specs such as the 35 Hz frequency and the oscillatory vibration tech. The 265 lb user weight capacity is a little low but adequate for many. The unit has 20 different potential modes. And it’s only $119! What gets me, however, is the 200-watt power. It’s just not as strong as most quality systems. However, this is certainly one of the best systems you can buy for <$120.
ZELUS Vibration Plate
The ZELUS Vibration Plate is decent for the cost. It uses “3D Oscillatory” vibration, and comes with 5 different modes. The power rating, however, is just 200 watts. That’s why it’s cheap. This one can handle heavier users — up to 330 lbs. I like that it has a two-year warranty. ZELUS doesn’t specify the frequency, which is a big red flag.
Bluefin 4D Vibration Platform
Bluefin makes what they call their “4D Vibration Platform”. Apparently, it delivers deliver Vibration, Oscillation and Micro Vibration. Customized however you please. Slick marketing aside, there are the typical unknowns with this product. What frequency does it use? How much power? The LEDs and bluetooth speakers are heavily advertised, however. It might make for a fun gadget, but not an effective vibe plate.
Eilison Fitmax Vibration Plate
This is one that I don’t trust. The product page title alone is “Eilison Fitmax Vibration plate”. Aside from the strange capitalization, I’ve noticed several other misspellings throughout the page. If a company cannot get the basic description right, what about the quality of their product? No idea what they mean by “Maximum speed is 1 – 120 Strong vibration which we get from our premium super strong NOISELESS MOTOR.” The lifetime warranty also appears to be an afterthought and likely won’t hold up if you have actual problems. Although they specify Oscillatory vibration, the frequency and power are unknowns. Plus, it’s constantly sold out!
Confidence Fitness Whole Body Vibration Platform Trainer
Although I saw this system recommended often, it is very difficult to find online. At first glance, it appears like some of the high-end professional machine — complete with a control panel and arm bars. Yet at <$300, I knew something was off. Well, there are very few technical details on the NHCFV-2000 model. The power rating is 1.5 horsepower, and it has 50 different speed settings. We don’t know the vibration type, and given how difficult it is to buy, I wouldn’t imagine their customer service is easily reachable should you run into problems or need warranty service.
LifePro Rumblex 4D
Another LifePro model, the Rumblex 4D also has very little information available. Again this one espouses all the benefits of professional vibe therapy, but not much about this particular model and how powerful it is. At just under $450, there are far better (and more transparent) models on the market.
LifePro Waver Vibration Plate
Another LifePro product, the Waver Vibration Plate details very little about what you’re buying. Mostly just marketing materials and graphics. Not much about their technology. I don’t trust this company, because their website lists a whopping 1,798 reviews today. Yet when I look at the criticism (1-star and 2-star reviews), “no reviews match my criteria”. Meaning that they haven’t received even a single 1-star or 2-star review. Ludicrous.
NexHT Fitness Vibration Platform
Since 2016, NexHT has sold vibe platforms on Amazon. They do specify their 30 Hz frequency, and this one has a unique triangular vibration pattern. A very long time ago, they went out of stock. Given it has been nearly 9 years since they began selling, and their paltry 69 ratings, it’s safe to assume that NexHT systems will not be supported.
LifePro Fitness Waver Mini Vibration Plate, Regular
As with most products in this section of the roundup, comparison, and review, the LifePro Fitness Waver Mini Vibration Plate lacks critical technical information. The major red flag is the page mostly talks about the benefits of clinical vibration therapy, and little about their product. The “lifetime warranty” is quite ambiguous, the frequency is unknown, the vibration type isn’t specified, and again, no power rating.
Costway Vibration Plate Exercise Machine Whole Body Workout Platform
I often see the Costway Vibration Plate recommended in reviews because it is quite cheap. However, it’s your prototypical Amazon vibe machine. At 200 watts, it’s weak. Costway doesn’t specify the frequency, and it can only hold a max weight of 220 lbs. Not worth the money.
What to Look For In Quality WBV Therapy Systems
When I first started researching vibration therapy plates, they pretty much all looked the same.
But why are some devices ~$100, while others are ~$10,000?
I looked into the recommendations made by other reviewers, and quite frankly, many of those systems are total crap.
It’s the technology within (not the BlueTooth, built-in speakers, or flashy LEDs) that makes all the difference. Sometimes, the difference between a powerful and therapeutic system, or a dangerous device destined for the trash.
You can get the best of both worlds (efficacy and price) without breaking the bank. I’ll show you what to look for.
The first and most important is the power output of the machine. The highest tech, fanciest, most feature-rich system will do no good if it’s so weak that it can run on a AA battery. If a company doesn’t proudly disclose its power rating (either in watts or horsepower), you can bet they’re embarrassed. Sadly, this is 99% of the market. Certain systems are still beneficial despite their lower power output, but they’re the exception to the rule.
Virtually all of the scientific research details specific frequencies and powers that resulted in the observed health benefits. Cheap devices certainly won’t elicit the same benefits and may even harm. 30-45 Hz seems to be the universal preference. Although other frequencies are better suited for particular use cases. High-end professional machines let you choose your desired frequency.
There are multiple different types of vibration. Up and down (vertical/linear), side to side (oscillation/pivotal), and also a combination of both technologies. Vertical vibration is considered the most natural (gravity), safest, and well-researched. But in the real world, surfaces often aren’t perfectly stable. I prefer vibe plates that combine both oscillation and linear vibration. Or at least have that option.
You can tell a lot about any product based on the warranty. If a brand really stands behind its craftsmanship, it will offer a warranty. Especially on large purchases. Due to their mechanics, vibe plates sometimes have issues. I trust and prefer brands that have at least a 1-year warranty. Of course, a full lifetime guarantee speaks volumes about the quality. Or the company would quickly go out of business.
Some products are actually used in clinical studies. Researchers use the highest quality products to ensure the best and most consistent results (or they’ll face embarrassment during the peer-review process). Other devices have impressive certifications, registrations, and designations as medical devices. Either way, highly credentialed third parties thoroughly vet these products before stamping their approval.
Many factors determine a product’s total cost. Raw materials, patented technologies, endorsements, and brand name can all contribute. Price does not always indicate quality (or lack thereof). Even the most prestigious brands run sales too. I’ve tried to get you discount codes on all these models, and even still, I recommend waiting until your ideal model goes on sale.
What Are Whole Body Vibe Plates
Whole body vibration machines are a form of passive workout gear that vigorously shakes. Depending on the machine, either up and down, and/or side to side. These rapid but micro-movements travel throughout the entire body and cause a cascade of beneficial biological changes.
To oversimplify how it works, during a vibe session, the brain receives signals that it needs to stabilize the body. Just like working out, your muscles contract to provide stability. Then they relax. Milliseconds later, the process repeats.
Stimulating cellular changes similar to full-body training.
The contractions resulting from standing on the vibe machine fatigue the muscle, burn energy (calories), and cause an anabolic (growth) hormonal cascade. Resulting in more body fat burning, faster recovery, and overall health improvements.
These vibrations can also activate muscle fibers that traditional training does not. It recruits up to 97% of muscle fibers.
Health & Performance Benefits of WBV
Vibration platforms are multipurpose. As a standalone fitness tool, they help with weight loss, detox, and building strength. Vibe systems also amplify the effects of traditional training. Their low-impact nature makes them suitable for virtually everyone and safe enough to use daily.
Whole body vibration is decently studied, with my last search of the scientific literature turning up 2,721 results. It hit an inflection point around 2007, and the research is now quickly amassing.
WBV therapy potentially benefits:
- Hormonal and endocrine health
- Athletic recovery
- Bone health
- Muscle strength
- Injury rehabilitation
Some of the evidence is currently anecdotal and verified by many thousands of users worldwide. While other data has the backing of proper clinical research. There’s a major issue with the lack of proper controls and consensus around the ideal protocol, so research is all over the map.
One group of researchers summed it up,
“Whole body vibration (WBV) has been recognized as an effective alternative exercise modality to resistance exercise for its ability in enhancing force and power, generating capacity in skeletal muscle, increasing bone mass and improving cardiovascular function.”
Now, we’ll investigate some of the emerging benefits of vibe therapy.
Better blood & circulation
Therapies that improve circulation, blood flow, and nutrient delivery are highly sought-after. Especially when they’re quite safe.
Scores of research have investigated how whole-body machines stimulate blood flow and improve a host of related health metrics.
Vibe plates work especially well to improve blood quality and biomarkers when combined with any form of resistance training.
This is one of those benefits most users feel after a session.
Immunity & detoxification
Whole body vibration therapy helps the detoxification systems work more effectively.
First, it stimulates lymphatic drainage, helping the body clear toxicants and “cellular debris”. Along with infrared sauna usage, this is one of the more popular detox tools. Plus, it’s passive and doesn’t require any major long-term lifestyle/diet changes.
WBV seems to cause beneficial changes to the gut microbiome, increasing levels of a key metabolite called butyrate, reducing inflammation, and increasing levels of immune cells called macrophages. At least, in mice.
Bone strength & density
Vibe plates have been an effective tool to improve bone for many years.
Not just bone, but the density of minerals within.
Vibration and pressure are core signals to the body to fortify bone. Although for the elderly and those rehabbing injuries, the other gold standard of building bone through applying tremendous force (via resistance training) are out of the picture.
Entire body vibration benefits those suffering from osteoporosis. Several rat studies have shown benefit. Groups treated at 45 Hz appear to fare best. Though this study suggested the frequency matters. Another study found 15 and 30 Hz also improved several parameters of bone health.
If I was worried about bone loss or osteoporosis, I’d certainly consider vibe therapy.
Muscle strength & power
I approached researching the correlation between vibe plates and building muscle with definite skepticism.
I’ve heard lots about how vibration therapy makes your muscles “toned” or “defined”. But does it?
One study found that working out on a vibe plate can activate 138% more muscle fibers than a standard workout.
Indeed, some research has definitely shown a positive correlation between the two. In fact, a meta-analysis of existing research concluded (emphasis mine),
“Whole-body vibration can bring about improvement in muscles strength, power, and flexibility. The main factors associated with the improvement in muscles performance are range of amplitude and frequency, type of vibration and its method of application, training intensity, exercise protocol, and the characteristics of the participants.” Effect of whole-body vibration on neuromuscular performance: A literature review
Increased muscle strength, power, and flexibility? Sounds good to me!
This mid-2022 study found beneficial changes to muscle following eight weeks of WBV in young basketball players. However, it suggests that the benefits of WBV are not superior to conventional training alone.
An early 2004 study disagrees, with the researchers concluding,
“The gain in strength is comparable to the strength increase following a standard fitness training program consisting of cardiovascular and resistance training”
Unsurprisingly, for muscle, WBV doesn’t replace traditional training. But it can help you activate additional muscle fibers and get better results faster. Assuming you’re doing some form of strength or blood flow restriction training.
Human Growth Hormone (HGH) & other hormones
When I mention vibration therapy, fitness enthusiasts inevitably bring up its beneficial effect on anabolic growth hormones.
An abundance of research has shown that unstable training (barbells, dumbbells, kettlebells, free weights, etc) spikes levels of growth hormone far better than machines. HGH is profoundly regenerative and often called the hormonal fountain of youth.
Can vibe systems replicate the same growth hormone boost?
In a meta-analysis of 12 vibe therapy studies, the authors found that nine of them showed that regular use increased growth hormone concentrations.
When we dig into one of them, they found something interesting,
“WBV alone stimulates GH release and lactate production in severely obese female subjects, with no additive effect when combined with squatting plus external load.”
Stating that vibration, even without training, boosts growth hormone. In the obese females tested, at least.
This indicates that using a quality entire body vibration system would help protect against muscle breakdown and muscle loss as well as indirectly improving fat burning.
Balance & coordination
Intuitively, standing on an unstable surface would improve our stability, balance, and coordination
Our proprioceptive system needs to fire cohesively to prevent us from falling. The more we activate this system, the stronger it wires, and the easier the skill becomes.
Vibrations do this on a micro-scale. They signal instability to our brain, which then responds by contracting muscles and building balance.
Multiple studies have shown this. First, this one found proprioceptive benefits from training,
“WBV could significantly improve spinal proprioception including body posture, lumbar repositioning ability, maximum reaching distance and lumbopelvic coordination in healthy individuals.”
Other research on recreational athletes with chronic ankle instability showed it improved the results as measured by two separate balance assessments.
There are tons of ways to train balance, coordination, posture, and proprioception, but whole-body vibration is among the easiest and safest.
An often-overlooked use of vibration is its impact on improving regularity.
Much of the world suffers from constipation. One of the core functions of excretion is to rid the body of waste, and toxicants in particular.
Yet if we’re unable to go regularly, our body reabsorbs those toxicants. Literally, auto-intoxication (and not in a fun way). This can lead to inflammation and other issues. And it’s just extremely uncomfortable.
Vibe machine therapy can help.
Like with walking, vigorous shaking and movement stimulate peristalsis. Easing constipation without any drugs or supplements.
Flexibility & mobility
Another athletic biomotor ability required for success and sustained performance, is the ability to exert power through a wide range of motion (mobility).
Training this has traditionally relied heavily on stretching. Both static and dynamic, used appropriately.
Using a vibe plate can help.
A 2022 study titled, Whole-Body Vibration Effects on Flexibility in Artistic Gymnastics-A Systematic Review, concluded,
After analysing the obtained results, it can be concluded that the usage of whole-body vibration platform shows flexibility improvements in artistic gymnasts, both male and female. In addition, a combination of whole-body vibration and traditional static stretching may enhance the flexibility in artistic gymnasts.
It seems that combining vibration with stretching yields the best results.
Yet the researchers recommend experimenting to find your optimal vibrational protocol.
Body fat & weight loss
Vibration therapy and burning body fat is another frequently researched benefit. Can a vibrating machine really improve weight loss?
The hype seems to originated from a 2008 paper titled, Whole-body vibration slows the acquisition of fat in mature female rats, which found that whole-body vibration reduced hunger and body fat accumulation.
But that’s a rat study. What about in humans?
A mid-2022 study of college students showed a significant difference in weight and BMI among those that completed at least 80% of prescribed WBV sessions.
A meta analysis of 13 other controlled trials, found beneficial effects on burning body fat,
“This systematic review and meta-analyses indicate a positive effect of Whole Body Vibration therapy on reducing fat mass (%/kg), especially when combined with conventional weight loss interventions specifically, diet and exercise”
Another meta analysis discovered that WBV reduces total fat mass (but not necessarily body fat percentage).
Standing on a vibe device won’t melt away body fat, but it can directly and indirectly help reduce unhealthy visceral fat and contribute to weight loss. It appears especially useful (and well studied) in overweight and obese folks.
One of the common uses for full-body vibration is to accelerate workout/sports recovery. This is how celebrity actors, professional athletes, and Olympians increase their training volume.
Your ability to grow and improve depend on your ability to recover. Vibe platforms help in all kinds of ways.
First, they can help clear a metabolite of soreness called lactate (in 93.8% of subjects). It also accelerates heart rate recovery (in 88.39% of subjects). It appears to be an excellent cool-down option post-workout.
Another study of diabetics found that targeted vibration improves skin blood flow.
One other promising study concluded,
“Whole-body vibration before and after exercise shows promise for attenuating muscle soreness and may be considered as an adjunct to traditional therapies (i.e., massage, cryotherapy) to accelerate muscle recovery.”
For those with a dialed recovery protocol and regularly require optimal performance, a whole-body vibration machine is a worthy add-on.
Injury recovery & rehab
WBV is one of the safest and lowest-impact therapies that still improve many of the same markers, processes, and pathways as exercise. Allowing for rapid and setback-free injury rehab.
This paper nicely sums up my thoughts on its use for injury rehab,
“Nevertheless, literature data also indicate that, despite of its ultimate effects, WBV is a safe, less tiring, and less time-consuming modality of rehabilitation exercises than a standard muscle strengthening protocol.”
Indeed, it’s gaining the interest of the military and for use by populations that cannot use traditional exercise programs,
“WBVT may have positive vascular and anti-inflammatory effects. WBVT could augment or serve as an exercise surrogate in warfighters and others who cannot fully participate in exercise programs, having important implications in military health.”
Of course, it doesn’t need to be a standalone injury recovery protocol. It stacks nicely with other modalities, as a 2022 study showed,
“There is moderate- to high-quality evidence to support that adding WBV to conventional rehabilitation programs can result in better improvement in knee muscle strength after ACL reconstruction”
Newer research is also finding that the anti-inflammatory properties may be useful to combat brain injury and help restore optimal neurometabolism.
While certainly not one of the primary benefits of vibe machines, I kept coming across reports of decreased pain during my research.
This makes sense, since inflammation and pain are intricately linked, and multiple studies have shown a significant anti-inflammatory effect for repeat use.
For some reason, the majority of the pain research has been on low back pain, osteoporosis, and fibromyalgia. Most clinical research investigating the link between vibration and pain has been conducted poorly and shows inconclusive results.
Still, real users often report less pain from frequent use.
Blood biomarkers, HRV, & sleep
Vibe therapy systems benefit a whole host of health biomarkers.
First, they positively influence the endocrine and anabolic hormones like human growth hormone.
Another interesting observation is that vibration reduces blood glucose. This is hypothesized to be due to muscle contractions. Contracting muscles deplete glycogen, and the body pulls it out of the bloodstream to replenish what’s missing.
An interesting late-2022 study showed that vibration therapy,
“…improves HRV and body composition in obese female college students, and the reduction in body fat percentage and trunk fat mass are associated with a shift in cardiac autonomic regulation towards vagal dominance and improve sympathetic-vagus balance after WBVT intervention.”
This indicates that vibration builds resilience against stress and stimulates bodily regeneration and repair.
While not specifically a biomarker or unique to using a vibe plate, vibrations of specific frequencies may help with sleep,
“Under optimal conditions, whole-body vibration can induce significant drowsiness within 30 min. Low frequency whole-body vibrations, particularly vibrations of 4-10 Hz, are most effective at inducing drowsiness”
Whole Body Vibration Therapy Questions & Answers
Are vibe machines good for all fitness levels?
Vibe machines off a wide variety of benefits for exercises of all fitness levels. Beginners can use them to build strength and burn fat, while advanced users can use them to activate more muscle and amplify their workouts.
Do vibration machines work for weight loss?
Vibration plates can certainly accelerate weight loss (and fat loss). Research does show a net reduction in total body fat mass among regular users of vibe plates. It work best when combined with other weight loss modalities.
How often should I use my whole body vibration machine?
The general recommendation is to use your vibration plate for 5-20 minutes, 1-3 times per week. This depends on your machine and its power, so heed the instructions. Also, start slow and gradually increase the intensity of your sessions as you adapt to whole-body vibration.
Is whole-body vibration safe?
Whole-body vibration appears safe for most individuals in most circumstances. Check with your doctor. One rat study warned of decreased fertility and potential miscarriages. This 2021 research recommended taking it slow and proceeding with caution for those with sensitive spines.
How much weight can vibration plates hold?
Vibration plates can hold between 200 lbs on the low end and up to 2,000+ lbs for high-quality machines. That’s one reason you should carefully choose the brand and model to match your goals.
Whole Body Vibration Therapy: Final Verdict
Depending on who you talk to, vibe plates may come off as a biohacking panacea. It’s an easy, convenient, useful, available at home, safe, and widely beneficial tool.
Whole-body vibration is a fairly well-researched practice, but others view it as a complete scam. Although there’s a large body of research, there’s no scientific consensus on the ideal parameters for use.
Most vibe plates on the market aren’t even powerful or customizable enough to replicate the research anyway. If quality vibe therapy machines are out of your budget, I recommend grabbing a rebounder instead. While these mini trampolines are not passive, they provide many of the same effects for a fraction of the cost.
The truth about vibe machines lies between the two camps. They’re certainly effective and nicely complement health optimization programs. Depending on your own unique personal highest leverage health needs, this modality can make a huge difference.
Vibration therapy can accelerate bodily regeneration and transformation. Especially when you’ve exhausted other options (or they’re unavailable).
Generally, I find that folks are best served to pocket the money and put it towards the foundations of health (like nutrition, quiet, movement, social life, passions, & building the ultimate wellness living environment). Nail the basics, and vibe therapy is an excellent add-on!
Have you used whole body vibration platforms? Let me know your experience in the comments below!