Simple science behind the benefits of Whole Body Vibration November 07 2014, 21 Comments
WBV increases circulation and lymph drainage mainly by mechanical means. Arteries and especially veins (related to lymph drainage) are relatively soft structures compared to bone, ligaments and tendons. These soft tissues, including muscle, skin,, arteries and veins can be
compressed and uncompressed which changes the pressures of the fluid in the veins and arteries.
The vibration of the platform compress and uncompress the soft tissues causing a pumping effect within the arteries and veins. Since veins and arteries are tube-like structures with fluid (blood) in them when they are compressed, the blood must move somewhere-either to the working/damaged muscle with oxygenated blood or to the heart with used blood (non-oxygenated, toxins, cellular bi-products). WBV “unclogs” the circulatory system and makes the capillary beds more efficient. This increases energy levels and decreases body toxins. This is why after a whole body vibration session in the morning,, you are full of stamina for the rest of the day!
WBV increases bone density and strengthens because our body naturally adapts to the forces that it is exposed to. The vertical vibration is absorbed in the skeletal system which strengthens trabecular lines (force lines aid in the strength of bony tissue, these decrease with age and lack of activity). A decreased bone density is one of the leading causes of hip and pelvic fractures and WBV will increase the bone density and strength of the skeletal system.
Whole Body Vibration increases muscular recruitment, especially the smaller muscle groups. This also leads to increased proprioception (body awareness and balance). The vibration stimulates the golgi tendon organs (receptors that respond to muscle and tendon length) because the platform is constantly accelerating and decelerating so the muscular system is constantly adjusting to maintain its balance. This is why some exercises like bending and touching your toes are challenging, not only because of hamstring flexibility, but also because the surface is changing so the smaller muscle groups (small planter muscles, pereonals, tibialis posterior and anterior, and many others) are firing to keep your balance. The studies show that there are significant gains in explosive strength due to the increased input from the smaller muscle groups of activities as jumping.
WBV increases flexibility because the vibrating platform causes chaos within the stretch reflex in your muscular system. On a stable platform when you are stretching your hamstring you can forward flex until you feel a pull in your hamstrings. This pull triggers receptors in your muscles that send information to the brain and to other muscle groups that will limit that movement, in this case gluts and lower erector spinae muscles. This stretch reflex protects the hamstrings from stretching too fast or too far. On a vibrating platform this reflex is overridden, allowing your body to go past the stretch reflex. Therefore, increasing the range of motion and flexibility of that joint. Even after 30 sec. of stretching, noticeable results are present!!
WBV decreases body fat mainly due to the increased efficiency of the circulatory system as explained already. There is an increase of circulation in the skin and adipose (fatty) tissues and this promotes the utilization of fat for energy and is readily metabolized. The results are really amazing