To the vibrating platforms are famous for strengthening the musculature in short workouts and without weights. Although the efficiency of the equipment has been proven by studies carried out in several international institutes in recent years, there are those who do not agree with the use of the device to make the muscles worked out. “Vibration does not bring any benefit to those who work hard in bodybuilding. Increasing the load gives much more results than going up on the platform”, says professor Flávio Settani, from the Sett Coaching academy, in São Paulo.
Controversies aside, it is good to make it clear that a perfect body does not only live on a vibrating platform. We know, for example, that Madonna, a fan of the equipment, is very dedicated to exercises and also practices yoga, bodybuilding, dancing… “The method should be seen as complementary training”, says professor Paulo Sergio Gomes, coordinator of the laboratory of strength training at Universidade Gama Filho, in Rio de Janeiro. Next, explains, in detail, what this vibrant workout is all about.
The Machine’s Secret
To understand how the device works, you need to resort to physics classes. In the platform box there are motors. When activated, they cause a vibration. The platform goes up and down, forwards and backwards and side to side – all at between 30 and 50 times a second! The back-and-forth is practically imperceptible, but one thing is certain: the vibration causes acceleration in all directions, which requires you to make an effort to keep your body in balance (that’s why training is being called nowadays acceleration training).
what happens in your body
“It is the variation in speed that generates an imbalance in whoever is on top of the equipment”, reports Professor Paulo Sergio. The vibration that the plate emits causes an increase in the gravitational charge. That is: you have the impression that gravity increases, but, in fact, the acceleration of the platform adds to that of gravity and, therefore, there is greater recruitment of muscles, causing more fibers to be used in response to the stimulus. .
Contrary to what many people think, the vibrating platform is not gymnastics for those who do not like to do gymnastics. You don’t have to stand still waiting for the machine to shake. “As a liability, this exercise has nothing. On the contrary: you need to exert a lot of strength and focus on the muscle that is being worked”, guarantees professor Almeris Armiliato, from São Paulo.
On top of the platform, you can do any type of movement, from squats to push-ups and sit-ups – standing, sitting or even lying down. “The combination of contractions with gymnastics performed on the device greatly enhances the exercise, producing results in less training time”, explains Professor Rick Kowarick, from Kowarick Vibration Academy, in São Paulo, the first academy in Latin America specialized in exercises with the equipment.
The more vibration the better?
None of that. This theory that the more the platform vibrates, the stronger you will be is baseless. “If the musculature is excessively stimulated, the body can protect itself and inhibit the stimulus or even fatigue, just as it happens when you exaggerate the load or the number of repetitions during a weight training session”, reveals professor Paulo Sergio.
One of the most enticing advantages of exercising on a vibrating platform is the time savings. According to experts, in half an hour you can work your whole body – the equivalent of an hour of traditional workouts – and burn off about 400 calories. And there is no point in staying longer, as each muscle group can receive a maximum of six minutes of stimulation. If you exceed this period, there is a risk of causing fatigue. The ideal frequency is three times a week – a great option for those with a busy schedule and little time available to work out.
Maximum strength, defined muscles
A study at the University of Leuven, in Belgium, compared muscle strength gains in a group of 20- to 24-year-old women – half trained on a vibrating platform and the other half did conventional weight training sessions. The results revealed that those who used the platform had a 16.6% gain in increased leg strength over 12 weeks.
training – compared to 14.4% of those who followed traditional training.
Flexibility note 1000
Research points out that doing a stretching exercise on top of the platform improves flexibility both right after the vibration and over the months. “Vibration, by causing an increase in body temperature, reduces muscle resistance to stretching, making the muscles more flexible”, guarantees Rick.
Combating osteoporosis is one of the benefits most publicized by science when it comes to a vibrating platform. Another University of Leuven study of women suffering from osteoporosis showed that they not only achieved a 16% gain in strength but also a 1% increase in bone density during the six months they trained with the equipment. “The action of gravity creates a compressive effort in the bone tissue. This compression, when at high frequency, can really cause mass gain”, adds Julio Serrão, coordinator of the USP biomechanics laboratory, in São Paulo.
Obesity research has already shown that vibrating platforms work well compared to other gym methods to lose weight – and one work stands out. Presented at the 17th European Congress on Obesity, the experiment revealed that platforms, associated with a controlled diet, contribute to the reduction of visceral fat, that adipose layer that accumulates in the abdomen and is very difficult to reduce. The researchers analyzed a group of women for six months – those who went on a diet and exercised lost 7% of their initial weight and 17.6 centimeters of visceral fat compared to 11% and 47.8 respectively of those who exercised on the platform. Amazing, isn’t it?
Training alone or accompanied?
Whatever, the important thing is to start slowly. Even those who are used to working out can experience difficulty, since the stimulus is different. Therefore, the ideal is to have a teacher to accompany you. However, you can do it alone, as long as you have body awareness. “Posture on top of the equipment and the strength you exert while performing the exercise are essential to obtain good results”, warns Professor Paulo Sergio.
How to choose equipment?
Here’s what’s important to look out for when buying:
You should check with the manufacturer for range of motion values (from 2
to 4 millimeters) and the stimulus frequency (from 30 to 50 hertz), which are important parameters to set up your training. If your goal is to strengthen your muscles, for example, the device must have strength capable of generating at least 3 G (gravity).
Demand this little book, which will help you use the machine. Furthermore, if you are
use it alone at home, prefer brands that provide, along with the manual, a booklet with photos of the exercises or a DVD for you to do the movements correctly.
When the device is too cheap, be suspicious. Rigs sold as homemade are often half the price of a traditional model – however, they are also half the size and half the power, which can compromise results.
It’s best to choose a product from a company that offers support if you experience a problem with your equipment. After all, you never know how long the machine will run without needing any kind of maintenance.
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