Vibration exercise equipment is gaining a lot of popularity around the globe these days. These machines are characterised by having a large, vibrating plate that is usually in the shape of an oval or rectangle. You do various isometric exercises on this machine from seated, standing and side-lying positions. They come equipped with accessories like a pad to sit on, straps to fasten to the sides of the machine and an on-and-off switch that can be held in your hand. The vibrations from the machine cause rapid muscle stimulation. This enables you to get a whole body workout in a short amount of time.
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Know your limits. Before even setting foot on the vibration machine, find out what the contraindications are. For example, the machine is not recommended if you are pregnant, have high blood pressure or a pacemaker, have any tumours, or had surgery recently.
Use the correct posture. When you are using a vibration machine, it is important to have the proper body alignment. When you are doing standing exercises, make sure your weight is on your toes, your knees are slightly bent and your heels are slightly elevated.
Set up your time, amplitude and frequency. The exercise machine comes with a screen where you can input this information. The time can be set according to your fitness levels. For example, if you are just beginning, 20 to 30 seconds is optimal. The amplitude is the distance the plate will vibrate. This is generally 2 to 4 millimetres. When just starting out, go with 2 millimetres. The frequency is the speed at which it will vibrate and it is measured in hertz. This is the amount of vibrations that will take place per second. Setting it at 20 hertz is a good starting point. After you start feeling comfortable and your exercises are feeling easy, increase the time, amplitude and frequency accordingly. This generally takes two to four weeks.
Work on your balance. To improve your balance, simply stand on the plate while it is vibrating. Keep your weight on your toes and keep your knees slightly bent. For an added challenge, stand on one foot.
Hook up the straps. These straps get attached at various locations around the base of the plate. You hold on to them, turn the machine on and vibrations are sent through your muscles. An example of an exercise would be a bicep curl. Attach the straps to the sides, grab the loops with your palms up, place one foot on the machine, turn it on and then pull up as hard as you can. Hold this isometric position for the time that you entered.
Sit on it. To do a seated exercise, you need to place the pad on the plate. Sit on top of it in the up position of a crunch. Turn it on and hold the contraction. Another ab variation that can be done is a plank. To do this exercise, place your forearms on the pads and your feet on the ground with your body in a straight line. Turn it on and hold.
Become more flexible. You can gain flexibility in your hamstrings by doing a forward bend extension. Stand on the plate with your feet together. Bend over into a squat position, grab your ankles and hug your thighs into your chest. Turn the machine on and slowly straighten your legs, but maintain a forward fold. Come to a point where your legs are almost straight but you still have slightly bent knees.
Tips and warnings
- There are more exercises you can do with the straps. Simply adjust the length and location to do back rows, chest presses, tricep extensions and shoulder presses.
- Be careful when using vibration exercise machines. There are some risks involved that include lower back pain, cartilage damage and blurry vision. Use it as it is recommended.
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