I have been reviewing vibration machines for many, many years now and there really were only a couple different machines when I started doing this. In the past few years the number of machines that were available has exploded and there are now over 48 different machines available for the average consumer to choose from. This makes choosing the right machine very difficult for the average buyer. To add the confusion there are also different types of machines, not just different brands and models. There are 3 main types of machines and to help you decide which is better suited for you, I have broken them down into 3 categories.
You have probably read somewhere about how good these machines are for your health. Offering health benefits such as weight loss, increased bone density, improved blood circulation, improved balance, better flexibility, increased strength and improved hormonal output. Though any machine will help with all these health issues, certain machines are dramatically more capable of helping with specific concerns and will be better for specific issues than other machines which may be more effective for other issues or concerns.
The most common vibration machine is called an oscillating machine. These are used primarily for increasing lymphatic drainage and are also often utilized for help with weight loss concerns. An oscillating vibration machine is the most simplistic of all the different types, using a basic mechanical system to operate. This type of machine is also commonly referred to as a level 1 vibration machine.
An oscillating platform machine has a base plate which has a center fulcrum point. Much like a see-saw that children play on, the platform rises at one end while the other end lowers. This movement closely mimics the motion of human legs when walking, while also involving the hips and lower back in the motion. The amount of lift or drop on the platform is very short, typically less than one inch at the outside edge. This range of motion or ‘amplitude’ may not seem like much, but it is crucial because this distance is reaching the maximum limit of movement that a fast twitch reflex muscle is capable of moving. This movement will maximize the amount of fat burning calories that the fast twitch reflex muscle is capable of burning. This particular style of movement will also incorporate the fast twitch muscles in not just the legs, but also throughout the hips, back, and waist area. The speed settings on these machines are typically measured in hertz (Hz). Which is how many times per second the platform will travel from highest point of travel through lowest point and back to the highest point again. Most machines will have speeds in the neighborhood of 1-20 Hz. Many oscillating machines will create minimal G Forces which is beneficial for people who suffer from joint damage. Some oscillating machines have a unique ‘premium oscillating motion’ mechanism inside the base of the unit. This particular type of mechanism increases acceleration in both directions of the platforms motion, thereby increasing the effectiveness of the workout without creating any bone jarring sudden changes in direction. This oscillating type of machine is better suited for people who are looking for weight loss, as opposed to those who are looking for muscle strength gain, which is where the other type of machine, the Tri-phasics are better suited. Remember that larger range of motions combined with lower speeds will make you lose weight, and shorter ranges of motion combined with higher speeds will build muscle strength.
The next most common type of vibration machine available is the Triplanar machine. This type of unit is also commonly referred to as a level 2 machine. These machines are very good for issues such as increasing muscle strength and improving bone density. However, these machines are not very effective for improving lymphatic drainage or for helping with weight loss concerns. Many Triplanar machines can also be very damaging to joints because of their very sudden changes in direction, and they can create very high G Forces due to this sudden change. Many Triplanar machines come equipped with shock absorbing mats to help compensate for this high impact type of motion.
Tri-phasic or tri-planar machines do not have a center fulcrum point like the oscillating machines, they do not wobble from side to side. The platform which you stand on moves up and down in one solid continual motion. In fact they actually move up and down and front to back all at the same time. This ‘three dimensional’ range of movement is where the term tri-phasic or tri-planar originates. These machines typically have a very small range of motion or amplitude. Usually measured in millimeters, they typically have amplitudes of 1mm – 4mm. These tri-planar machines have less motion than the oscillating machines, however the tri-planar machines have speeds that are considerably higher than their oscillating counterparts. The speeds on these machines are typically between 20 Hz. to 50 Hz. The differences in the two types allow the tri-planar machines to be more effective at increasing muscle strength as opposed to burning fat. You would still get a great workout on the tri-planar machines, but if weight loss is the primary concern the oscillating machines will perform considerably better. The tri-planar machines are also going to be more effective at achieving bone density increases because they put a bigger load on the muscle groups. The tri-planar machines are typically more expensive than the oscillating machines. Most professional sports teams, athletes, celebrities, rehab facilities and chiropractors and doctors use the tri-planar styles of machines. Though many professionals are using both oscillating and triplanar machines in their facilities, since neither of these machines can perform both functions very well. With the higher price tags you usually get bigger, stronger, heavier, more durable machines which may be better suited for commercial use, such as in a gym.
Dual motion machines are the newest style of whole body vibration machine to enter the market place and they can be found on some of the major manufacturers websites. These dual motion or level 3 machines combine both triplanar motion and oscillating motion into one physical unit. These machines have been the ‘holy grail’ of vibration plates, offering what was once considered impossible: a strength training machine and a weight loss machine in one physical body. Using a complex internal mechanism inside the base, which permits the platform to move in 3 different planes at the same time, these machines are the best type of unit currently available, offering benefits to any particular user, regardless of what their desires may be. The internal mechanisms are the most vital part of these machines and one should pay close attention to who the manufacturer is of these machines. In the past these dual motion machines were available from a few manufacturers, but a majority of them suffered from premature wear of the internal mechanical joints due to the type of construction material used in these moving joints. Newer components made from hi tech polymers combined with new manufacturing techniques using very expensive and amazingly accurate hydraulic micro presses that can output incredible forces has allowed the manufacturers the ability to create these mechanical marvels. I have to say that great attention should be given to who the manufacturer of these mechanisms are, as only the larger more reputable companies can afford the extremely expensive equipment necessary to build these new machines properly. There are still a few companies out there that are selling the same mechanics in their new machines as the ones that were notorious for failing after a few months. They are still using the old mechanical systems and are hoping to ride the consumer wave of popularity for these machines. Stay away from no name companies that are currently selling dual motion machines. I have seen the manufacturing process involved for this mechanical system and I can tell you that there is no way the smaller companies are using these techniques in their machines. The RF bonding induction 50 ton press for example is one of the tools that are used in this process, costs over $15,000,000. Compare that to the $12,000 hydraulic press used by the no name companies. The cheaper method will simply not be able to withstand the wear and tear of these units for very long, plain and simple. If they worked as well, the bigger companies would have no reason to invest in these big presses, but they have, and there is a reason for that….durability of the machines!
These level 3 machines separate the oscillating motion out of the triplanar motion, creating a very gentle yet effective means of having 3 planes of motion at the same time. Users can opt for only the premium oscillating motion or they can opt to use only the spiral rotational motion or they can opt to combine the 2 different motions into a new triplanar motion that is soft on joints and causes no impact damage, yet still has high speeds and low amplitudes that are necessary for an effective method of helping build bone density and increasing muscle strength. People looking for a weight loss machine can now use the machines oscillating motion for the weight loss benefits while at the same time building strength and improving blood circulation by utilizing the machines high speed low amplitude spiral rotational motion. The New dual motion machines really are the best of both worlds of vibration machines.
These level 3 dual motion machines cost a little more than triplanar machines, yet are certainly cheaper than buying an oscillating machine and a triplanar machine. Many commercial locations are putting these dual machines into their facilities as it saves them money compared to buying 2 machines and they can now offer all different users an effective machine. If you are in the market for a greatly effective machine and you can afford the $3000 price tag of these units, I do recommend that you check into the option of getting a good quality, name brand dual motion machine.
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