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Vibrating Exercise Therapy Gaining Ground in Europe

Posted: May 18, 2009

Fitness options are becoming increasingly relevant in the spa environment, and a growing trend involving vibrating exercise platforms may helps clients see better results.

Vibrating exercise platforms, which are increasingly found in commercial gyms in Europe and elsewhere, may help people lose the particularly harmful deep "hidden" fat that surrounds the abdominal organs and is linked to type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease.

“We conclude that it would be good to combine aerobic exercise with whole-body vibration in a weight loss program," study chief Dirk Vissers, a physiotherapist at the Artesis University College and the University of Antwerp in Belgium said.

With whole-body vibration training, people do squats, lunges, calf raises, push-ups and sit-ups on a platform that sends mild vibratory impulses through the feet and into the rest of the body. These vibrations make muscles rapidly contract, which builds lean muscle mass. Whole-body vibration training is touted as a more effective method of resistance training. Its true value, however, has been unclear.

To investigate, Vissers and his colleagues divided 79 overweight or obese adults into four groups. One group dieted but did not exercise; another group dieted and did "conventional" aerobic and general strength training exercises; a third group dieted and engaged in three sessions per week of supervised whole-body vibration training but no aerobic exercise; and the fourth group—the control group—did not diet or exercise.