Vibration Machines and Power Plates: The Beginners ABC

Although vibration machines and power plates have been around for some years now, few people know what they are all about.

  • How do they work?
  • What is their effect on your body?
  • How do the models differ from each other?
  • Does passive exercise work?

Today, I will answer all these questions – and then some.

Read on and learn EVERYTHING there is to know about vibration machines and the effects of whole-body vibration – aka WBV exercise.

Let’s get to it!

Vibration Machines: What Are They?

These smart, scientifically engineered exercise substitute equipment are designed to help you gain a lot of health benefits – without the pain of regular exercise…

Originally used to train Russian cosmonauts – the power plates eventually reached the U.S and took the nation by storm.

But why should you pick this vibrating gizmo over weights and treadmills at the gym?

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Well, here is how they work:

The vibration machines come with what you call a ‘power plate.’ That is the part of the device that comes in contact with your body – and does the main vibration-emitting work.

These plates give off vibrations at super-high speed and numerous directions according to the machine type (more on that later), and this forces your muscles to relax and contract at high speed.

And the cool part:

While the machine vibrates, you don’t have to do anything other than stand on the plate as the machine tricks your body into working out without you having to move a budge.

So, just standing still becomes a workout all on its own.

That is a passive workout for you!

Vibration machines, made of robust vibrating metal plates, are scientifically proven to counteract the effects of hazardous work and environment-related energy.

It also provides health benefits such as an increase in bone density through gentle, low-frequency stimulation atop a machine that does all the work for you.

If that isn’t enough, it also lets you lose weight as it is said to cram in the effects of an hour on the treadmill into ten minutes on this machine.

For your information and betterment, here is a list of the different terms and types of vibration machines that you would want to get familiar with:

The Different Types of Vibration Technology

Vibration machines and power plates are divided into 5 different types based on their technology:

  • Pivotal or Oscillation (Side-to-Side)
  • Linear or Vertical (Up-and-Down)
  • The Elliptical Machine (Circular Type Motion)
  • Tri-planar (Linear with Extras)
  • Sonic (Sound Waves)

In this section, I’ll dig deeper into each of the different technologies to understand their differences and benefits.

Pivotal Oscillation (Side-to-Side)

A Pivotal or Oscillation machine makes a fast side-to-side motion, much like a see-saw when you stand on it.

It’s turning up and down motions center around the spinal cord in the way the body is naturally formed. So for those looking for an excellent full-body vibration workout, this is the one for you.

The vibrational frequency or speed tends to be lower than other types of vibration machines – but packs a punch in terms of vertical amplitude or the up-and-down height it can reach.


  • It will help your lymph nodes to drain accumulated waste material and increase bone density naturally.
  • It improves blood circulation and gives an overall good massage!
  • Joints, especially in the legs starting from the ankle up to the hips and pelvis, including the spinal column, gets a proper flexing and workout.
  • Best of all, because of the left-to-right motions that realign the body’s center of gravity, balance becomes significantly better when you get off the machine!

Linear or Vertical (Up-and-Down)

Linear vibration machines make rapid vertical motions much like a mini-elevator rapidly trying to lift you off ground level but failing to, or if you were standing on a jackhammer while it was on.

Now, this type of vibration machine works by imitating the body’s jump reflexes – remember the last time your body instinctively mini-leaped when something startled you?

Yeah, that one.

Now, this machine type is best for muscle contraction, and also, if you are looking to increase the height you can jump.

This makes it popular among both professional and semi-professional athletes in basketball, soccer, and football where a possible score or goal depends on how high a player can jump.


Again, muscles get the right amount of attention from rapid contraction, especially the larger muscles in the legs.

The Elliptical Machine (Circular Type Motion)

This vibration machine is relatively a new type that makes use of something called a double-spindle mechanism to generate an almost circular vibrational motion.

This machine type is excellent for stretching out those tight muscles and also increasing your body’s equilibrium.

Plus, it can be a part of your regular exercise routine by rewarding your weary muscles from an intense workout session!


  • These are great for the elderly and also for stroke patients who can’t go out and run as they used to when they were young.
  • Plus, it is excellent as a medical treatment for issues related to blood clotting and the body’s various fluid circulatory systems.
  • It is also known to increase muscle density and elasticity, as well as even boost your metabolism rate so that you can say “bye-bye” to fat buildup faster.

Tri-planar (Linear with Extras)

Think of Tri-planner vibration machines as the new and improved offspring or upgrade that came after the Linear vibration model.

Simply put, it still makes the jerky up-then-down vertical motions like the Linear, but with the addition of being able to go in the front-then-back directions.

This way, your muscles get to have the benefits that come with the Linear model, and your joints can also safely attain the cartilage and bone stretching carefully.


The combining benefits of muscle flexibility, bone density, and weight loss are significant on this one.

Anyone looking for these benefits?

The Tri-planar machine is the one that will get you there.

Sonic (Sound Waves)

Now, unlike the other vibration machines on this list, the Sonic machine is a whole-body vibration machine that uses sound wave technology to create and transfer vertical vibrations instead of moving physical plates.

This way, you won’t have to deal with any jarring or jerking specific to other vibration machines.

All the healthy work is done through a low-humming experience that is both pleasant and calming.

No wonder that Sonic vibration machines are used not only for physical exercise and workout purposes but also used as a part of therapy and meditation!


By now, you should be familiar with the general benefits of using full-body vibration machines:

  • muscle flexibility,
  • increase bone density,
  • lymphatic drainage,

being a few of them.

But something unique about Sonic vibration machines is that it is advertised as having the ability to release clogged energy and re-organize the flow of energy within the body.

So although the Sonic is considered an ultra-luxury item even among vibration machines, its super-smooth experience can lead to benefits down to the molecular level!

What Are The Possible Side Effects of Vibration Machines?

No way is it an exaggeration to say that these vibrating health and fitness innovations are powerful equipment to be dealing with.

As many benefits as they can provide, it should be duly noted that users must maintain proper schedules and always monitor the amount of time in a single session!

You should know that excessive exposure to vibrations from these machines may cause an unfortunate strain on your spinal cord.

So it’s a no-no if you already have a history of serious back problems.

Certain aspects of your medical history or in your present condition that you should watch out for before you jump onto any of these machines are:

  • diabetes,
  • breathing an heart-related problems,
  • and epilepsy, to name some.

Also, if you’ve had joint replacement surgery in the past, recovering from any kind of surgery, if you are pregnant, suffering from hernias, have cancer, migraines, or have a pacemaker on, you should look for other alternatives.

Vibration machines are awesome! But it’s not worth it if there are risks against your health and safety involved for you…


Always make sure that there is a vibration machine consultant in your gym or an expert you can quickly contact to give you timely advice and instructions on whether you should use a vibration machine.

Check out this article about the risks of vibration training if you want to dive deeper into the side effects of vibration machines.

How to Use a Vibration Machine

According to research, a healthy duration of fifteen to thirty minutes on a vibrating plate machine for about three to four times a week is the safest way towards your ideal body.

“A 20-min WBV training session vibration significantly increases the metabolic cost of exercise. Due to its ease of administration indoor and outdoor and low cost WBV can be a practical complement in physical activity programs in several settings.”

Reference: – Metabolic effect of bodyweight whole-body vibration in a 20-min exercise session: A crossover study using verified vibration stimulus

Along with the benefits mentioned, this workout also opens up your pores from sweating, thus unclogging them and releasing toxins and acne-causing substances through the skin when you sweat.

Your mighty mane atop your head should also be having a good time as sweating stimulates hair growth.

Soon, you will be ready to head out in that flattering outfit you’ve been dying to put on for ages over the toned body of your dreams.

If this was not already enough, you should also be feeling naturally happier all on your own due to these vibration sessions throwing out stress hormones from your body.

This way, your body immerses into a rejuvenating experience that gives it a healthy boost both inside and out.

What Should You Consider Before Buying a Vibration Machine?

If you are one of the many who have a no-risk medical history and are looking to buy a vibration machine, there are some things you should always look out for.

Even if all the full-body vibration plate machines are meant to target a general list of benefits, there are other factors that you should remember.

The type of vibration machines and the specific benefits and target audiences, who can use them and for what reasons, and why you should, have already been given a shout-out above.

First off, it should be comfortable for you.

If it doesn’t run smooth enough for you, it probably means you should turn down the vibration level, or you might not have paid enough attention to the model’s specifications when you bought it at the store.

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It’s not exactly a good experience when you cannot easily reach the handlebars for support, or can’t see the screen or reach for the controls because the machine does not work for your height.

One right way to make sure whether the model you are checking out is for you is through a test:

If you can stand straight and are also able to squat down on the power plate while the vibration machine is on. Also, you should be sure the machine doesn’t make you lightheaded or feel like it’s making uncomfortable motions for you.

Before you make any vibration plate machine purchases, there are other things you should check out before you buy one.

Consider your preferences, and find out what YOUR need is:

  • Compare the power levels of the vibration machines.
  • Look at the estimated weight limit they can carry.
  • Check out which technologies they are built on.
  • Evaluate the size of the machine.

Another aspect is whether they are made for professional athletes or can be used at home for not just fitness – but also a medical application.

As you can see, there is MUCH to consider…

I have reviewed the 3 best vibration machines to help you along the way finding your perfect match. Go check them out!

Final Words: Vibration Machine – An Easy Way to Better Fitness?

Whether you want to sit, lay down, or stand on a full-body vibration machine, you can begin reaping the benefits in a week from as little as fifteen minutes of daily use.

You will be surprised when you start seeing the results:

  • less back pain,
  • reduction in body fat ratio along with strong, toned muscles
  • and less pain in your joints.

No more excuses for lack of energy, time, or inspiration! You will finally be ready to start doing all the chores and outdoor activities you’ve been putting off for the past several months

Do you rather fancy using your body more actively during your workouts? I have gathered a TON of home strength workouts to guide you along your way to a stronger and fitter you!

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