Comes with loop bands, resistance bands, remote, and a quick-start CD. Coated with non-slip rubber for silent operation. Adjustable speeds from 1 to 99. Purchase comes with free access to the online platform.
Occasional performance issues. Sometimes the vibration unplugs the power cord.
Basic model that's lightweight and easy to carry at 35 pounds. Comes with support bars and operates by remote control. Can be used while you're sitting down for a low-impact workout. Control panel is easy to read.
Only 20 speed settings. Vibrations aren't very strong. Not sturdy enough for some heavier users.
Rugged frame with 180 speed settings. Rated for up to 330 pounds. With an MP3 player, resistance straps, and an LED monitor, getting a full-body workout is convenient and fun. Has arm bars to provide additional support for balancing.
Pricier than some competitors. High-speed settings are not for novices. Not very portable.
Offers many workout options as it has 99 speed settings, 3 movement patterns, and 5 programs. Access to online training, the company's certified fitness professional, and fitness e-books assist you in achieving your goals. Solidly built.
There's a learning curve to mastering its functions. Platform is heavy and somewhat large. Expensive.
User-friendly console and simple navigation with built-in programs. Fifty speed settings for a diverse range of challenge levels. Compact design with wheels for easy maneuverability. Great for strength training, circulation, bone density, and more.
The height of the machine’s arms may not be well-suited for some taller users.
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Whether you’re trying to lose weight, improve muscle strength, increase flexibility, or just feel better, exercise is a key part of any healthy lifestyle. For many people with joint issues, running, cycling, and even lifting weights isn’t possible, and some of us just have trouble staying motivated enough to stick to a workout regime with those types of activities.
Whole body vibration (WBV) is an alternative to traditional exercise regimes. It can still help you lose fat, improve your muscle tone and stamina, promote circulation, and provide a variety of other health benefits, all without any impact on your joints.
To start a WBV regime, though, you need a vibration platform, which provides the vibration necessary for the routine. If you really want to see the benefits of WBV, choosing the right platform is key. That means knowing what type of vibration to select, how much intensity it should have, and what other features can ensure that you get the most out of your machine.
At BestReviews, we consulted with experts like Robert, who has over 13 years of experience in fitness and wellness, to get to know the top vibration platforms on the market even better, so we can help you make the most informed shopping decision.
If you’re ready to buy a vibration platform, take a look at our top recommendations. For general information about choosing a vibration platform, continue reading our shopping guide.
Whole body vibration typically requires standing on a vibration platform with your knees bent at 30-degree angle as the platform vibrates as much as 30 times per second.
The vibration makes the body think that it’s falling, which engages a stress reflex that contracts the muscles in a rapid fashion.
While the claims surrounding WBV are still relatively untested, many satisfied practitioners continue the regime based on a variety of benefits. WBV can often help:
Increase muscle strength
Increase range of motion
Boost the metabolism
Increase fat loss
Increase bone density
Increase serotonin production
Reduce the levels of cortisol, a stress hormone
Increase human growth hormone levels
Improve lymphatic drainage
Speed up injury recovery
Stimulate collagen production
While most people can benefit from using a vibration platform, WBV works especially well for individuals who have joint issues, because it’s a low impact form of exercise. That makes it a great option for elderly people looking to improve their fitness level.
It also works well for individuals recovering from an injury, or people with health restrictions that prevent them from exercising, such as Parkinson’s disease or multiple sclerosis.
The vibration can also help relieve compression along the spine, so it’s a good option for individuals with back pain.
Vibration platforms typically utilize oscillating or tri-planar vibration.
Oscillating or pivotal platforms provide a strong, teeter totter-like vibration, with the platform rising on one end and lowering on the other. The motion is similar to that of walking, and is especially effective in burning calories and fat.
Tri-planar or linear platforms vibrate up and down in a continuous motion, which mimics jumping up and down in place. They don’t offer the same range of motion as oscillating platforms, but they tend to move faster.
Tri-planar models are usually most effective at improving muscle mass and bone density, but often carry a higher price tag.
The intensity of a vibration platform’s vibration can determine how effective it is. The intensity is dictated by the frequency of the vibrations, and is measured in Hertz (Hz).
Most vibration platforms have frequencies between 15 and 60 Hz. However, each platform usually only works in a limited range, such as 15 to 30 Hz.
For effective WBV training, make sure that the platform has a frequency between 25 to 40 Hz.
A vibration platform technically only needs to be large enough for you to stand on it. However, the larger a platform is, the more exercises you can perform on it.
The platform size should be relative to the size of your body, so you have enough room to move around.
In general, be sure that you can stand shoulder width apart, with at least five inches of space to spare at the edge of the platform.
Keep in mind that a larger size can affect the platform’s frequency, though.
Some vibration platforms have columns or some type of support that you can hold onto.
If you have trouble with balance and coordination, you may prefer a model with a support so you can steady yourself on the platform.
Be aware that a column or other type of support may limit the type of exercises that you can do on the platform, though.
Like most exercise equipment, a vibration platform has a weight limit, which is usually determined by how powerful the motor is.
Most machines have a weight capacity up to 330 pounds, but check the manufacturer's specifications to ensure that it will accommodate the weight that you need it to.
Some vibration platforms come with preset training programs that are designed to target specific areas of the body, such as upper body, lower body, or whole body.
The programs are often customizable, and provide different frequency settings to ensure the most effective workout. This feature can be especially helpful if you’re new to WBV workouts.
Some vibration platforms come with resistance bands that allow you to work out your upper body while you’re on the platform. While you can use any bands with a platform, it often comes in handy to have a specific set for the machine.
You can also find vibration platforms that come with a remote control. That allows you to easily change the frequency of the platform to customize your workout while you’re on it.
Higher-end platforms may have an MP3 player and speakers built in, so you can listen to your favorite music as you work out.
Vibration platforms vary in price based on the size and intensity, but you can typically expect to spend between $100 and $3000.
For a basic, at-home vibration platform that works well for beginners, you’ll usually pay between $100 and $150.
For a mid-range, at-home vibration platform that has some special features, you’ll usually pay between $150 and $300.
For a high-end, at-home vibration platform with a variety of special features, expect to pay between $300 and $500.
For a professional-grade vibration platform that’s similar to those in a gym, you’ll pay $500 or more. Some models can cost as much as $3000.
Before buying a vibration platform, it’s a good idea to try it out, to ensure that you’re comfortable with how it works. Look for a store with a test model, or see if your gym has one that you can try.
When you’re setting up your vibration platform, make sure to place it on a stable, even surface. It may wobble if the floor is uneven, which may lead to an accident.
When you first start with a vibration platform, try to stay on it for 10 minutes or so. Gradually increase the time that you spend on it as you feel more comfortable, working up to 30 minutes.
You can vary the intensity of your workout on a vibration platform by changing the distance between your feet as you stand on it. Keeping your feet closer together provides a lower intensity, while moving them further apart increases the intensity.
Performing yoga poses on a vibration platform can help you increase your flexibility.
If you’re interested in gaining muscle strength, use your vibration platform to do modified push-ups. Place your hands flat on the platform’s surface instead of the floor.
For maximum benefits, pair vibration platform workouts with traditional aerobic and strength training workouts, such as running, swimming, pushups, and crunches.
Q. Are vibration platforms safe to use?
A. Vibration platforms are usually very safe to use, even for the elderly and individuals recovering from injury, because there’s no impact on the joints. However, as with any new exercise program, you should consult your doctor before you begin using the platform to see if it’s a good option with health status and medical conditions.
Q. How often should you use a vibration platform?
A. You can use a vibration platform daily to see maximum results. However, as with any training programs, it’s usually recommended that you give your muscles some time off to recover, so try to skip one or two days a week.
Q. Are there any side effects from using a vibration platform?
A. In general, there aren’t any side effects associated with working out on a vibration platform. However, if you’re prone to motion sickness, you may experience nausea or dizziness. You may also suffer a headache if your head vibrates too much. That’s why it’s not advised to use a platform for more than 30 minutes at a time, and that you keep your knees semi-flexed, so the vibrations don’t transmit all the way to your head.