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Vibration machines vary significantly in the marketplace. There are good machines available however there are also imitation machines that may look similar but do nothing for you and may actually harm you that are sold by non-scrupulous vendors.
The first thing to determine before purchasing a machine is to evaluate who the seller is. Ideally, the seller should be able to advise you about how vibration therapy works, its benefits, and how different vibration machines compare to one another.
In regard to deciding which machine is best for you the first thing you should determine is what your goals are. Different machines focus on getting different results. Are you looking to lose weight, do you wish to improve your muscle strength, do you need more energy, do you have poor circulation and wish to improve it, are you recovering from an injury, do you need to improve your balance. Maybe you have concerns about osteoporosis and want to strengthen your bones. Once you have answered these questions, you may be better suited to making the decision of which machine to purchase.
Other questions to consider are: Will others be using this machine? If so are their needs and goals similar to yours? Will there be a constant use of the machine or will it be used only 2-3 times a day? If you think there will be a lot of users on the machine, you may want to purchase a machine that has a record of durability with multiple users. Are you able physically to perform different poses and stances while using the machine, or are you more likely to use it while standing and maybe perform a few modest exercise positions? Do you feel more of a need to work the upper body, lower body, or are you more interested in an overall workout?
Keep in mind that some machines are better suited than others to achieve different goals. Some machines may be better suited for the user to achieve most goals however some are more limited. Some machines are designed for home use, others are designed for studio use such as in wellness clinic, and finally some are built to endure the harsh abuse in a commercial gym. Some have very large platforms and others not so large. Control panels on some of the units can be very simple to operate with only a few buttons, other units have controls panels with many buttons.
Some units have a hard, non slip surface, intended for use with shoes on. Other units have a softer rubberized platform, these are ideal for use when using socks or when barefoot. Some machines come with an accessory mat that can be placed overtop of the platform to cushion the users feet or hands if they are doing floor exercise routines.You may notice that some platforms are wider and or deeper than the platforms of other machines. The wider platform will enable the user to perform more complex exercises that involve laying on the platform such as those involving core exercises. Smaller platforms may be acceptable if you are primarily going to stand on the machine and focus on a general overall body workout.
Most machines will have a control panel at the top of the machine. This is where you make basic selection choices such as on and off. Other machines will give you selections such as duration of workout, some machines allow for very precise input, others will have preset times that are commonly used such as 10 minutes. Another option for some units is the ability to change the frequency or speed of the machine. Some machines will have preset speed buttons, others give the ability to modify the speed or frequency by increments of 1 hertz (Hz.), which will let you have complete control. Some of the units have pre programmed settings built into the machine, this will automatically change the speeds over a specified time period. This feature is very similar to the settings on lifecycles, where the intensity of the workout keeps changing. In addition, some of the machines have the ability to alter the amplitude of the machine. Body Mass Index (B.M.I.) is a number which reflects a persons overall health level by determining ones percentage of body fat. Some machines have a B.M.I. sensor on the handlebars. To use this feature, you must program into the machine some of your particular physical characteristics, such as age, weight, gender, height. The inputting of this information may be difficult on some machines as you must remember what data is required next on the unit, some machines will ask you specifically for different data by way of an easy to understand graphical display.
You may notice that some of the whole body vibration machines have handlebars, others do not. We recommend machines that have handle bars unless you have very limited space as the handle bars are integral to a lot of the exercises on the machine. The shape and placement of handle bars can significantly make a difference. For example, some handle bars go from front to back so that the handle bars are on the side of the machine. This is useful for those who need assistance getting on or off the machine. They can also give the user a sense of security for those with balance concerns. The problem with this type of handle bar system is that it restricts the user to do a lot of other exercises that require stretching oneself across the platform. Some machines have handle bars that are set far back from the user to allow easier maneuverability when performing different exercises on the machines, without getting in the way. Some handle bars have multiple grips. The best is to discuss what machine is suitable for you with one of our representatives.
Some of the oscillating platform machines will have straps attached to them, this gives the user the ability to perform upper body exercises while standing on the machine. This greatly increases the number of calories that you can burn, when exercising. Some machines may also have straps attached to them. These straps are different from the ones on the oscillating machines, in that they are affixed to the vibrating platform and are not stretchable. Their purpose is to transfer the vibration to the user’s upper body through their arms, to work the arms, back, shoulders, etc. These straps may be used when the user is not even standing on the machine. You could use them for example by standing or sitting on the floor in front of the machine.
Machine descriptions should include the motor rating. Some machines have two motors that operate the moving parts of the unit. Most machines are limited to one motor. The size of the motor is an important feature. The more power, the better, generally speaking. When a machine is underpowered it has to work much harder when in use and this may lead to overheating problems as well as premature failure. The larger, more powerful motors also create a much smoother feeling when using the machine.
Some of the machines come with certain accessories, others do not. These accessories may include items such as a training video, mats, workout poster charts, or carpets. Training videos can be very useful in demonstrating how to properly use the machine. It is important to perform the proper poses to achieve the best results. The videos also make using the machine more enjoyable, as you can exercise with others on the screen and mimic their poses. The training chart also provides this important information in a format you can leave on the wall near the machine for easy future reference. Some of the machines will include a mat to be placed on the platform or on the floor in front of the machine. This will make it more comfortable to sit or lay on the machine or the floor when performing certain exercise poses. The inclusion of a carpet is for the purpose of placement under the machine, to help protect the floor. This item is not mandatory as almost all the machines have soft rubber or plastic feet to both cushion and protect the floor.
The most important aspect to remember when deciding on which machine to purchase, is the company that is selling the machine. Does the company have knowledgeable staff that can answer your questions? Does the company only offer 1, 2 or maybe 3 different machines and try to fit you conveniently into one of their cubby holes? This type of business would be similar to a shoe store that sells only 3 different shoes. You want as large a selection as possible and you want the vendor to be able to answer all your questions. Beware of vendors who sell at unrealistically low prices as there are many vendors who sell imitations of the best machines, which appear similar from the outside, but unfortunately they are not.