The 10 Best Vibration Platforms
10. NexHT Fitness Trainer
9. 3G Cardio AVT 6.0
8. Merax Crazy Fit
7. Hurtle Fitness Machine
6. Axis-Plate F-1200
5. VT High Speed
4. Rock Solid
3. Pinty Fit Massage
2. Bio Quake X550
1. Confidence Fitness Slim
The Truth Behind The Buzz
Here's a common enough idea: Invent an exercise machine based on existing technology, add a bell here and a whistle there, and then get a really fit, toned model to stand on it.
The result? You sell said machine like hotcakes.
But does the machine really do what it says it can do? In the case of vibration platforms, the answer is a resounding yes...and no.
Can you stand on a vibrating platform for 30 minutes each day and get a six pack, significantly drop your body fat percentage, and live forever, all without making one single change to your lifestyle otherwise? No, of course you can't.
Now, to be fair, that's not exactly what the purveyors of vibration machines are claiming, but at this point in their popularity, the hype and advertising is far outpacing the results of the scientific and medical communities.
Let's think about the way these machines work. Their platforms vibrate up to 30 times per second (when a machine says 60 times per second, they're usually counting the vibrations of each foot), which is meant to trick your body's equilibrium into thinking that you're falling.
This bit of trickery activates a stress reflex that creates rapid contractions of your musculature, which can increase circulation and range of motion, improve lymphatic flow, and even marginally increase bone density.
But that's just from standing on the thing. If you want to use a vibration platform to get into Mark Whalberg shape, you'll have to pair it with additional, much more challenging isometric exercises.
So, do they work? Yes, they do, but only as hard as you do.
A Platform Plethora
Since making their way onto the American market, a boatload of companies has jumped on the vibration platform bandwagon, making each their own unique version of the product, while not actually changing very much.
So, how can the average consumer determine which among the bevvy of options is the real McCoy, and which is a worthless junker?
Fortunately, we've done the lion's share of the work for you, and you can be confident that anything that's made it onto our list has done so based solely on its merits.
That still leaves us to figure out which of the machines is right for you, and for that, it helps to answer a few simple questions.
How much room do you have? Some of these platforms are much bigger than others, while a couple are much more compact, even designed for travel.
The larger machines tend to be a little more powerful than the smaller platforms, so if you're in need of the highest vibration frequencies, you'll want to size up.
How's your balance? The answer to this question also splits the field along the same category as overall size, as those of you with worse balance might have a harder time using a platform that doesn't have a balance bar. The platforms with bars will certainly have an increased footprint, but they might also save your neck.
A Gift From The Communists
We here in the United Oligarchy of America don't like it very much when we aren't the ones to invent a certain technology.
We like it even less when a successful technology is pioneered by an enemy state. The entire space race, nay, the whole of The Cold War, was predicated on this kind of pathetic techno-political machismo.
And yet, here we are, touting the benefits of the vibration platform, a device created by the Russian Space Federation as a way to get exercise to cosmonauts at zero gravity.
That said, the use of vibration as a form of passive exercise isn't terribly new. One of the most disturbing inventions of the 20th century, which I'm sure continues to haunt the delightful nightmares of Mr. John Waters, is the belt massager.
These were based on vibrating chairs and platforms used in a sanitarium in the late 1800s by noted medical doctor John Harvey Kellogg. Yes, the cereal Kellogg.
The Russians took the idea and ran with it...or vibrated with it, as it were, and we re-imported it in its current form.