After a long flight with multiple stops, I finally made it back to New Hampshire. Whenever I fly, I stock my bag with granola bars, like Cliff Zbars. You never know if you’ll miss a flight and need sustenance, and I swear I just can’t get enough of the Iced Oatmeal Cookie ones! I may have had one too many today :).
Have you ever heard of “Whole Body Vibration” workouts? While I was visiting home, I had the chance to try it out.
My Mom goes to ZAAZ Studios in Houston daily and loves it. I have to admit, I was very skeptical going into it and I’d still like to do it a couple more times before I can fully attest to it’s effects and benefits, but it’s definitely an interesting concept!
Basically, you stand on a vibrating machine and do toning exercises.
They say that doing it for 10 minutes is like doing an hour long workout at the gym. Whether I believe that claim, I’m not sure, but I think the machine definitely helps you get more out of strength and toning exercises. For example, it’s supposed to be four times as effective to do a squat on one of these machines than without one. How? Here’s what the Zaaz website says:
“When standing on the platform of a WBV machine, the body experiences vertical oscillating vibrations – a side-alternating rocking movement. The energy from the oscillating vibrations is safely transferred without impact, deeply stimulating the cells of the body’s muscle, bone and soft tissue. WBV activates an average of 97% of all muscle groups and produces up to 30 involuntary reflexes per second, all of which results in the burning of fat and the building of muscle. There is no stress on the joints, ligaments or tendons compared to other resistance training. The result is more benefit in less time.” Source.
So where did this idea originate? It came to being through the Soviet Space Program in Russia. Cosmonauts (Russian Astronauts) were coming back from space with less muscle mass and bone density, and after some experimenting, whole body vibration was invented as a way to rapidly rebuild astronaut’s bodies. Pretty cool, huh? Today, it is used by NASA and professional sports teams, and is rapidly becoming popular as an exercise for the general population.
So what’s my overall verdict on it? My circulation was definitely stimulated. I had an “itchy” feeling at the end (which is supposed to be a good thing) and my arms were red (more blood was circulating through them). I tried to keep my knees bent and squat a bit when I was on the machine (they don’t let you do advance exercises on you first try) and I actually feel it in my muscles today. I don’t think total body vibration workouts should replace regular exercise. Anyone looking to lose weight or stay fit would benefit from complementing this type of exercise with regular cardio, like running or biking. It’s also a bit pricey. But if I had the money and lived in proximity to a place like ZAAZ, I’d be likely to do it, alongside running. The place that I went to in Houston gives you a free 10 minute trial, so if you’re interested you can probably find a similar place and give it a go!
If you want to see a video about the studio in Houston, I found one while researching it from ABC News: Lose weight, tone muscles, without breaking a sweat?