Vibration Machines

Shake your way to better health.
a woman using a vibration platform in the gym

Devices that promise results tend to get our attention, especially when it comes to weight loss.

Vibration machines—also known as vibrating plates, shaking machines, or shaking platforms—are a more recent entry into this popular category.

What Are Vibration Machines?

Using whole-body vibrations that force the body’s muscles to contract reflexively, these devices can assist with weight loss and muscle building.

Found in some gyms and health clubs, these devices are also available to purchase for home use.

Styles and Designs

Styles and designs vary. Some have you stand on a vibrating plate.

Others resemble an enclosed stand-up tanning bed. This version typically comes with red light therapy, along with the vibratory plates under the feet.

Health Benefits

Some reported effects of vibration machines include:

  • increased blood flow
  • reduced inflammation in muscles / joints
  • improved flexibility
  • weight loss assistance

Fifteen minutes a day, three days a week, can help with:

  • fat burning
  • strength building 
  • decreased cortisol levels
  • less muscle tension

Additional Benefits with Light Therapy

Machines with red-light therapy offer additional benefits, such as:

  • less visible wrinkles
  • healing of damaged tissues
  • regeneration of damaged tissues
  • decreased inflammation

Other Benefits

The positive effects of vibration machines go beyond fitness. Some users report:

  • Better lymphatic drainage, which can lower overall swelling and improve toxin reduction.
  • Less back pain and reduced bone loss.
  • Improvement in balance and strength.

How Do They Work?

When the device’s platform vibrates, the body’s muscles reflexively contract at a rapid pace. This causes an increase in muscular activity.

The intensity of the vibration determines the amount of energy the body burns.

Users report the vibrations feel similar to a massage, and the red lights are a welcome and warming addition to their general workouts. 

Within a Workout

Besides standing on the device and allowing the vibrations to do their thing, some people add exercises like squats and lunges to improve results.

One study found that using vibratory and unstable platforms increased participants’ muscular functions on their front legs when they performed suspended lunges.

Results of Research Studies

Studies have found that benefits can go beyond weight loss.

It’s important to note that many studies have been small in both scale and time, and most participants have typically been obese or overweight.

Larger and longer-term studies are needed to compare these vibration devices with traditional exercise.

  • Weight and Fat Loss

    A review of studies conducted for less than six months found that participants using whole-body vibration had significant amounts of fat loss, but not significant changes in body fat percentage. 

    A 2016 study on middle-age obese women found that vibration training, along with a diet program, was as effective as an aerobic program and a diet program over a nine-month period.

  • Lowered Blood Pressure

    Research discovered those who went through vibration training for six weeks had a significant decrease in their systolic blood pressure compared to the control group.

  • Mobility for MS Patients

    Another study on progressive resistance training and vibration found that vibration, along with muscle strength training, improved the walking ability and muscle strength of participants with multiple sclerosis.

Safety and Precautions

While generally considered safe, vibration machines are NOT for everyone.

Most of the studies linking vibration to these symptoms were reported in those who expose themselves to vibrations every day for work, and have other risk factors.

Still, more research is needed to understand vibration’s effects on the human body.

Check with your healthcare provider before trying vibration machines, especially if you have health issues or are pregnant.

  • Beware Common Issues

    • Fall Risk

      Those who are at high risk of falling should stick to exercises where they can lie down or sit rather than stand.

    • Pain and Tension

      Back, neck, hip, hand, and shoulder pain can develop with repeated exposure to the machine’s vibrations. Other issues may occur such as headaches, nerve damage, and digestive issues.

      Some feel the machines cause too much stress on their bodies due to intense shaking. Regular users report that if you relax into it, it can become more enjoyable.

    • Light Exposure

      Some drawbacks have been reported when using vibration devices, including lights that are too bright inside the enclosed versions of the machines.

      Wearing protective eyewear is a smart choice, if you’re sensitive.

  • Don't Neglect Diet and Exercise

    Experts remind those interested in this technology that, while these devices may be a good adjunct to a fitness programs, they should not replace regular workouts like swimming, walking, or cycling.

    Consuming a healthy diet is important too. Positive benefits like weight loss occur when a reduced-calorie diet is consumed.

  • Ask a Professional

    Check with your healthcare provider before trying vibration machines, especially if you have health issues or are pregnant.

Click to See Our Sources

“Do vibration machines work for weight loss?” by Daniel Yetman,, 9/8/20

“Is whole-body vibration a good way to lose weight and improve fitness” by Edward R. Laskowski, MD,, 4/12/22

“Muscle activity of Bulgarian squat. Effects of additional vibration, suspension, and unstable surface” by Joan Aguilera-Castells, et al., PLoS One, 8/26/19

“Resistance training and vibration improve muscle strength and functional capacity in female patients with multiple sclerosis” by Elham Eftekhari et al., Asian J Sports Med., 12/12

“Total body enhancement at Planet Fitness—does it actually work . . .” by Heather Hart, ACSM-EP, CSCS,, 1/6/18



Lisa Fabian

Contributing Editor

Lisa Fabian is an award-winning freelance writer with more than 25 years of experience in the publishing industry. She's enjoyed covering topics as diverse as arts and crafts, boating, food, and health and wellness.