devoted to making a better vibration plate
types of vibration

Vibration Plate Buying Guide

... a comprehensive knowledge

There are hundreds of vibration plate models on the market. They can be classified into four categories, based on their motion patterns and mechanisms.

pivotal oscillation
Pivotal Oscillation
Linear vibration
Linear Vibration
Mix pattern vibration
Mixed Motion
Other Rare Types
Rare Models
Only whole body vibration plates are discussed in here.

Vibration plate models in each category have common characters, parameters, functions and impacts to human body. They have shared pros and cons, can-dos and cannot-dos. Understanding these common aspects can help you make an informed decision.

Manufacturers or retailers each may come up with their own phrases to refer to their models, like 3D, 4D, tri-planar, wave, pulse, and turbo, etc. Some of those phrases can be confusing.

Regardless what they are called, they are mainly either pivotal oscillation, linear vibration, and the mixed motion of the two. Other than these types are just rare models.

Of hundreds of vibration plate models in the market, most of them are redundant in term of vibration patterns, parameters and functions in their categories. The differentiations are just design styles and marketing phrases.

In this comprehensive vibration plate buying guide, we elaborate on 3 major aspects to consider when choosing a vibration plate.

  1. Vibration motion type
  2. Vibration parameters (frequency amplitude)
  3. Usability (function, size and design style)

1. Vibration Motion Types

First you need to understand the 4 types of vibration plates about their mechanisms and influences to human body.

Pivotal Oscillation

planar four-bar-device

Pivotal oscillation plate is the mostly accepted type of whole body vibration plate in the market.

Pivotal oscillation plate employs a planar 4-bar linkage device to create its reciprocating movement.

actually not a vibration planar four-bar linkage

Pivotal oscillation is actually not a vibration. It lacks the characteristics of a vibration, except for its reciprocating movement.

A pivotal oscillation plate resembles an oil pumpjack, also a 4-bar linkage device. Only the pivotal oscillation plate moves much faster.

pivotal oscillation plate

The exercise board of a pivotal oscillation plate swings in a sea-saw motion around a fixed pivot axis, literally ~ pivotal oscillation.

The sea-saw motion is not an exact vertical movement. When you stand on a pivotal oscillation plate, the up-and-down movement effect is only on your legs. It does not go above your hip. Your hip turns into another pivot point.

At the waist, your body movement change to horizontal direction. You feel your body shaking left and right.

Because its vertical motion does not transmit to your upper body, pivotal oscillation plate does not upset your stomach and head.

Pivotal oscillation plates usually are designed as low frequency and high amplitude.

lateral oscillation lateral oscillation

A 4-bar linkage device can also be designed to create a left-right near lateral oscillation.

Some manufacturers make vibration plates that have two 4-bar devices built in. One creates pivotal oscillation, the other lateral oscillation. These are mixed motion type vibration plates, which we will discuss later.

may be harmful

Linear Vibration

eccentric wheel device

Linear vibration plate employs an eccentric wheel device to generate a forced vibration. Spring support is used to regulate the motion directions. The spring force is in proportion with its length change. In other words, the force and length change have a linear relationship, therefore ~ linear vibration.

A linear vibration plate provide mostly vertical motion and minor horizontal motion (forth-and-back).

vertical vibrationWhen you stand on a running linear vibration plate, its vertical part of vibration can transmit from your feet to your upper body and head. For some people, vibration on stomach and brain can cause nausea and dizziness.

You can bend your knee or tiptoe to control or largely prevent the vibration from transmitting to your upper body. For a beginner, you should start slow with a linear vibration plate.

Linear vibration plates can achieve higher vibration frequency, but lower amplitude.

a confusion Some sellers call the left-right lateral oscillation as "linear vibration", probably because such a motion sounds linear, compared to pivotal oscillation.

This can cause a confusion.

Mixed Motion

planar four-bar-device

Mixed motion models combine planar 4-bar device(s) and eccentric wheel device to create a mixed motion pattern. There are three kinds of mixes:


a Jintuo 2-motor 3D vibration plate

Above drawing shows a mixed motion model developed by Jintuo. The left 4-bar device creates a pivotal oscillation; the right 4-bar device (with a long coupler-bar) creates a left-right lateral oscillation.

Warning - Lateral Oscillation
horizontal impact on knee joint
lateral oscillation

Using a lateral oscillation is harmful to knee joint. It causes the wear and tear between the patella (kneecap) and femur trochlear groove, damaging the cartilage. It also improperly stresses the knee ligaments (LCL, MCL, ACL and PCL) that connecting femur and tibia.

The musculoskeletal structure of our knees joint is designed for making up-and-down and forth-and-back movement. Left-and-right lateral movement on our knee joint is against its designed structure. This kind of posture should be avoided in our daily physical activities, let alone doing it on a repetitive motion vibration plate.

Lateral oscillation does not induce skeletal muscle contraction.

no synchrony

Another possible issue with the mixed motion vibration plate is that each motion device employs a separate motor, so their motions are not synchronized. The mixed motion does not have a consistent rhythm pattern. Our neuromuscular system may not get trained and enhanced from this type of random motion pattern.

To create a mixed motion with a rhythm pattern, all motions need to originate from a single motor. Just like a 3 axis CNC machine, the rotation motions of all 3 axes are originated from a single motor. It would be costly to make such a single motor synchronized vibration plate to generate a mixed motion. There is probably no point to create such a complex motion for our purpose. We have not seen any mixed motion vibration plate adopted in any scientific research trial.

4D vibration harmful an OEM 3D model

We do not recommend mixed motion type of vibration plates because their motions are not synchronized. We are strongly against mixing lateral oscillation motion in a vibration plate.

Sellers tend to call their mixed motion vibration plates 3D or 4D models.

Our recommendation is either a simple pivotal oscillation plate or a linear vibration plate. They are reliable and have abundant ratings from a large population of users.

Rare Models

planar four-bar-device

Unlike pivotal oscillation plate and linear vibration plate that each has been accepted by a huge user population, rare models lack real life testimonials. Rare model manufacturers usually do not disclose their machine mechanisms and parameters.

junvent vibrationJuvent plate

The picture on the left is a Juvent vibration plate that has a frequency range between 32 - 37Hz, and an extremely low amplitude of 0.05mm. Manufacturer does not disclose what kind of movement drive is used. We think it employs a solenoid device to create the vibration.

There were other rare models using crank and gear rack device, but they can only go very low frequency and wear out fast. Not really been used anymore.

Discussion of rare types of vibration plate is out of our scope in here.

our recommendation

Of the 4 types of vibration plate, we don't recommend the mixed motion type. We are strongly against using lateral oscillation, which we believe is harmful to knee joint.

We will leave rare models for our future discussion.

Now, our general recommendation for anyone to start exploring vibration therapy is either using a simple pivotal oscillation plate or a linear vibration plate. The shared user experiences of these two types of machines are abundant on the internet. They have been proved safe to use.

Scientists usually select linear vibration plates for their experiments. We consider linear vibration deserves a close look or a trial. Be aware that linear vibration can upset your stomach and brain, making your feel nausea and dizziness, not suitable for people with serious motion sickness.

Although there are many ways to create reciprocating movement, all whole body vibration plates commercially available either use a 4-bar device or an eccentric wheel device, or the combination of the two to create vibration. The only exception is the rare models that use solenoid device to create vibration.

Mixed motion models create unsynchronized motions. There has not been any scientific study conducted to test whether the mixed motion has any advantage over the simple pivotal oscillation or linear vibration.

We can't stress enough that lateral oscillation is harmful to knee joints. However, many of these type of machines have been sold.

2. Vibration Parameters

Now we have discussed all types of vibration plates. The next step is to choose the vibration parameters.

Vibration frequency and amplitude are the most important parameters for a vibration plate.

Vibration Frequency

Vibration frequency indicates how fast the vibration moves - how many reciprocating movement in one second.

[Example] A linear vibration plate running at 30Hz frequency means it moving up-and-down 30 times in one second.

You need to select a vibration frequency suitable for your situation. However, seller may not list the frequency info of their vibration plates. If so, you should ask the seller.

Some models use speed level to indicate the vibration speed. This can be misleading. Speed level is not a standard unit. One manufacturer may define speed level 99 as 10Hz. Another manufacturer may define speed level 20 as 15Hz. It is arbitrary.

arbitrary speed level

[Example] A pivotal oscillation plate has an adjustable frequency range from 5Hz to 10Hz. The machine's speed level is configured as from 1 to 99. At speed level 99, the vibration frequency is only 10Hz.

Another pivotal oscillation plate has an adjustable frequency range from 5Hz to 14Hz. The machine's speed level is configured as from 1 to 20. At speed level 20, the vibration frequency is 14Hz.

This example demonstrates a machine with 99 speed level is slower than a machine with 20 speed level.

[Question] why configure 99 speed level to control a vibration plate that only goes between 5Hz to 10Hz. It should just be configured as 5 speed level, one speed level increment per hertz.

frequency of pivotal oscillation

Pivotal oscillation plates usually offer a lower frequency range, from 5Hz to 15Hz.

Some pivotal oscillation plates have adjustable frequency range of 5 - 10Hz; some can get to 5 - 15Hz. The higher the frequency the higher the intensity.

Please note that when vibration frequency reaches a certain level, like above 12Hz, the oscillation plate can jump on the ground if there is no body weight on it.

frequency of linear vibration

Linear vibration plates are usually designed to work on a frequency range from 15Hz to 40Hz. Very few go beyond 50Hz. Manufacturers of linear vibration plates usually list the frequency of their machines.

Some linear vibration plate models are designed to run at a fixed frequency, e.g. fixed at 30Hz.

Other linear vibration plate models are designed with adjustable frequency, e.g. adjustable from 15Hz to 40Hz.

For a home use linear vibration plate, we would recommend adjustable frequency models. Adjustable frequency can help new user to start with lower frequency and ease into higher frequency. It also allows the user to choose different frequency for different exercises. Some seniors or people with certain conditions are not able to endure high frequency. Adjustable frequency can give them the chance to find out their best frequency spots.

Adjustable frequency also allows built-in programs.

The frequency range of a linear vibration plate should be designed to match the natural frequency of human soft tissues to maximize the vibration stimulation.

Vibration Amplitude

Vibration amplitude indicates the maximum travel distance of the vibrating exercise board, usually on vertical direction.

[Example] A pivotal oscillation plate has a 10mm amplitude means the distance of the highest point and the lowest point of its exercise board is 10mm.

amplitude of pivotal oscillation

Pivotal oscillation plates can be designed to achieve higher amplitude. The amplitude of most pivotal oscillation plates are in a range between 8mm and 10mm.

Due to its see-saw motion pattern, the amplitude at the center pivotal axis is zero, and towards the edges of the platform, the amplitude reaches the maximum, like 10mm.

Pivotal oscillation plates do not have adjustable amplitude setting.

amplitude of linear vibration

Linear vibration plates can only provide low amplitude, usually less than 3mm.

For linear vibration plate, the amplitude is evenly distributed on the entire exercise board.

Some linear vibration plates have two amplitude settings.

G-force

G-force is an important indicator of vibration intensity. Some manufacturers don't provide the G-force value of their vibration plates, but if you have the frequency and the amplitude, you can calculate the G-force.

G-force value is determined by frequency and amplitude. So called G-force, it is actually not a force, but an acceleration rate expressed in the units of G, the accelerating of gravity.

G-force also provides a good way to compare the intensity of different vibration plates.

Motor Power

For a pivotal oscillation plate, a 200 - 300W motor is sufficient for a 300LB user body weight.

For a linear vibration plate, a 80W - 120W motor is sufficient for a 300LB user body weight.

The user body weight recommendation also relates to the structure and the build of the machine.

VT007 motorVT007 motor

You don't necessarily need to choose a vibration plate with a large motor. Motor capacity is determined to achieve the designed frequency, amplitude, structure, user body weight, and anticipated potential load surge. Trust manufacturers all know to properly select a suitable motor. Some sellers exaggerate the motor capacity to attract customers.

Commercial grade linear vibration plates are usually designed with bigger motor (up to 300W), because they are designed with bigger eccentric wheels and higher stiffness springs, in order to achieve better stability and less amplitude yield to heavier body weight.

Power Plate Pro7Power Plate Pro7

[Example] Power Plate Pro7, the largest commercial grade vibration plate, has a nominal operation power in the range between 160W and 265W.

[Example] VT007 linear vibration plate has a 80W motor (rated capacity). It's operation power consumption is between 50W and 60W.

Linear vibration plate employs smaller motor than pivotal oscillation plate because of it is a flexible link system. The load change does not affect the power consumption.

3. Usability

Exercise Board Size

A large and flat exercise board is preferable for a whole body vibration plate. Large and flat board can accommodate many exercise postures. For example you want to comfortably practice Yoga on a vibration plate.

Obviously you need to decide if a large and heavy machine is a good fit for your house.

Sea-saw Motion vs Vertical Motion

Pivotal oscillation plate has a sea-saw motion which may limit some exercise postures.

Linear vibration plate has evenly distributed vertical vibration on the entire exercise board, which can accommodate more exercise postures.

Handrail

handrail for vibration

Handrail is a good feature for physically weak users. Some exercise postures are designed to use a handrail.

Handrail may limit the use of vibration plate for many postures. It also adds the weight and size of the machine.

Floor Shake Issue

You need to know floor shake issue for using a vibration plate in your home.

Vibration plate should be used on a solid floor, like a concrete floor or a wood floor that is tightly glued on a concrete substrate.

anti-vibration matcushion mat below vibration plate

If using a vibration plate on a frame structure wood floor, the machine can vibrate the floor and the connecting structure. Overtime, vibration will loose the house structure.

A high frequency linear vibration plate creates more impact to the house than a low frequency pivotal oscillation plate.

Basement and garage are the best places to use a vibration plate.

If necessary, you can use a thick exercise mat beneath your vibration plate to absorb some downwards vibration.

Machine Jump or Drift

Home-use vibration plates are light weight, and not attached to the floor. At certain vibration intensity, the vibration force can overcome the machine weight and cause the machine to jump or drift on the floor, if your body weight is not on the machine.

It is not an issue as long as you keep your body on the machine when it is running.

It is recommended to use your vibration plate on a carpeted floor. The carpet provides some buffer and friction that can prevent the machine from jumping or drifting.


pivotal oscillation plate jumping on the floor

Vibration Noise

Noises created by home-use vibration plate are usually acceptable, unless there is excessive noise which most like indicate a quality problem.

Pivotal oscillation plates usually run very quietly because of they vibrate at low frequency (below 15Hz). You can watch TV while using a pivotal oscillation plate.

Linear vibration plates create significantly more noise when running above 30Hz, but usually no more louder than a vacuum cleaner at the highest level.

Floor vibration can also create noise.

On the same noise level (dBA), our ears perceive higher frequency noise as louder and more annoying.

EMF

EMF of vibration machine

Vibration plate produces electric and magnetic fields (EMF), like other household electric appliances.

The type of EMF generated by a vibration plate is called extremely low frequency, or ELF EMF. Scientists have not found this type of EMF poses any safety concern to human.

EPA advises that there is no clear scientific evidence that EMF affects health. EPA does not define a safe or hazardous level of EMF exposure.

Vibration Plate designs

Vibration plates have many designs. Of the hundreds models available in the market, most designs are just redundant. Pay attention to the size of exercise board when choosing a design. If you have balance issue, choose one with a handrail.


Pivotal Oscillation Plates

lifepro vibration
Linear vibration

pivotal oscillation
Mix pattern vibration
Other Rare Types

Linear Vibration Plates

linear vibration plate
Vibe Plate Mini
VT007
bulletproof vibration plate
PowerPlate Pro7Power Plate

Mixed Motion Vibration Plates

lifepro 4D plate
bluefin 4D plate
Jintuo mixed motion
Jintuo mixed motion

What Vibration Plate to Choose

We have discussed the types of vibration plate, parameters and usability. These are the major aspects to check and confirm for making a choice.

Vibration frequency and amplitude are the most important factors. These two parameters are the essential experimental conditions that scientists select to conduct clinical trials.

Linear vibration plate produce vibration in a frequency range that can more effective stimulate muscle contraction.

You know your condition the best. Now you know all major aspects of a vibration plate. Hopefully you can connect the dots and find a good solution.

try for free

Most sellers offer free 30 day return policy. You can certainly take the advantage of this favorable policy and give vibration therapy a try.

Just please keep the machine and the packaging in good condition for potential return. This is a nice way to show your appreciation to the sellers. It costs them round-trip shipping and handling for a return. Even for orders fulfilled by Amazon, all shipping costs are actually charged to the seller.

please consult your doctor before making the purchase.

Introducing VT Vibration Plates

Vibration Therapeutic® make both pivotal oscillation and linear vibration models. We only focus on a few models with optimized structures and refine materials, and bring in new concepts, innovations and proprietary design to make these models better.

We strongly and confidently recommend our pivotal oscillation plate model VT027 and linear vibration plate model VT007.

Pivotal Oscillation Plate VT027

VT027 pivotal oscillation

VT027 is our ultimate design for a pivotal oscillation plate after several years of carrying three other pivotal oscillation plates of similar parameters.

The biggest difference of VT027 compared with other pivotal oscillation plate models in the market is its patented aluminum alloy twin-coupler design.

Other pivotal oscillation plates use regular single coupler made of nylon and sheet metal which will reach material fatigue much sooner.

With the same frequency, amplitude and exercise board size, VT027 is the shortest in height among all pivotal oscillation plates you can find. This is also because of the patented twin-coupler design.

Linear Vibration Plate VT007

VT007 linear vibration

VT007 is re-engineered from our popular model VT003F, which have been widely accepted by thousands of users for its quality and effectiveness. VT007 has further improved quality, performance and usability, and produces less mechanical noise.

The major initiatives of VT007 are 1) reduction of the number of parts and 2) separation of the control box from the vibrating machine body.

The separated control box is made entirely by our specialty EMS factory for the needed testing and quality control processes.

VT007 has an industrial style design, robust, durable, and reliable. The open style makes service easier in case needed.

VT007 is so reasonably designed that we consider it an ultimate linear vibration plate for home-use.

 

Comment or Question

© 2017 - 2021 Vibration Therapeutic® All rights reserved.