The first thing to evaluate is your goal — what results are you expecting from whole body vibration training (WBVT)? If you’re an athlete looking to boost your explosive strength or vertical jump height, WBVT may be helpful. A handful of studies in older populations also show some benefit in boosting balance, mobility, strength, and bone density. But more research is needed to determine the benefits of WBVT for the general public.
Try WBVT with a certified fitness professional for a month or two before buying one for home use to see if you’re getting the results you’re looking for. If you’re ready to make a purchase, test drive several models from reputable manufacturers; ask about warranties, user training, and troubleshooting. Metal machines are more durable than plastic models; and vibration frequency and amplitude should be easily adjustable.
For most people, the benefits of WBVT aren’t significant enough to justify the cost of the equipment. Good quality whole-body vibration machines are expensive ($5,000-$10,000), and less expensive knock-offs typically aren’t as reliable or durable. Before making such a huge investment, you might want to try achieving your fitness goals with more conventional, budget-friendly forms of exercise — like cardiovascular, strength, and flexibility training.