Whole Body Vibration Fitness Machines: Types of Vibrations

Whole Body Vibration Fitness Machines: Types of Vibrations - HEALTHandMED

Oscillation Motion

Oscillation motion is the most primitive and basic machine motion. This particular motion type has been around for a very long time. Most inexpensive vibration machines utilize this specific motion type. Often referred to as level 1 machines, these units have a platform that moves similar to a see-saw. One side of the platform tips upwards, while the other side tips downwards. This is considered a simple or isolated movement since there is only a basic direction of motion involved.

This movement is typical with a high degree of amplitude, meaning that the platform moves about 11 mm with each stroke, and they move relatively slowly. This particular motion is effective for weight loss and improving lymphatic drainage.

Spiral Rotational

Spiral Rotational motion is a relatively new motion style that has only been found on some higher-end vibration machines for the last several years. Considered one of the complex motion systems, since there are multiple directions of motion involved. Unlike oscillation motion, spiral rotational moves very rapidly, but with very little amplitude (only moves about 2 mm per cycle). The platform moves in a circular pattern, with no actual rotation) forward, then to the right, then back, then to the left and then the same pattern continues.

This particular motion is very effective for increasing circulation, muscle strength, and rehabilitation. This is also a very safe type of motion for people with concerns about their knee joints or other soft tissue.

Cross Lateral

Cross Lateral motion is another example of an isolated motion style since there is only a basic direction of movement involved. Having an even higher range of amplitude (16 mm) than oscillation, this particular movement also uses a low-speed motion, such as oscillation. The platform slides left and then right and back again, continuously.

The movement has gradual changes in direction when it reaches near the end of each cycle with no sudden or abrupt changes, so this is very safe to use when there are concerns about joint or soft tissue. There is no vertical displacement with this motion type. This unique motion style is extremely effective for concerns such as improving balance and spinal re-alignment.


Triplanar is another very old motion style that was popular in gyms and with athletes, but in the past few years have all but disappeared. Their decline is mainly due to the numerous research papers that have surfaced in the past several years indicating that the vertical component of this motion can be damaging to knee joints and other soft tissue.

This Triplanar motion moves the platform up/down, left right/left and front/back at very high speeds and with very little amplitude (2-4 mm). This high-speed motion was good for increasing muscle strength (especially explosive strength) and increasing circulation.

Soft Triplanar

The Soft Triplanar motion was designed to replace regular Triplanar motion. It provides the same benefits as Triplanar motion, but is safe to use and will not harm knee joints or soft tissue. Soft Triplanar has all the same characteristics as regular Triplanar, but the vertical motion has been modified. This vertical, high-speed low amplitude movement is what was causes the joint damage, as found on regular Triplanar machines. There is a vertical motion to this system, which is added by use of a different motor and separate drive system. The vertical motion is derived from an oscillation motion, which a safe high amplitude low-speed movement.

Soft Triplanar, has only a left/right and front/back motion with 2 mm of amplitude and moving at high speed. Then oscillation motion is added at low speed and high amplitude to generate the vertical movement. Since the oscillation motion is operated by an independent motor the user can adjust the left/right speed separately from the vertical motion. It is considered a complex movement since the body must oppose the movements in different planes to one another.

This Soft Triplanar motion is effective for multiple purposes since there are several various motions occurring at the same time, with their own different characteristics. Traditionally used for strength gain while also losing weight at the same time, though this motion can also help with bone density concerns.

Source: Types of Vibration - GForceVibration.com