We love both, and use both so we think we can provide a good answer to this question.
Rebounding is awesome for lymphatic draining, blood circulation, oxygenation, bone building and assisting with muscle tone for sure. We still use our rebounders when it’s raining or snowing out and we can’t walk.
Many people are not aware that whole body vibration can do the same things that rebounding does (often much better) and provide even more benefits.
NASA did research back in the late 70s and 80s and discovered that astronauts, after some time in space, would lose 14-15% of their bone and muscle mass. The scientists looked at various forms of exercise that astronauts could use to get the appropriate strength conditioning needed to counteract this loss. Their research indicated that rebounding was not only more effective but also 68% less traumatic to the musculoskeletal system than jogging on a hardwood surface or cement surface. Their study gave credibility to rebounding as a non-jarring exercise and as something that could maintain the strength of the bones. This is why NASA immediately got involved when whole body vibration technology first came out.
Whole Body Vibration (WBV) builds bone density. It’s great for people with osteoporosis or osteopenia or for those who have a history of it in their family. It is weight-bearing exercise to the extreme. You are basically fooling your muscles into thinking you’re jumping or running (depending on the type of vibration machine). The increased load and motion causes the bone osteoblasts to register the force and build. You are signaling your bones to grow a lot more than you would if walking or rebounding.
WBV affects your hormones in powerful and positive ways. Research by biomedical and exercise scientist, Carmelo Bosco, has shown vibration exercise to increase serotonin levels, increase HGH levels by 361%, and decrease cortisol by 30%. This is significant and can have a dramatic impact on your appetite, addictions and unhealthy cravings, sleep patterns, stress levels, and stubborn belly-fat. It was also shown to increase levels of testosterone up to 7%. Testosterone’s key roles in health and wellbeing include increased energy, increased production of red blood cells, protection against osteoporosis, and enhanced libido. It also allows fast-twitch muscle fibers to fully recover at a quicker rate, shortening recovery time.
In terms of building muscle, conventional exercise engages around 45% of your muscle fibers. So, you are only working out the main muscles such as your quads, hamstrings, biceps, lats, etc. You’re not hitting the other 55% of muscles (and cells) much at all. WBV is aptly named whole body vibration because it works even the involuntary muscles in your body and has been shown to engage approximately 97% of your muscle fibers. In addition, WBV causes those muscle fibers to contract over 1500 times per minute and in that sense, there’s no comparison to rebounding (you might be able to rebound up to a max of 60 times per minute). Note: Incontinence is often improved with vibration exercise because it effectively works out those involuntary muscles much more than commonly recommended exercises like Kegal.
WBV can be more effective for cellulite reduction than rebounding. The main problem with most cellulite treatments is that they focus on only one of the reasons for having it. Deep tissue massage helps shift the fat cells not empty them, exercise will empty them but not shift them. Increasing your lymphatic drainage helps with fluid retention but not fat burning. With the combination of these things provided by WBV, cellulite reduction can be facilitated.
WBV is excellent for people with neuropathy or neuromuscular disorders. Ten minutes on a WBV machine sends approximately 30,000 separate electrical signals to the brain, training the nerves and increasing stimulation hundreds of times more efficiently than other types of physical therapy. This is why many doctors utilize WBV for patient rehabilitation.
WBV is used for other types of therapy besides osteoporosis and neuromuscular retraining. Not everyone (obese people, paraplegics, people with MS, etc.) can rebound for 10 minutes or even rebound at all. Whole body vibration machines offer these people the opportunity to retrain their muscles and nervous system back to health along with all the other benefits of rebounding.
If you can afford it, those looking to gain more balance, flexibility, lose weight, build muscle in less time with less risk of micro-tears, falling or being far from home, or for people concerned about osteoporosis, MS, neuropathy, circulation, fat loss and cellulite loss, the benefits a WBV machine offers beyond a rebounder is definitely worth considering.
Your thoughts and comments are always welcome.