After I finished Exercise is Medicine, I began intrigued with the connection between exercise and maintaining bone density as we age, I blundered into the book Whole Body Vibration: The Future of Good Health on Amazon.
This book was interesting. It made some strong claims like strength training for 10 minutes on a vibrating platform is worth an hour of conventional training. Not sure about that. But I did search around and find evidence for a connection between training on a vibrating platform and bone density. I found they are less then US $200 on Amazon, so I couldn’t resist and grabbed one. The one I picked was from Eilison. It’s a bit large and klunky so I wouldn’t recommend getting one unless you have room to hide it somewhere. There’s a corner behind a door where I was able to hide mine.
I thought it would be interesting to do some of my leg exercises on the platform and the floor. I figured it might be extra useful for bones if I loaded the entire length of my body, including the spine, while standing on it. So I built a platform I can do an isometric deadlift on. The handles I had laying around, and the cable was an old one for a bicycle lock I was no longer using. So for the platform I just needed to buy one 2×4. Another important area this loads is the femoral neck where the femur angles over to the hip joint, as this is a very common area that fractures in older adults (it’s what they really mean when they say you “broke your hip”). I actually don’t have femoral necks made of bone, mine are titanium, because of my artificial hips. But this will also keep my femurs strong where they contain the insertion of the hip implant.
Verdict? It’s fun. I tug for all I’m worth on the handles while the platform is rattling my dental fillings (being able to keep my core tightened to protect the lumbar spine):
I currently run it at level 3, which is the vibration amplitude. I can bump it up as high as 5 over time. I also do other exercises like isometric calf raises.
I don’t know if this was really necessary. It certainly prompted some dubious looks from my wife. Between resistance training, brisk walking, and a decent diet, my bone density may have been ok anyway. But as long as I can leave this klunker tucked out of the way between uses, I’m enjoying having it.