By Bob Condor

The Beach Boys aren’t the only ones who can claim “good vibrations.” New research indicates that standing on a vibration platform might very well improve muscle and bone strength, especially in adults who are elderly and/or sedentary.

Researchers at the University of Idaho conducted the study and published it in the journal Current Sports Medicine Reports. That’s a long way from the back of fitness or men’s magazine. The scientists speculated that the vibration platform, which send impulses through the feet, causes muscle fibers to fire up more efficiently and responsively when to compared the usual contractions we experience during a workout.

While the study points out a benefit for elderly or less active individuals, the authors noted that vibration platforms are frequently promoted as a way to help an elite athlete jump higher or run faster. More impressively, the Idaho scientists reported that preliminary studies indicate the vibration platform appears to increase female bone density in the hip when women stand on the device in a squat position for six one-minute cycles three times a week

Interestingly, studies on elite athletes show that perform squats with weights on a vibration platform helps build muscles a bit more effectively than if the weightlifter was working on a gym floor. Exercise scientists do not dismiss the potential of vibration platforms for elite athletes, but most do add that exerting muscles with a weight load on the platform would greatly enhance the training effect.

Another small study reported that the vibration platform

stymied spine and hip bone loss that would normally occur in postmenopausal women who used the device for a year.

Nothing wrong with that vibe.

I tried one out myself, and I can vouch for 2 things – it really helps stretch your muscles, and it greatly increases the efficiency of exercises performed on it (I could only do 18 pushups, where normally I could do 40+) and, I'll be buying the Health Mark VF81003 myself – Health Mark VF81003 Osci Stadium Whole Body Vibration Therapy Machine

I also recommend the version with handles: – Crazy Fit Massager Body Vibration Plate Exercise Machine

“Bob Condor is the Daily Health Blogger for Barton Publishing . He is also the Living Well columnist for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer . He covers natural health and quality of life issues and writes regularly for national magazines, including Life, Esquire, Parade, Self, and Outside. He is a former syndicated health columnist for the Chicago Tribune and author of six books, including “The Good Mood Diet” and “Your Prostate Cancer Survivors' Guide.” He lives in the Pacific Northwest with his wife and two 11-year-old kids.