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Whole body vibration exercises for the elderly

26th October 2015

Setting up a workout area for seniors who want to exercise at home doesn’t have to require a lot of investment in equipment. With a whole body vibration machine, anyone can practice more or less complex exercise without having to pay for a gym membership or for complicated machines that require a lot of space.

A vibration training machine can be an excellent alternative to conventional workout tools, and it has the advantage that it can be used not only for training but also for relaxation and massage, for rehabilitation and recovery.

Given below are some WBV exercises for seniors. Make sure to adjust the frequency settings and to exercise to a level that feels safe and comfortable – although the great majority of studies have found vibration training to be safe in the elderly, it’s always good to know your limits and train accordingly.

1. Hip circles

This movement targets the lower body and strengthens the legs and glutes, being useful for improving posture and balance. Stand on your WBV platform with feet shoulder-width apart and set the frequency to 10 Hz. Begin making circles with your hips, starting in the right side. Repeat 10 times for each side.

2. Low back side bends

This exercise helps in improving flexibility and balance and is useful for relaxing the back muscles and for toning the waist area.

Stand on the whole body vibration machine with your feet at #2 and set the frequency at 10-12 Hz, keeping your legs extended and back straight. Bring your hands overhead and bend to your right side, holding the position for 1-2 seconds, then slowly return to the starting position and bent to the left side. Repeat the exercise for 1 minute.

3. Biceps curls

Place your feet at #2, set the machine to 10 Hz and grab the two resistance bands, curling your biceps. Repeat the exercise for 1 minute or if you feel the bands don’t exert enough resistance, replace them with lightweight dumbbells for working your muscles in a more efficient manner.

4. Alternating knee lifts

Start in the basic stance and set the frequency to 10 Hz. Bring your feet towards the platform’s center and lift the right knee towards the chest. Lower the knee and repeat on the other side. Repeat for 1 minute.

5. Pelvic tilts

Pelvic tilts are a good addition to any workout, for strengthening your core muscles and improving your stability. Start in the basic stance and place your feet at #1-2, setting the frequency at 10 Hz. Bring your hands on the machine’s handles and your pelvis forward, keeping the knees slightly bent and the back straight. Engage the abs and glutes while doing this exercise and repeat for 1 minute.

6. Basic stance

The basic stance is perfect for relaxing your body and warming up the muscles, as well as for improving your lower body strength, as it targets the legs, buttocks and core area. Maintain the frequency settings from the previous exercise and stay in this position for 30-60 seconds.

7. Low back extension

Stand on the platform with feet at #1 and set the frequency at 12 Hz. Extend the arms overhead and elongate your back to stretch the back muscles and relax the spine. Hold for 10 seconds, then return to the initial position hold for 3-4 seconds. Repeat the exercise for one minute.

This routine shouldn’t take more than 15 minutes if you add some short breaks between exercises, so it’s not only time-efficient ad safe but also great for strengthening the entire body.

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