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Advertised as a fast, effective, low-impact home workout, vibration machines are getting a lot of attention. They’re a relatively affordable solution for relieving aches and pains, easing sore muscles and warming up before workouts such as an interactive climbing class or a gaming-inspired rowing session.
Lifepro recently sent me a Waver Mini vibration plate for review. I’ll admit I was skeptical. As a runner and cyclist, I doubted whether I would get an effective workout. A few minutes into my first session, though, I was sweating buckets and feeling the burn. My muscles also loosened up and the lingering soreness from a tough morning Peloton workout soon vanished.
Although the Mini is one of the most compact vibration plates available right now, it’s powerful and effective. As with other vibration machines, benefits can include weight loss, increased bone strength, and toned muscles.
But do these machines really work? And are they worth the hype? I spent several hours with my test unit to find out. This Lifepro Waver Mini vibration review covers what the machine does well, and where it’s lacking. Thinking of buying one for yourself? Read on to find out whether it’s worth it.
What Does the Lifepro Vibration Plate Do?
Here’s where things get interesting. As with other manufacturers, Lifepro claims its vibration machine can do lots of things.
Besides calming the nervous system and relieving stress and pain, the Waver may help increase blood flow. It can also boost circulation and protect your nerves and bones. Other benefits range from repairing old injuries to loosening stiff joints for lasting pain relief and a greater range of motion.
Some manufacturers claim that WBV can also reduce cellulite (who doesn’t want that?) and provide conditioning for seniors with arthritis and others with certain health restrictions.
So should you trade your gym membership for a vibration machine? Not just yet.
As of this writing, scientific studies haven’t proven the benefits of WBV as regular exercise (we’ll update this post if one becomes available.) In other words, don’t substitute it for traditional cardio and strength workouts yet.
However, studies positively link whole body vibrations (WBVs) to reduced back pain, lower stress levels, enhanced blood flow, reduced soreness after workouts, improved flexibility and weight loss, according to this Mayo Clinic article.
Minutes into my first session, my chronically tight muscles finally loosened up. The effects even lasted throughout the day, and were easier to achieve than with a vibrating roller alone. My leg and back muscles felt much more limber and less sore (I’m admittedly bad about stretching after workouts!).
As a beginner, I mostly used the lower to mid-range settings to improve blood flow and circulation. There are 99 available levels, which is generous for a budget machine. Starting at the lowest numbers can help you ease into the workout. But by all means, crank it up if you want a higher intensity.
How Do Vibration Machines Work?
At the heart of every Lifepro vibration plate is a powerful motor that vibrates underfoot. As you stand on the platform, your muscles rapidly contract and relax many times each second. This can make you feel like you’re getting a meaningful workout.
Physical therapist and personal trainer, Ben Quist, DPT, explains how these rapid vibrations trick your body into thinking it’s falling. This activates the stress reflex and is where most benefits are gained.
The Waver and Waver Mini share an oscillating 200-watt motor that vibrates one way. This isn’t a huge amount of power, but it’s not bad for a budget machine.
What really matters is that the Waver is heavy enough to avoid moving around when it’s powered on. With your feet firmly planted on the ground, each vibration is reliably transmitted into your body for maximum results.
Even with an automatic program, you can move your feet around to make the vibrations more or less intense. These instant adjustments help keep your goals within reach. For example, the vibrations are most intense on the outer edges. To make your workouts more challenging, use this higher intensity to work harder.
You can get a more intense experience by upgrading to a multi-directional motor with many vibrations. For example, the LifePro Rumblex 4D Pro and the LifePro Turbo 3D Vibration Plate. Both platforms activate and engage your muscles more effectively with three motors instead of one.
Lifepro Waver Vs. Mini: Which Is Right for Me?
The original Vibration Waver and the Waver Mini differ regarding size and portability. True to its name, the Mini plate is smaller and lighter. It’s over 10 pounds lighter and has a smaller footprint, making it easier to move and store out of the way.
Otherwise, they’re nearly identical in terms of power, benefits and features. You’ll pay slightly less for the Mini without sacrificing much.
Compared to other members of the Lifepro vibration machine family, the Wavers are the most basic and affordable. They’re ideal for beginners, seniors and general rehabilitation.
What Benefits Can I Expect from the Waver Mini Vibration Plate?
The Waver Mini vibration is lighter and more compact than most other vibration machines. You can easily pick it up for storage or to tidy up. Its small footprint works well for apartments, condos, and small home gyms.
Don’t be fooled by the name, as the Mini is as effective as its bigger siblings. It’s powered by a 200-watt motor that reliably vibrates your body from head to toe.
According to Lifepro, the Waver Mini can help increase blood flow, increase circulation, protect nerves and bones, repair old injuries, and loosen stiff joints. Depending on your goals, this can bring lasting pain relief and a better range of motion, whether you’re young or old.
Is It Easy to Use?
The Waver Mini vibration plate is very easy to use. Just remove it from the box and plug it in. No assembly required! It’s worth reading the owner’s manual, which explains the various programs as well as the various buttons on the display. You’ll also get a better idea of the manual and automatic workout options.
Besides the machine, there are several accessories, including a remote. The remote is large and easy to grip, with buttons to adjust basic settings. It’s really convenient and will keep you focused on your workouts. Batteries aren’t included.
Depending on your preference, you can stand on the surface with or without running shoes. However, we don’t recommend going barefoot. Slip on a pair of cushioned socks and your feet should be happy.
You’ll also find a set of resistance bands. They’re color-coordinated from light to heavy. There’s also an armband to work on your core and upper body. You can easily attach and remove the armband as needed. Craving an even more intense upper body workout? You can get stronger and fitter with a workout bow such as the Gorilla Travel, which is portable to take on the go.
Need a bigger challenge? Pair it with something like the NordicTrack iSelect Alexa dumbbells, which change weights via voice prompts so you don’t have to interrupt your workout.
Do Vibration Plates Work for Weight Loss?
If you want to lose weight, you can’t necessarily count on the vibration machine alone. Trials have yet to prove that WBV alone can shed pounds. Especially troublesome belly fat, explains one ESSA accredited exercise physiologist.
In some smaller studies, a few individuals report losing weight. However, it wasn’t from using the vibration plate alone. Most participants shed the most weight when using a vibration plate alongside proven methods such as eating healthy and exercising regularly.
To improve your fitness at home, pair the Waver Mini with a cardio machine that will burn tons of calories. One of our favorites is the Bowflex Max Total 16 interactive stepper that focuses on HIIT workouts to burn fat fast.
What Exercises Can I Do on the Mini Vibration Machine?
Curious about buying a vibration plate but don’t know where to start? If you’re new to fitness or have never used a vibration machine before, the Waver Mini has nine built-in programs for guidance. The first three are great for beginners, with gentle vibrations that can help you relax and loosen tight muscles. From there, you can work up to more intense sessions.
To lose weight or tone your muscles, level up by adding resistance. You can start with the resistance bands that come with the Waver Mini. They’re color-coded from lightest (yellow) to heaviest (black). You’ll also discover tubes for toning, rather than strengthening. Don’t expect to get ripped, unless you’re doing additional exercises on the side.
Once I got used to the vibrations, I tried a few basic yoga moves and stretches. The oscillating platform definitely challenges your concentration and balance. You can also stretch on or off the platform after your muscles warm up.
This awesome YouTube video walks you through several beginner exercises. It’s a great way to learn more about the benefits and get comfortable on the vibrating platform.
If your main goal is to sculpt and tone your body, consider the Lifepro Waver Mini Press. It features two adjustable handles to reduce wrist strain with pushups. You can comfortably work in three positions to target various muscle groups. Two resistance loop bands and four mini bands are included.
How Often Can I Use My Vibration Plate?
You can use your vibration plate as often as you’d like. It’s low impact, highly efficient and won’t strain your joints. Depending on your tolerance and goals, you can use it once a day, twice a day or a few times per week.
Is the Mini Waver Vibration Plate Worth It?
Used properly, vibration machines can enhance your health and wellness. If your goals include recovering from an injury faster, loosening tight muscles, reducing post-workout soreness or toning muscles, the Mini Waver is worth it.
As mentioned above, vibration plates are somewhat of a novelty. Some see them as a passing fad, while others sing their praises.
If you’re trying to lose weight and get fit by replacing your regular exercise routine, you’ll probably be disappointed. Scientific studies have yet to prove the stand-alone benefits of vibration plates. Combined with eating healthy and exercising regularly, though, you’re much more likely to see quick results.