By AARON DORKSEN – 3G Cardio Fitness Editor
NOTE: This is the third in a three-part series on how the Chardon (Ohio) High School football team has incorporated accelerated vibration training into its strength and conditioning program. Today, here’s a look at how the team uses the machine for stretching before and after workouts.
CHARDON, Ohio – The Chardon High School football team has found stretching on a 3G Cardio 6 AVT Vibration Machine to be one of the most effective ways to achieve better flexibility.
Stretching can make your muscles longer and when done regularly can improve your athletic performance in a surprisingly short amount of time.
One method that more and more athletes are turning to in order to get the best stretch possible is Accelerated Vibration Training (AVT), also sometimes referred to as Whole Body Vibration Training (WBV or WBVT).
The Chardon football team has used its 3G Cardio Vibration machine for pre- and post-workout stretching, said assistant coach David Toaddy.
“It’s mostly used for stretching here,” Toaddy said. “Before and after workouts, the kids jump on and stretch out muscles that are tight or sore.
“Even I use it … (to stretch) hips, thighs and legs mostly. We also use it for kids who have an injury and can’t do our normal workouts. We incorporate the workout that the other kids will do around them with the machine.”
WHAT IS VIBRATION TRAINING?
Vibration machines can be used in countless ways for people ranging from high school age to senior citizens. In addition to stretching, these machines can be used for strength training, massage and injury rehab.
Vibration training is so popular that about half the teams in the National Football League use them. More and more college and high school teams add vibration machines every year.
“(NFL teams) want to keep their athletes as healthy as possible,” said Doug Corson of fitness retailer Push, Pedal Pull, who sells 3G Cardio machines and also uses them in the fitness studio he co-owns with his wife in Iowa. “These machines provide a great way to fatigue the muscles very quickly. You can stretch and build strength in conjunction with whatever other workouts people are already doing.”
In a medical study conducted by Kinser (2008), researchers investigated the acute effects of simultaneous vibrations and stretching on flexibility and explosive strength in 22 competitive female gymnasts. They found that the simultaneous vibrations and stretching were able to increase flexibility while not altering explosive strength.
Vibration training can help increase circulation of the blood to various parts of the body, increased range of movement in the joints and reduce muscle tension.
Accelerated Vibration Training can work up to 95 percent of the muscle fibers, compared to as little as 20 percent with standard equipment.
Vibration training machines create instability in a person’s muscles when they hold different poses (static exercise) and-or perform exercises such as squats, pushups, etc. (dynamic exercise) on the machine. The body reacts to the vibrations, which are easily controlled by adjusting the machine’s settings, and reflexively contracts muscle tissue involuntarily to stabilize and react to the stimuli.
The result is all skeletal muscles are instantaneously called into service because of the near-immediate level of fatigue. No longer is there a “progression of muscle fatigue” as in normal strength training.
Chardon stretching examples
Most people have heard of “rehab” work. Have you also heard of “prehab?” More and more coaches, trainers and athletes are focusing on ways to prevent potential injuries from happening.
Chardon players perform pre-workout stretches on the 3G Cardio machine with a variety of exercises, stretching the upper and lower body.
After a practice or game, they’re often back on the machine to cool down with stretches.
“I really like to use it following games when we can use it both as a recovery tool for sore muscles from a massage standpoint, as well as isolated exercises if a kid is nursing an injury,” Chardon head coach Mitch Hewitt said.
The Best Buy award-winning 3G Cardio 6.0, 5.0 or 3.0 vibration machines can help athletes get a great stretching workout and prevent serious injuries.
The efficiency for stretching soft tissue muscle fibers is a big reason why vibration machines are extremely popular with football teams. Soft tissue therapy is an invaluable part of a training program, which will go a long ways toward preventing injuries, recovering faster and improve functional movements and overall performance. Trainers and athletes far and wide have reported a big reduction in the number of soft tissue injuries (ie: pulled hamstring, quadriceps muscles) after athletes regularly stretched on vibration training machines.
Here are some examples of the leg stretches you can do on a 3G Cardio Vibration Machine – before or after a workout:
Hamstring Stretch – Position your body in a wide stance on the 3G Cardio® AVT™ Vibration Machine, buttocks pushed backwards. Holding the handles, let your upper torso drop as far forward as possible. This exercise will stretch the buttock and hamstring muscle groups. Alternatively, stand up straight and let your upper torso and arms drop forward. If you are flexible bend over far enough to reach around the back of the column, which will help you stretch farther. Adjust feet width to vary stretch.
Quadriceps (Hip Flexor) Stretch – Position your knee and shin on the 3G Cardio® AVT™ Vibration Machine platform ensuring the foot remains off the Plate! Keeping the upper body and back straight, tense your stomach. By pushing your pelvis forward you’ll be stretching your quadriceps. Vary this exercise by pulling the rear leg forward.
Calf Stretch – Stand sideways on the 3G Cardio® AVT™ Vibration Machine, with one leg in front of the other and toes facing forward. The front leg should be slightly bent, the rear leg is straight. Push the heel of the rear leg down and you should feel tension in your calves.
To vary this exercise, keep your back straight and push your pelvis forward. Adjust heel tension to vary as well. Try this stretch also while facing towards the upright column and lean against the handles.
Adductor Stretch – Stand sideways on the 3G Cardio® AVT™ Vibration Machine with your feet near the support column. Place the outside foot on the floor close to the plate so legs are apart. Bend the outside leg while keeping the other leg straight. While keeping the upper body straight, lower your buttocks to the floor. This exercise will stretch the insides of your thighs. Repeat on the opposite side. If you are unfamiliar with this exercise, practice off the vibration plate first to get the hang of it.
Sample vibration training hamstring stretch:
Sample vibration training pectoral stretch: