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REVIEW British Journal of Sports Medicine 2005;39:585-589; doi:10.1136/bjsm.2005.016857
© 2005

Whole body vibration exercise: are vibrations good for you?

M Cardinale1 and J Wakeling2

1 College of Life Sciences and Medicine, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, Scotland, UK and British Olympic Medical Institute, Northwick Park Hospital, London, UK
2 The Royal Veterinary College, Structure and Motion Laboratory, North Mymms, Herts AL9 7TA, UK

Correspondence to:
Dr Cardinale
College of Life Sciences and Medicine, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen AB25 2ZD, Scotland, UK;

Whole body vibration has been recently proposed as an exercise intervention because of its potential for increasing force generating capacity in the lower limbs. Its recent popularity is due to the combined effects on the neuromuscular and neuroendocrine systems. Preliminary results seem to recommend vibration exercise as a therapeutic approach for sarcopenia and possibly osteoporosis. This review analyses state of the art whole body vibration exercise techniques, suggesting reasons why vibration may be an effective stimulus for human muscles and providing the rationale for future studies.

Effect of vibratory stimulation training on maximal force and flexibility

  Author Issurin, V. B.
  Author Liebermann, D. G.
  Author Tenenbaum, G. (Florida State University)
  Journal of Sports Sciences (JSS), 12(6), ?? - ??.
YEAR: 1994
PUB TYPE: Journal Article
DISCIPLINE: No discipline assigned
PUB ID: 103-366-429 (Last edited on 2002/02/27 18:45:01 US/Mountain)
In this study, we investigated a new method of training for maximal strength and flexibility, which included exertion with superimposed vibration (vibratory stimulation, VS) on target muscles. Twenty-eight male athletes were divided into three groups, and trained three times a week for 3 weeks in one of the following conditions: (A) conventional exercises for strength of the arms and VS stretching exercises for the legs; (B) VS strength exercises for the arms and conventional stretching exercises for the legs; (C) irrelevant training (control group). The vibration was applied at 44 Hz while its amplitude was 3 mm. The effect of training was evaluated by means of isotonic maximal force, heel-to-heel length in the two-leg split across, and flex-and-reach test for body flexion. The VS strength training yielded an average increase in isotonic maximal strength of 49.8 percent, compared with an average gain of 16 percent with conventional training, while no gain was observed for the control group. The VS conventional training and 2 cm for the control groups, respectively. The ANOVA revealed significant pre-post training effects and an interaction between pre-post training and 'treatment' effects (P less than 0.001) for the isotonic maximal force and both flexibility tests. It was concluded that superimposed vibrations applied for short periods allow for increased gains in maximal strength and flexibility.