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Strength Increase after Whole-Body Vibration Compared with Resistance Training


Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: June 2003 - Volume 35 - Issue 6 - p 1033-1041
doi: 10.1249/01.MSS.0000069752.96438.B0
APPLIED SCIENCES: Physical Fitness and Performance

DELECLUSE, C., M. ROELANTS, and S. VERSCHUEREN. Strength Increase after Whole-Body Vibration Compared with Resistance Training. Med. Sci. Sports Exerc., Vol. 35, No. 6, pp. 1033–1041, 2003.

Purpose The aim of this study was to investigate and to compare the effect of a 12-wk period of whole-body vibration training and resistance training on human knee-extensor strength.

Methods Sixty-seven untrained females (21.4 ± 1.8 yr) participated in the study. The whole-body vibration group (WBV, N = 18) and the placebo group (PL, N = 19) performed static and dynamic knee-extensor exercises on a vibration platform. The acceleration of the vibration platform was between 2.28 g and 5.09 g, whereas only 0.4 g for the PL condition. Vibration (35–40 Hz) resulted in increased EMG activity, but the EMG signal remained unchanged in the PL condition. The resistance-training group (RES, N = 18) trained knee extensors by dynamic leg-press and leg-extension exercises (10–20 RM). All training groups exercised 3× wk−1. The control group (CO, N = 12) did not participate in any training. Pre- and postisometric, dynamic, and ballistic knee-extensor strength were measured by means of a motor-driven dynamometer. Explosive strength was determined by means of a counter-movement jump.

Results Isometric and dynamic knee-extensor strength increased significantly (P < 0.001) in both the WBV group (16.6 ± 10.8%; 9.0 ± 3.2%) and the RES group (14.4 ± 5.3%; 7.0 ± 6.2%), respectively, whereas the PL and CO group showed no significant (P > 0.05) increase. Counter-movement jump height enhanced significantly (P < 0.001) in the WBV group (7.6 ± 4.3%) only. There was no effect of any of the interventions on maximal speed of movement, as measured by means of ballistic tests.

Conclusions WBV, and the reflexive muscle contraction it provokes, has the potential to induce strength gain in knee extensors of previously untrained females to the same extent as resistance training at moderate intensity. It was clearly shown that strength increases after WBV training are not attributable to a placebo effect.

1Exercise Physiology and Biomechanics Laboratory, and

2Laboratory of Motor Control, Faculty of Physical Education and Physiotherapy, Department of Kinesiology, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Leuven, BELGIUM

Address for correspondence: Christophe Delecluse, Ph.D., Faculty of Physical Education and Physiotherapy, Tervuursevest 101, 3001 Leuven, Belgium; E-mail:

Submitted for publication October 2002.

Accepted for publication January 2003.

©2003The American College of Sports Medicine