Ferguson, SL, Kim, E, Seo, D, and Bemben, MG. Comparing the effects of 3 weeks of upper-body vibration training, vibration and stretching, and stretching alone on shoulder flexibility in college-aged men. J Strength Cond Res 27(12): 3329–3334, 2013—This study compared the effects of 3 weeks of upper-body vibration training, vibration and stretching, and stretching alone on shoulder flexibility in college-aged men. Twenty-one men were randomly assigned to vibration-stretching (VS; n = 8), vibration only (VO; n = 6), or stretching only (SO; n = 7) groups that trained 3 times per week for 3 weeks. All 3 groups performed 9 total sets of 30-second stretches. The VS group performed four 30-second upper-body vibration exercises and five 30-second upper-body stretching exercises. The VO group performed nine 30-second upper-body vibration exercises. The SO group performed nine 30-second upper-body stretching exercises. Shoulder flexion (SF), shoulder extension (SE), and shoulder transverse extension (STE) were assessed by a Leighton Flexometer and back scratch tests bilaterally (BSR, BSL) were measured via tape measure. A 1-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) evaluated groups at baseline and a 2-way repeated-measures ANOVA evaluated the interventions over time. At baseline, there were no group differences in age, height, or weight. There was a significant (p < 0.01) time main effect for each flexibility outcome variable (SF: +6.1%, +3.9%, +3.4%; SE: +8.9%, +13.5%, +26.9%; STE: +12.8%, +8.7%, +24.3%; BSR: +4.4 cm, +3.4 cm, +3.1 cm; BSL: +3.6 cm, +2.3 cm, +6.1 cm) for SO, VO, and VS, respectively. Shoulder extension was the only variable that showed a significant (p < 0.05) interaction effect for group by time. In conclusion, vibration training, alone or combined with stretching, is a viable alternative to a standard stretching routine when attempting to increase shoulder flexibility. Adding vibration training to a flexibility regimen may improve the likelihood of regularly performing flexibility sessions because of increased variety.
Neuromuscular Research Laboratory, Department of Health and Exercise Science, University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma
Address correspondence to Steven L. Ferguson, firstname.lastname@example.org.