PLoS One, 2014; 9 (2): e89905
Whole body vibration training – improving balance control and muscle endurance
Ritzmann R, Kramer A, Bernhardt S, Golhofer A
Source: Institute of Sport and Sport Science, University of Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany.
Objective: Exercise combined with whole body vibration (WBV) is becoming increasingly popular, although additional effects of WBV in comparison to conventional exercises are still discussed controversially in literature. Heterogeneous findings are attributed to large differences in the training designs between WBV and “control” groups in regard to training volume, load and type.
Study overview: In order to separate the additional effects of WBV from the overall adaptations due to the intervention, in this study, a four-week WBV training setup was compared to a matched intervention program with identical training parameters in both training settings except for the exposure to WBV. In a repeated-measures matched-subject design, 38 participants were assigned to either the WBV group (VIB) or the equivalent training group (CON). Training duration, number of sets, rest periods and task-specific instructions were matched between the groups.
Main outcome measure: Balance, jump height and local static muscle endurance were assessed before and after the training period.
Results: The statistical analysis revealed significant interaction effects of group x time for balance and local static muscle endurance (p<0.05). Hence, WBV caused an additional effect on balance control (pre vs. post VIB +13%, p<0.05 and CON +6%, p = 0.33) and local static muscle endurance (pre vs. post VIB +36%, p<0.05 and CON +11%, p = 0.49). The effect on jump height remained insignificant (pre vs. post VIB +3%, p = 0.25 and CON +/-0%, p = 0.82).
Summary: This study provides evidence for the additional effects of WBV above conventional exercise alone. As far as balance and muscle endurance of the lower leg are concerned, a training program that includes WBV can provide supplementary benefits in young and well-trained adults compared to an equivalent program that does not include WBV.