Improve Stretching & Enhance Retention

Int J Sports Med., 2010; 31(8): 584-9

Whole body vibration as an adjunct to static stretching

Feland JB, Hawks M, Hopkins JT, Hunter I, Johnson AW, Eggett DL
Brigham Young University, Human Performance Research Center, Provo 84602, Utah, United States.


This study was a randomized control trial

PURPOSE:  The purpose of this study was twofold: 1) to determine if stretching the hamstrings during whole-body-vibration (WBV) is more effective than static stretching alone; and 2) to monitor retention of flexibility changes.

MEASUREMENT:  The main outcome measure was hamstring flexibility as measured in degrees using a passive knee extension test. Thirty-four recreationally active college-age subjects (23.4+/-1.7 yrs) completed this study (22 males, 12 females, avg. ht.=175.6+/-6.4 cm, avg. wt.=74.9+/-11.8 kg).

METHOD:  Subjects were assigned to a control group (C), a static stretch group (SS), or a vibration + static stretch group (V). Subjects stretched 5 days/wk for 4-weeks and were followed for 3-weeks after cessation to monitor retention.

RESULTS:  Analysis showed a significant difference between treatment groups (p<0.0001), time (p<0.0001), gender (p=0.0002) and in treatment*time (p=0.0119), with 14%+/-3.86% (SEM) and 22%+/-3.86% (SEM) increases in flexibility after 4-weeks of stretching for the SS and V groups respectively. Three-week follow-up showed SS returning to baseline with V group still 6.4 degrees (11%+/-3.88% (SEM)) more flexible than at baseline. Stretching concurrently with vibration on a WBV platform appears to be a good adjunct to static stretching with the potential to enhance retention of flexibility gains.

PMID: 20535662