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J Strength Cond Res. 2010 Jan;24(1):184-9. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e31819b79cf.

Effect of an acute bout of whole body vibration exercise on muscle force output and motor neuron excitability.

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  • 1Neuromuscular Laboratory, Department of Health, Leisure, and Exercise Science, Appalachian State University, Boone, North Carolina, USA.


The purpose of the current investigation was to assess the effect of an acute bout of whole body vibration (WBV) exercise on muscle force output and motor neuron excitability. Nineteen recreationally trained college-aged males were randomly assigned to a WBV (n = 10) or a sham (S, n = 9) group. The WBV group completed a series of static, body weight squats on a vibrating platform at 30 Hz and an amplitude of approximately 3.5 mm (vertical), whereas the S group performed the same series of exercises but without vibration. Measurements were performed before (Pre) and then immediately post-exercise (Imm Post), 8 minutes post-exercise (8-Min Post), or 16 minutes post-exercise (16-Min Post) during 3 different testing sessions. The measurements involved a ballistic isometric maximum voluntary contraction (MVC) of the triceps surae muscle complex and electrical stimulation of the tibial nerve for assessment of motor neuron excitability by analyzing H-reflex and M-wave responses (H(max)/M(max) ratio). Electromyography was also obtained from the triceps surae muscle complex during the MVCs. The WBV group significantly (p < or = 0.05) increased peak force at Imm Post (9.4%) and 8-Min Post (10.4%). No significant change in peak force was observed in the S group. No significant changes were observed in either group for average integrated EMG, H(max)/M(max) ratio, or rate of force development at Imm Post, 8-Min Post, or 16-Min Post. The results from this investigation indicate that an acute bout of static, body weight squat exercises, combined with WBV, increases muscle force output up to 8 minutes post-exercise. However, this increase in muscle force is not accompanied by a significant increase in motor neuron excitability or muscle activation. Thus, it is plausible to use WBV as a method for acute increase in muscle force output for athletes immediately before competition.

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