The Use of Vibration Training to Enhance Muscle Strength and Power


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Abstract

Vibration has been combined with conventional resistance training in an attempt to attain greater gains in neuromuscular performance than from conventional resistance training alone. Although there is a lack of strictly controlled studies on the vibration training effect, current findings in this area suggest that vibration may have a beneficiary acute and/or chronic training effect on strength and power enhancement. However, the effect of vibration on strength and power development appears dependent upon the vibration characteristics (method of application, amplitude and frequency) and exercise protocols (training type, intensity and volume) employed. Vibration amplitude and frequency determine the load that vibration imposes on the neuromuscular system. This vibration load should be in an optimal range to elicit strength and power enhancement. To activate the muscle most effectively, vibration frequency should be in the range of 30–50Hz. It is less clear to what the optimal amplitude should be, but smaller amplitudes may be insufficient to elicit an enhancement. It should also be noted that the method of vibration application (i.e. vibration applied directly or indirectly to a targeted muscle) may have an influence on the magnitude of amplitude and frequency that are delivered to the muscle and, therefore, may have an influence on vibration training effect.The employment of a greater exercise intensity and volume within a vibration training programme may facilitate a larger enhancement in strength and power. In addition, benefits from vibration training may be greater in elite athletes than non-elite athletes.Further studies are required to examine these inter-dependencies, especially in relation to chronic adaptation to dynamic exercises, which are the most relevant response to practitioners, but where the least amount of research has been undertaken.

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