Relationship Between Lower Limb Muscle Activity and Platform Acceleration During Whole-Body Vibration Exercise

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Lienhard, K, Vienneau, J, Nigg, S, Meste, O, Colson, SS, and Nigg, BM. Relationship between lower limb muscle activity and platform acceleration during whole-body vibration exercise. J Strength Cond Res 29(10): 2844–2853, 2015—The purpose of this study was to identify the influence of different magnitudes and directions of the vibration platform acceleration on surface electromyography (sEMG) during whole-body vibration (WBV) exercises. Therefore, a WBV platform was used that delivers vertical vibrations by a side-alternating mode, horizontal vibrations by a circular mode, and vibrations in all 3 planes by a dual mode. Surface electromyography signals of selected lower limb muscles were measured in 30 individuals while they performed a static squat on a vibration platform. The WBV trials included 2 side-alternating trials (Side-L: 6 Hz, 2.5 mm; Side-H: 16 Hz, 4 mm), 2 circular trials (Circ-L: 14 Hz, 0.8 mm; Circ-H: 43 Hz, 0.8 mm), and 4 dual-mode trials that were the combinations of the single-mode trials (Side-L/Circ-L, Side-L/Circ-H, Side-H/Circ-L, Side-H/Circ-H). Furthermore, control trials without vibration were assessed, and 3-dimensional platform acceleration was quantified during the vibration. Significant increases in the root mean square of the sEMG (sEMGRMS) compared with the control trial were found in most muscles for Side-L/Circ-H (+17 to +63%, p ≤ 0.05), Side-H/Circ-L (+7 to +227%, p ≤ 0.05), and Side-H/Circ-H (+21 to +207%, p < 0.01) and in the lower leg muscles for Side-H (+35 to +138%, p ≤ 0.05). Furthermore, only the vertical platform acceleration showed a linear relationship (r = 0.970, p < 0.001) with the averaged sEMGRMS of the lower limb muscles. Significant increases in sEMGRMS were found with a vertical acceleration threshold of 18 m·s−2 and higher. The present results emphasize that WBV exercises should be performed on a platform that induces vertical accelerations of 18 m·s−2 and higher.

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