Whole-Body Vibration Training and Its Application to Age-Related Performance Decrements: An Exploratory Analysis

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Abstract

Hawkey, A, Griffiths, K, Babraj, J, and Cobley, JN. Whole-body vibration training and its application to age-related performance decrements: an exploratory analysis. J Strength Cond Res 30(2): 555–560, 2016—Middle age is associated with a pronounced decline in power and flexibility. Whilst whole-body vibration training (WBVT) improves performance in a range of populations, whether WBVT can improve muscle power and flexibility in a middle-aged population is not known. The present study aimed to determine the influence of 5 weeks progressive WBVT in middle-aged (45–55 years) and younger (20–30 years) recreationally active females. Participants in each age group were randomly allocated to an intervention (WBVT) or control group. The WBVT groups trained for 5 weeks on a vibration platform, while the control groups performed identical exercises, with no vibration. Prior to, and after, the 5-week study vertical countermovement jump (VCMJ) and range of motion (ROM) performance were measured. WBVT significantly (p = 0.001) improved VCMJ performance when compared to the control groups. This improvement was significantly (p = 0.001) greater in the middle-aged compared with the younger WBVT group. WBVT significantly (p = 0.001) improved ROM irrespective of age. Taken together, these results suggest that WBVT can off-set age related performance decrements, which has therapeutic implications for musculoskeletal aging. Therefore, WBVT could be undertaken to minimise age-related performance deterioration in middle-aged female populations.

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