Acute Effect of Upper-Body Vibration on Performance in Master Swimmers

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Nepocatych, S, Bishop, PA, Balilionis, G, Richardson, MT, and Hubner, PJ. Acute effect of upper-body vibration on performance in master swimmers. J Strength Cond Res 24(12): 3396-3403, 2010-The purpose of the study was to evaluate the effects of regular warm-up, and upper-body vibration (UBV), or UBV+ short warm-up on swimming performance in Masters Swimmers. Six women and 4 men, mean age 35 ± 9 years, active master swimmers volunteered to participate in the study. Participants were assigned to complete 1 of 3 warm-up types: regular, UBV-only, or UBV + short, rest for 3 minutes, and then completed a 50-yd (45.7 m) freestyle maximal performance time trial. The UBV treatment consisted of 5 minutes of upper-body vibration with a frequency of 22 Hz. Rating of perceived exertion (RPE) and heart rate (HR) were measured post warm-up and post 50-yd time trial. No significant mean differences (p = 0.56) were found among regular, UBV-only, or UBV + short warm-ups for 50-yd freestyle time (29.1 ± 3.36, 28.9 ± 3.39, and 29.1 ± 3.55 seconds, respectively). Individual data indicated that 40% (4/10) of the swimmers swam their fastest with UBV-only and 20% (2/10) with UBV + short warm-up compared to 40% (4/10) with regular warm-up. The RPE pre and post warm-ups did not differ significantly (p = 0.059 and p = 0.216, respectively). A significantly higher (p = 0.023) HR was observed after regular warm-up compared to UBV + short warm-up. Furthermore, HR post 50-yd after regular warm-up was significantly higher compared to UBV-only (p = 0.005) and UBV + short warm-up (p = 0.013). The findings of the present study indicate that UBV and UBV + short warm-up may be considered as addition or an alternative warm-up strategy to regular swimming warm-up, producing reduced cardio stress and perceived effort.

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