Comparing the Effects of 3 Weeks of Upper-Body Vibration Training, Vibration and Stretching, and Stretching Alone on Shoulder Flexibility in College-Aged Men

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Abstract

Ferguson, SL, Kim, E, Seo, D, and Bemben, MG. Comparing the effects of 3 weeks of upper-body vibration training, vibration and stretching, and stretching alone on shoulder flexibility in college-aged men. J Strength Cond Res 27(12): 3329–3334, 2013—This study compared the effects of 3 weeks of upper-body vibration training, vibration and stretching, and stretching alone on shoulder flexibility in college-aged men. Twenty-one men were randomly assigned to vibration-stretching (VS; n = 8), vibration only (VO; n = 6), or stretching only (SO; n = 7) groups that trained 3 times per week for 3 weeks. All 3 groups performed 9 total sets of 30-second stretches. The VS group performed four 30-second upper-body vibration exercises and five 30-second upper-body stretching exercises. The VO group performed nine 30-second upper-body vibration exercises. The SO group performed nine 30-second upper-body stretching exercises. Shoulder flexion (SF), shoulder extension (SE), and shoulder transverse extension (STE) were assessed by a Leighton Flexometer and back scratch tests bilaterally (BSR, BSL) were measured via tape measure. A 1-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) evaluated groups at baseline and a 2-way repeated-measures ANOVA evaluated the interventions over time. At baseline, there were no group differences in age, height, or weight. There was a significant (p < 0.01) time main effect for each flexibility outcome variable (SF: +6.1%, +3.9%, +3.4%; SE: +8.9%, +13.5%, +26.9%; STE: +12.8%, +8.7%, +24.3%; BSR: +4.4 cm, +3.4 cm, +3.1 cm; BSL: +3.6 cm, +2.3 cm, +6.1 cm) for SO, VO, and VS, respectively. Shoulder extension was the only variable that showed a significant (p < 0.05) interaction effect for group by time. In conclusion, vibration training, alone or combined with stretching, is a viable alternative to a standard stretching routine when attempting to increase shoulder flexibility. Adding vibration training to a flexibility regimen may improve the likelihood of regularly performing flexibility sessions because of increased variety.

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