1.4 Vibration Training: could it enhance the strength, power or speed of athletes?

Journal: Journal of Strength and Conditioning research, 2009; 23(2): 593-603

Study Context: This paper examines the literature with respect to vibration training in the athletic population, especially with respect to chronic changes in athletes. The authors conclude that there is evidence that vibration training provides a small benefit to maximal strength (1 repetition maximum) and power (countermovement jumps) but does not seem to enhance speed.

Comments: More studies are required to assess optimal vibration training protocols. Those studies that found insignificant strength improvements post- vibration training were exercising with squats but testing isometric and dynamic knee extension which may have had poor crossover. The studies that excised using vibration and squats and tested strength via leg press all found significant improvements.

In the power studies, higher intensity exercise appeared to provide the best results. For example, in the Fagnani et al. study of female athletes, they performed 8 weeks of dynamic unloaded exercises on the vibration platform at 35 Hz and 4 mm of displacement for a total of 14 g forces. The Ronnestad study used only 2-3 sessions per week for 5 weeks but each session consisted of 6 -10 repetition maximums. On the other hand, although the Owen group exercised twice per week for 6 weeks, they only performed 6-8 repetitions total at 30% RM.