Effects of whole-body vibration training on calf muscle function during maximal isometric voluntary contractions
Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports
School of Medical and Health Sciences / Centre for Exercise and Sports Science Research
The purposes of this study were to determine the impact of 6 weeks of whole-body vibration training (WBVT) on maximum voluntary plantar flexor strength, muscle activity via surface electromyography (EMG), and muscle architecture measured at rest and during maximal contraction at different ankle joint angles in young healthy adults. Using a single-blind study design, 28 healthy men and women were randomly assigned to control (CG; N = 14, 7 women) or whole-body vibration training (WBVG; N = 14, 7 women) groups. Vibration training (20-25 minutes; standing with knees flexed) was performed 3 week−1 for 6 weeks (18 sessions). Maximum isometric plantar flexor torque, muscle activity (medial and lateral gastrocnemius EMG) and medial gastrocnemius fascicle angle and length at rest and maximum contraction were tested at four ankle joint angles (ranging 45° to −15°; 0° = anatomical) before and after training. Significant increases (24.7%-37.5%) were observed in peak torque (N∙m∙kg−1;%) at −15°, 0°, 15° and 30° joint angles from pre- to post-intervention in WBVG, which were different to CG (no change) and greater at longer muscle lengths. No between-group differences were observed in changes in EMG amplitudes measured during contraction or muscle architecture parameters at rest or during contraction. Six weeks of WBVT in young, healthy adults increased isometric plantarflexion strength at multiple joint angles, without detectible changes in EMG, muscle architecture, or body composition. Therefore, WBVT can significantly improve maximum plantar flexor strength at multiple joint angles (muscle lengths) in young healthy men, although the mechanisms underpinning the changes are currently unclear.
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Human movement and performance