The Effect of Different Whole Body Vibration Training Programs on Physical Fitness in Adults
Keywords:exercise, physical fitness, aerobic capacity, strength, power, speed, flexibility
Whole body vibration (WBV) is a new type of exercise that has been emerged in sports training and rehabilitation during the last decade. The aim of this study was to review the effects of different short- and long-term WBV training programs on physical fitness (strength, power, aerobic capacity, flexibility, speed) in healthy adults. The few studies examined the effects of different short-term WBV training programs on aerobic capacity, speed and anaerobic power (Wingate test) have reported non-significant effect. While, studies that examined the effects of different short-term WBV training programs on muscle strength, vertical jumping performance and flexibility have reported inconsistent findings. Specifically, short-term WBV training studies have been shown to either increase or to have no-effect on muscle strength, vertical jumping ability and/or flexibility. The few studies that examined the effects of different long-term WBV training programs on anaerobic capacity have reported controversial results. Moreover, it seems that long-term WBV training programs either increase or no affect muscle strength, vertical jumping ability, speed, aerobic capacity and flexibility. Differences in loading parameters of WBV training (frequency, amplitude, acceleration etc.), the method that the vibration is transmitted to the body (vertical simultaneous vs. side to side alternating movement) as well as subjects’ characteristics (i.e. age, sex, training status) may account for these equivocal findings. Finally, the only study, that compared the effectiveness of a short-term and long-term WBV training program, reported that only the short-term WBV training program significantly decreased body fat and increased flexibility, squat jump performance and muscle strength (in relative terms) in young active males. Differences in training frequency as well as in time of rest amongst training-sessions may influence the efficacy of short-term WBV programs.