Effect of whole-body vibration on neuromuscular performance and body composition for females 65 years and older: a randomized-controlled trial


Corresponding author: Dr Simon von Stengel, Institute of Medical Physics, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuernberg, Henkestr. 91, 91052 Erlangen, Germany. Tel: +49 (9131) 8523999, Fax: +49 (9131) 8522824, E-mail: simon.von.stengel@imp.uni-erlangen.de


We examined whether the effect of multipurpose exercise can be enhanced by whole-body vibration (WBV). One hundred and fifty-one post-menopausal women (68.5±3.1 years) were randomly assigned to three groups: (1) a training group (TG); (2) training including vibration (VTG); and (3) a wellness control group (CG). TG and VTG performed the same training program twice weekly (60 min), consisting of aerobic and strength exercises, with the only difference that leg strength exercises (15 min) were performed with (VTG) or without (TG) vibration. CG performed a low-intensity “wellness” program. At baseline and after 18 months, body composition was determined using dual-X-ray-absorptiometry. Maximum isometric strength was determined for the legs and the trunk region. Leg power was measured by countermovement jumps using a force-measuring plate. In the TG lean body mass, total body fat, and abdominal fat were favorably affected, but no additive effects were generated by the vibration stimulus. However, concerning muscle strength and power, there was a tendency in favor of the VTG. Only vibration training resulted in a significant increase of leg and trunk flexion strength compared with CG. In summary, WBV embedded in a multipurpose exercise program showed minor additive effects on body composition and neuromuscular performance.