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J Strength Cond Res., 2007; 21(2): 589-93, PMID: 17530984

Whole-body vibration induced adaptation in knee extensors; consequences of initial strength, vibration frequency, and joint angle

Year: 2007

Savelberg HH, Keizer HA, Meijer K
Department of Human Movement Science, Faculty of Health Sciences, Universiteit Maastricht, Maastricht, The Netherlands.


It was hypothesized that both vibration frequency and muscle length modulate the strengthening of muscles that is assumed to result from whole-body vibration (WBV). Length of knee extensor muscles during vibration is affected by the knee joint angle; the lengths of the knee extensors increase with more flexed knee joint angles. In an intervention study 28 volunteers were randomly assigned to 1 of 4 groups. Each group received 4 weeks of WBV at 1 of 3 different frequencies (20, 27, or 34 Hz) or 1 of 2 different lengths of knee extensors. Voluntary, isometric knee extension moment-angle relationship was determined. Initially, stronger subjects reacted differently to WBV than weaker participants. In stronger subjects knee extension moment did not improve; in the weaker subjects considerable improvements were observed ranging from 10 to 50%. Neither vibration frequency nor muscle length during the intervention affected the improvements. In addition to strength, the knee joint angle at which the maximal joint moment was generated (optimal joint angle) was affected. When trained at short muscle lengths, optimal angle shifted to more extend joint position. WBV training at long muscle lengths tended to induce an opposite shift. The amount of this shift tended to be influenced by vibration frequency; the lower the vibration frequency the larger the shift. Shifts of optimal lengths occurred in both weaker and stronger subjects. This study shows that muscle length during training affects the angle of knee joint at which the maximal extension moment was generated. Moreover, in weaker subjects WBV resulted in higher maximal knee joint extension moments. Vibration frequency and muscle length during vibration did not affect this joint moment gain.

GID: 173; Last update: 01.12.2007