Whole body vibration (WBV) platforms are currently used for muscle training and rehabilitation. However, the effectiveness of WBV training remains elusive, since scientific studies vary largely in the vibration parameters used. The origin of this issue may be related to a lack in understanding of the training intensity that is imposed on individual muscles by WBV. Therefore, this study evaluates the training intensity in terms of metabolic rate of two lower-extremity muscles during WBV under different vibration parameters. Fourteen healthy male subjects were randomly exposed to 0 (control)-, 10-, 17-, and 28-Hz vibrations while standing upright on a vibration platform. A near-infrared spectrometer was used to determine the gastrocnemius medialis (GM) and vastus lateralis (VL) muscles' metabolic rates during arterial occlusion. The metabolic rates during each vibration condition were significantly higher compared with control for both muscles (P < 0.05). Each increase in vibration frequency translated into a significantly higher metabolic rate than the previous lower frequency (P < 0.05) for both muscles. The current study showed that the local metabolic rate during WBV at 28 Hz was on average 5.4 times (GM) and 3.7 times (VL) of the control metabolic rate. The substantial changes in local metabolic rate indicate that WBV may represent a significant local training stimulus for particular leg muscles.
Alberta Innovates-Technology Futures, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada CREATE Program, the da Vinci Foundation, Calgary, and adidas International