Acute whole-body vibration elicits post-activation potentiation

  • Darryl J. Cochrane
  • Stephen R. Stannard
  • Elwyn C. Firth
  • Jörn Rittweger
Original Article


Whole-body vibration (WBV) leads to a rapid increase in intra-muscular temperature and enhances muscle power. The power-enhancing effects by WBV can, at least in part, be explained by intra-muscular temperature. However, this does not exclude possible neural effects of WBV occurring at the spinal level. The aim of this study was to examine if muscle twitch and patellar reflex properties were simultaneously potentiated from an acute bout of WBV in a static squat position. Six male and six female athletes performed three interventions for 5 min, static squat with WBV (WBV+, 26 Hz), static squat without WBV (WBV−) and stationary cycling (CYCL, 70 W). Transcutaneous muscle stimulation consisting of a single 200 μs pulse and three patellar tendon taps were administered prior to and then 90 s, 5, 10 min post-intervention. Ninety-seconds after WBV+ muscle twitch peak force (PF) and rate of force development (RFD) were significantly higher (P < 0.01) compared to WBV− and CYCL. However the patellar tendon reflex was not potentiated. An acute continuous bout of WBV caused a post-activation potentiation (PAP) of muscle twitch potentiation (TP) compared to WBV− and CYCL indicating that a greater myogenic response was evident compared to a neural-mediated effect of a reflex potentiation (RP).


Twitch Muscle contractile properties Stretch reflex Electrical stimulation Rate of force development 



Many thanks to the participants for giving their time and to Matt Barnes, John Pedley and Wayne Salmond for providing great technical advice and support.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Darryl J. Cochrane
    • 1
  • Stephen R. Stannard
    • 2
  • Elwyn C. Firth
    • 3
  • Jörn Rittweger
    • 4
  1. 1.Sport Management and Coaching, Department of ManagementMassey UniversityPalmerston NorthNew Zealand
  2. 2.Institute of Food, Nutrition, and Human HealthMassey UniversityPalmerston NorthNew Zealand
  3. 3.Institute of Veterinary, Animal, and Biomedical SciencesMassey UniversityPalmerston NorthNew Zealand
  4. 4.Institute for Biomedical Research into Human Movement and HealthManchester Metropolitan UniversityManchesterUnited Kingdom

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