European Journal of Applied Physiology

, Volume 114, Issue 7, pp 1493–1501 | Cite as

Determination of the optimal parameters maximizing muscle activity of the lower limbs during vertical synchronous whole-body vibration

  • Karin Lienhard
  • Aline Cabasson
  • Olivier Meste
  • Serge S. Colson
Original Article



To describe the most effective parameters maximizing muscle activity during whole-body vibration (WBV) exercises on a vertically vibrating (VV) platform.


The influence of (1) WBV vs. no vibration, (2) vibration frequency (25, 30, 35, 40 Hz), (3) platform peak-to-peak displacement (1.2, 2 mm), and (4) additional loading (no load, 17, 33 kg) on surface electromyographic (sEMG) activity of five lower limb muscles was investigated in eighteen participants.


(1) Comparing WBV to no vibration, sEMGRMS of the calf muscles was significantly higher with an additional load of 33 kg independently of the displacement and the frequency (P < 0.05). During WBV, (2) muscle activity at 40 Hz WBV was significantly higher than at 25 Hz for the gastrocnemius lateralis (GL) for all loads, and for the vastii medialis and lateralis using the 33 kg load (P < 0.05); (3) sEMGRMS of all lower limb muscles was significantly increased with the 2 mm compared to the 1.2 mm peak-to-peak displacement (P < 0.05); (4) an effect of additional load was found in the GL, with significantly higher neuromuscular activation for the 33 kg load than no load (P < 0.05).


On a VV platform, we recommend the use of a high platform displacement in combination with a high vibration frequency to provoke the highest muscle activity enhancement. Without maxing out the acceleration stimuli, calf muscles’ sEMG can be enhanced with an additional load of 33 kg which corresponded to 50 % of the body mass.


Electromyography Load Displacement Knee Ankle Linear interpolation 



Analysis of variance


Biceps femoris


Gastrocnemius lateralis


Maximal voluntary contraction


Power spectral density


Rectus femoris


Root mean square


Surface electromyography


Root mean square of the surface electromyography




Tonic vibration reflex


Vastus lateralis


Vastus medialis


Synchronous vibration platform


Whole-body vibration



The authors thank Florence Verdera, Gilles Roussey and Pierre-David Petit for their technical assistance in data acquisition and all the participants for their time to complete this study. The vibration platform was provided by Power Plate Company, France. Financial support for travel-related expenses was obtained from the “Fondation Partenariale DreamIT”.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical standard

The experiment was approved by the Ethics Committee on Human Experiments in Life and Health Sciences of the University of Nice Sophia Antipolis, in accordance with the Helsinki Declaration (1964).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Karin Lienhard
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  • Aline Cabasson
    • 1
  • Olivier Meste
    • 1
  • Serge S. Colson
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.University of Nice Sophia Antipolis, CNRS, I3S, UMR7271Sophia AntipolisFrance
  2. 2.University of Nice Sophia Antipolis, LAMHESS, EA 6309NiceFrance
  3. 3.University of Toulon, LAMHESS, EA 6309La GardeFrance
  4. 4.Laboratory of Human Motricity Education Sport and Health (EA 6309)University of Nice-Sophia AntipolisNiceFrance

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