Vibration as an adjunct to exercise: its impact on shoulder muscle activation
There is an interest within elite sport in understanding the impact of a vibrating platform as an adjunct to exercise in the training and rehabilitation of throwing athletes. However, there has been no comprehensive evaluation of its impact on the rotator cuff muscles or its effect on the timing of shoulder muscle recruitment more globally.
Twenty healthy participants were recruited with EMG recorded from 15 shoulder girdle muscles. Isometric shoulder flexion at 25% maximal voluntary contraction was performed in three testing scenarios [no vibration; whole body vibration (WBV); and arm vibration (AV)]. A press up and triceps dips with and without vibration were also performed. Muscular recruitment was assessed pre- and post-vibration exposure as participants initiated forward flexion.
Activation of the anterior deltoid (p = 0.002), serratus anterior (p = 0.004), and rotator cuff muscles (p = 0.004–0.022) occurred significantly earlier following exposure to vibration. Significantly greater activation was seen in the anterior, middle and posterior deltoid, upper, middle and lower trapezius, serratus anterior, teres major, latissimus dorsi, supraspinatus, and infraspinatus when the isometric contraction was performed with either WBV and/or AV (p = < 0.001–0.040). Similarly, increased activation was also demonstrated during the press up and triceps dips when performed with vibration.
The use of vibration as an adjunct to exercise provokes a near global increase in shoulder muscle activation level. Furthermore, exposure to vibration alters muscular recruitment improving readiness for movement. This has potential implications within elite sport for both training and game preparation; however, further longitudinal work is required.
KeywordsEMG Muscle activity Shoulder Vibration Muscle recruitment
Analysis of variance
Latissimus dorsi lower part
Latissimus dorsi upper part
Maximum voluntary contraction
Whole body vibration
OK, DH, and IH conceived and designed research. DH, JM, and MG conducted experiments and collected the data. JM and DH analysed the data. MG, DH, and OK wrote the manuscript. All authors read and approved the manuscript.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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