Whole body vibration training is not more effective than resistance training
Whole body vibration training (WBVT) has increased in popularity in both sports and rehabilitation centers. The main advantage of WBVT is that short exposure (10 minutes) can stimulate many muscle fibers and produce more contractions. Other benefits are stimulated blood circulation, reduced blood pressure and improved bone density.
However, it’s unknown if WBVT can enhance weight loss, increased muscle mass and energy expenditure, in addition to/instead of resistance training. A 1-year randomized controlled study comparing WBVT with resistance training, found increased strength/muscle mass in both groups, but no significant difference between groups (1).
On reduced body fat, studies have examined the effect of WBVT training 3 and 6 months. Both groups lost weight, but the WBVT group did not differ in changes in fat mass or visceral fat compared to the control group (2,3). WBVT might give a slight increase in energy expenditure than the same exercise performed without the platform. (4-7)
On gaining muscle mass, several published studies found no difference after using WBVT. Some even reported a reduction in muscle mass. Thus the question of the effects of WBVT on muscle mass remains open. (2, 4, 8) In conclusion, it seems WBVT may possibly have some benefit, but study results are inconsistent and some even contradictory. A recent meta-analysis concluded that WBVT shouldn’t replace resistance training but could simply be used as a supplement (9).
Article by Maria Ekblom, licensed physiotherapist & personal trainer.
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2. Yoo J, et al. Korean Journal of Family Medicine. 2009;30(2):112.
3. Roelants M, et al. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. 2004;52(6):901-908.
4. Song G, et al. Korean Journal of Family Medicine. 2011;32(7):399.
5. Wilms B, et al. IJSM. 2012;33(09):740-743.
6. von Stengel S, et al. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports. 2010;22(1):119-127.
7. Fjeldstad C, et al. Maturitas. 2009;63(1):79-83.
8. Osawa YOguma Y. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports. 2011;23(1):84-95.
9. Dabbs NSvoboda S. Strength and Conditioning