Vibration exercise (VE) has been suggested as an effective method to improve strength and power capabilities. However, the underlying mechanisms in response to VE are still unclear. A pulley-like VE system, characterized by sinusoidal force applications has been developed and tested for proof of concept in a previous study. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of such force modulation on elbow flexors strength and compare it with conventional methods. Forty subjects were randomly divided into 4 groups of 10: the vibration group (VG), the no-vibration group (NVG), the dumbbell group (DG), and the control group (CG). Biceps curl exercises were used to train the elbow flexors 2 times a week for 8 weeks. Subjects in the VG were trained using a ramp-up baseline with superimposed 30 Hz sinusoidal vibration whereas the subjects in the NVG were trained using the same baseline but without vibration. Subjects in the DG were trained using dumbbells, and the subjects in the CG were not trained. The isometric break force (IBF) and 1 repetition maximum (1RM) of the subject's dominant arm were assessed before and after the 8-week training period. The VG achieved 1RM improvement (22.7%) larger than the NVG (10.8%) and comparable with the DG (22.3%). Differences in IBF gains following the training period among the training groups were found to be not significant. Our results support the inclusion of the proposed VE in strength training programs aimed at improving dynamic strength on the elbow flexors.
- 1 repetition maximum
- maximum voluntary contraction
- strength training
- tonic vibration reflex