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The increase in muscle activity observed during whole body vibration (WBV) has been used as rationale for enhanced physical performance. However, no study has attempted to determine the mechanism whereby WBV alters muscle activity and performance. The purpose of this study was to assess whether spinal activity or contractile properties are altered following acute WBV at a frequency of 45Hz and amplitude of 2mm. H-reflex, M-waves and twitch contractile properties were measured prior to and following WBV. An isometric squat was maintained for 5, 1-minute vibration exposures and during recovery at 3,5,10,20,30 and 40 minutes. WBV inhibited H-reflex and M-wave amplitude y ~50 (p<0.01) and ~7 (p=0.04), respectively. Peak twitch tension decreased ~9.2 (p=0.02) and rate of force development was ~8.3 (p=0.01) slower. These data suggest that WBV might alter spinal activity through pre-synaptic inhibition, and that Ca2+ kinetics might be slowed in the contractile tissue.
Scherer, Jonathan, "The neuromuscular response of the soleus following whole body vibration" (2008). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 4120.