University of Oregon

Department of Human Physiology Graduate Studies in Athletic Training and Sports Medicine

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A Comparison of Whole Body Vibration and Resistance Training on Total Work in the Rotator Cuff

Jason Hand MS, ATC

Context: Whole body vibration machines are a relatively new technology being implemented in the athletic setting. Numerous studies have examined the proposed physiological mechanisms of vibration therapy in addition to performance outcomes. Currently, studies have mainly observed changes in the lower extremity following individual exercises, with minimal work examining the upper extremity and resistance training programs.

Objective: To examine the effects of a novel vibration intervention directed at the upper extremity as a precursor to a supervised multi-joint dynamic resistance training program.

Design: 10-week, repeated measures experiment.

Setting: Division IA Institution.

Subjects: Thirteen female student-athletes were placed in two treatment groups; 1) whole body vibration and resistance training, 2) resistance training only.

Intervention: Subjects in the vibration and resistance training group utilized an experimental vibration protocol of: 2 x 60s @ 4mm and 50Hz, in a modified-pushup position, 3x/week for 10 weeks, just prior to their supervised resistance training session.

Measurements: Isokinetic total work measurements of the rotator cuff were collected at baseline, week 5, and week 10.

Results: No significant differences were found between the two treatment groups (p > .05); however, there was a stastically significant increase in rotator cuff output across time for both groups (p < .05).

Conclusions: Results suggest that it is possible to indirectly strengthen the rotator cuff by using a multi-joint dynamic resistance training program. Despite no statistical significance between groups, the use of whole body vibration as a precursor to multi-joint exercises warrants further investigation.

Key Words: Whole Body Vibration, Isokinetic, Rotator Cuff, Resistance Training