Already in the seventies, vibration training was used in the former USSR, as a complementary training for the top athletes. Russian cosmonauts also used vibration training, in order to avoid osteoporosis and muscle weakness.
The Italian professor Carmelo Bosco has been very influent in the latest years' research in the field of vibration training. He has presented a number of studies proving the positive effects of vibration training.
Today, vibration training is quite commonly used by leading physiotherapists as a complement to other treatment methods. It is resourceful rehabilitation training for a number of diagnoses. The corporations and the corporate healthcare have noticed vibration training as a possibility to handle stress and a way to prevent cumulative trauma disorders by activating the muscles.
How does vibration training work?
The effect of vibration results in 'tonic vibration reflex' or 'TVR', a repeated myotatic reflex or stretch reflex. When the muscle is exposed to vibration training (whole body vibration) the stretch reflexes are activated resulting in enhanced activity in the neuromuscular systemimproves the essential interplay between nerves and muscles.The vibrated muscle has to work very hard, without you actually having to do anything. The muscles are activated up to 100% and then relaxed automatically.
The reflex-based activation makes vibration training well suited for training of muscles which do not function properly as well as weakened muscles.
- TVR (Tonic Vibrations Reflex) gives an increased muscle tonus by activating the stretch reflex and by activating the skin's receptors
- An increased activation of the proprioception receptors conducts impulses to the stretch reflex and information to the CNS about length and position changes of the joints
- VIPI (Vibration Induced Postural Illusion)
Positive effects of Vibration training
Commonly, positive effects are expected within the following areas:
- Increased dynamic muscle strength, endurance and lactic acid tolerance
- Increased blood circulation
- Increased levels of serotonin and decreased levels of the stress hormone Hydrocortisone
- Improved balance and postural control, mainly because of increased muscle strength
- Pain relief