Vibration Training

Joe P asked to comment on Vibration Training as the latest fad. The fact that it is a fad does bother me. It is a viable training tool and modality in the correct hands and in the correct situation. It is not viable for the general public in a health club or gym environment without strict supervision. As a method it has been around for at least thirty years. I first saw it alluded to in Soviet training literature in the 1970’s. I did an extensive literature search of vibration training about six years ago and found an article in an American physical therapy journal from the early 70’s. A lot of the early research on vibration was designed to study the negative effects in industrial settings and with truck drivers. Don’t quote me on this but I also think this was a factor that was studied early in the space program due to the severe vibration forces at lift off. I have not any first hand experience using vibration with athletes I have worked with. I have played with a bit myself just to get a feel for it. Talking to my colleagues who have used in a systematic manner with elite athletes it definitely helps with flexibility. They also felt it was very individual in its application and adaptive response. Some have used it very individually as a recovery modality. The vibration platforms they used were not commercial platforms, but specially built platforms that had narrower ranges of vibration. The commercial machines that I have seen go up in 10Hz jumps, way too big a jump in my opinion. There is also the danger of harmonic convergence with human tissue. If not used properly it can explode eyeballs! A good overview of vibration training from a scientific perspective is “Vibration Loads: Potential for Strength and Power Development” by Mester, Spitzenpfeil and Yue. In Strength And Power In Sport. Second Edition. Edited by Pavo Komi. My advice is let the buyer beware.


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