Vibration as an adjunct to exercise: its impact on shoulder muscle activation

Grant, Michael J. and Hawkes, David H. and Horsley, Ian and McMahon, Jessica and Khaiyat, Omid A. (2019) Vibration as an adjunct to exercise: its impact on shoulder muscle activation. European Journal of Applied Physiology. ISSN 1439-6319

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There is an interest within elite sport in understanding the impact of a vibrating platform as an adjunct to exercise in the training and rehabilitation of throwing athletes. However, there has been no comprehensive evaluation of its impact on the rotator cuf muscles or its efect on the timing of shoulder muscle recruitment more globally.

Twenty healthy participants were recruited with EMG recorded from 15 shoulder girdle muscles. Isometric shoulder fexion at 25% maximal voluntary contraction was performed in three testing scenarios [no vibration; whole body vibration (WBV); and arm vibration (AV)]. A press up and triceps dips with and without vibration were also performed. Muscular recruitment was assessed pre- and post-vibration exposure as participants initiated forward fexion.

Activation of the anterior deltoid (p=0.002), serratus anterior (p=0.004), and rotator cuf muscles (p=0.004–0.022) occurred signifcantly earlier following exposure to vibration. Signifcantly greater activation was seen in the anterior, middle and posterior deltoid, upper, middle and lower trapezius, serratus anterior, teres major, latissimus dorsi, supraspinatus, and infraspinatus when the isometric contraction was performed with either WBV and/or AV (p= <0.001–0.040). Similarly, increased activation was also demonstrated during the press up and triceps dips when performed with vibration.

The use of vibration as an adjunct to exercise provokes a near global increase in shoulder muscle activation level. Furthermore, exposure to vibration alters muscular recruitment improving readiness for movement. This has potential implications within elite sport for both training and game preparation; however, further longitudinal work is required.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information and Comments: This is the author's version of an article that was accepted for publication in the European Journal of Applied Physiology. The final publication is available at
Keywords: EMG; Muscle activity; Shoulder; Vibration; Muscle recruitment
Faculty / Department: Faculty of Science > School of Health Sciences
Depositing User: Omid Khaiyat
Date Deposited: 05 Jun 2019 13:05
Last Modified: 05 Jun 2019 13:05

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