Vibration Platforms

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  • Mike Young
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    Mike Young on #13153

    Why do vibration platforms get such a bad rap? There's a growing list of research evidence to suggest that they can be a valuable tool to enhance strength, flexibility, and power output yet all I hear about in the coaching community is mocking. I know uber-coach Randy Huntington used one while he was the coach at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista. I realize they are costly, and I know

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    ELITETRACK Founder

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    fraek on #67984

    So do vibration platforms just shake a lot? Kinda like a vibrating bed… haha.

    But seriously I can see the reasoning in adding it to a training program.  Kinda like a stability/core strength workout.  I mean i dont think anyone here would not want to try one out.  Ive googled it and it just looks like a fun piece of equipment.

    Mike Young
    Keymaster
    Mike Young on #65269

    Vibration platforms are far more than a stability / core strength workout. That would be a low frequency vibration. The platforms I'm speaking of are high frequency, low amplitude vibration that elicits a big neuromuscular response.

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    mortac8 on #65270

    Which platform is ideal?  Do you need a $20,000 one or will a $5,000 one do?  Please don't tell me I need one from Europe that has been polished with Bosco's tears.

    Mike Young
    Keymaster
    Mike Young on #65271

    Which platform is ideal?  Do you need a $20,000 one or will a $5,000 one do?  Please don't tell me I need one from Europe that has been polished with Bosco's tears.

    To be honest I don't know. I really haven't researched the various types or why there's such a wide range of prices. All I wanted to point out was that they aren't just a gimmick (at least not the good ones) and can actually produce a host of beneficial training benefits.

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    horla on #65272

    I've participated in a test with vibration platforms and I must say it did wonders for my recovery from a hamstring strain. I would like to use it through the whole year but at the moment it costs about €10 (~$13) for a session (~30 min). I think the one in my fitness center costs about €8000 ($10660).

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    wasp0 on #65273

    If I won the lottery this would be something I would purchase. Unfortunately I can not currently justify the expense on my student income. Maybe one day in the future….. 

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    mortac8 on #65274

    If I won the lottery this would be something I would purchase. Unfortunately I can not currently justify the expense on my student income. Maybe one day in the future….. 

    I agree.  I cannot justify the expense.  I think the purchase of one of these things could end up like Napoleon Dynamite's purchase of the time machine.

    Carl Valle
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    Carl Valle on #65275

    Vibration platforms are so overrated.

    Mike Young
    Keymaster
    Mike Young on #65276

    Vibration platforms are so overrated.

    Have you ever used one? I haven't, other than at conference demonstration halls. I'm basing my conclusions on the advice of Randy Huntington who had access to one at the Olympic Training Center as well as the growing body of research supporting it. Randy is really the only person I know who has used one long term for performance enhancement. He was pretty adamant that not all platforms are created equal.

    ELITETRACK Founder

    Carl Valle
    Participant
    Carl Valle on #65277

    Mike,

    My question is the following: Will vibration platforms be washed out in a complete program? Example, will vibration platforms help an olympic lifter increased their performance over 3 x 8 hurdle jumps (same stress total/duration?)

    Mike Young
    Keymaster
    Mike Young on #65278

    That's a good question and I don't think the research on the subject provides a conclusive answer for trained athletes. For untrained individuals there's quite a bit of research indicating the benefits of WBV. Here's two somewhat contradictory studies:

    Delecluse C, Roelants M, Diels R, Koninckx E, Verschueren S. (2005). Effects of whole body vibration training on muscle strength and sprint performance in sprint-trained athletes.Int J Sports Med, 26(8): 662-668.

    Despite the expanding use of Whole Body Vibration training among athletes, it is not known whether adding Whole Body Vibration training to the conventional training of sprint-trained athletes will improve speed-strength performance. Twenty experienced sprint-trained athletes (13 male symbol, 7 female symbol, 17-30 years old) were randomly assigned to a Whole Body Vibration group (n=10: 6 male symbol and 4 female symbol) or a Control group (n=10: 7 male symbol, 3 female symbol). During a 5-week experimental period all subjects continued their conventional training program, but the subjects of the Whole Body Vibration group additionally performed three times weekly a Whole Body Vibration training prior to their conventional training program. The Whole Body Vibration program consisted of unloaded static and dynamic leg exercises on a vibration platform (35-40 Hz, 1.7-2.5 mm, Power Plate). Pre and post isometric and dynamic (100 degrees/s) knee-extensor and -flexor strength and knee-extension velocity at fixed resistances were measured by means of a motor-driven dynamometer (Rev 9000, Technogym). Vertical jump performance was measured by means of a contact mat. Force-time characteristics of the start action were assessed using a load cell mounted on each starting block. Sprint running velocity was recorded by means of a laser system. Isometric and dynamic knee-extensor and knee-flexor strength were unaffected (p>0.05) in the Whole Body Vibration group and the Control group. As well, knee-extension velocity remained unchanged (p>0.05). The duration of the start action, the resulting start velocity, start acceleration, and sprint running velocity did not change (>0.05) in either group. In conclusion, this specific Whole Body Vibration protocol of 5 weeks had no surplus value upon the conventional training program to improve speed-strength performance in sprint-trained athletes.

    Fagnani F, Giombini A, Di Cesare A, Pigozzi F, Di Salvo V. (2006). The effects of a whole-body vibration program on muscle performance and flexibility in female athletes. Am J Phys Med Rehabil;85(12):956-962

    OBJECTIVE: This randomized controlled study was designed to investigate the short-term effects of an 8-wk whole-body vibration protocol on muscle performance and flexibility in female competitive athletes. DESIGN: Twenty-six young volunteer female athletes (ages 21-27 yrs) were randomized to either the vibration group or control group. The vibration intervention consisted of an 8-wk whole-body vibration 3 times a week employed by standing on a vertical vibration platform. As outcome measures, three performance tests (counter-movement jump, extension strength of lower extremities with an isokinetic horizontal leg press, and a sit-and-reach test for flexibility) were performed initially and after 8 wks. RESULTS: A total of 24 athletes completed the study properly. In the vibration group (n = 13) whole-body vibration induced significant improvement of bilateral knee extensor strength (P < 0.001), counter-movements jump (P < 0.001), and flexibility (P < 0.001) after 8 wks of training. No significant changes were found for all the outcome measures for the control group (n = 11). CONCLUSIONS: Whole-body vibration is a suitable training method to improve knee extension maximal strength, counter-movement jump, and flexibility in a young female athlete if it is properly designed. Not only do the optimal frequency, amplitude, and g-forces need to be identified but also the level of muscle activation that would benefit more from vibration stimulation. The improvement of flexibility is important not only for performance but also for the prevention of muscle-tendon injury.

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