Whole body vibration exercise, previously used for disease management, found to be effective at improving the physical condition of athletes as well
01/15/2018 // Michelle Simmons // Views

A study discovered that whole body vibration exercise not only manages diseases, but also improves the physical condition of athletes, particularly soccer players, divers, and combat athletes. A group of researchers from Rio de Janeiro State University in Rio de Janeiro and the University of Wolverhampton in the United Kingdom conducted a review on studies that focused on whole body vibration exercise and sports including soccer, diving, and combat sports. The aim of the study is to emphasize on the effect of whole body vibration exercise to soccer players, divers, and combat athletes.

Whole body vibration exercise involves standing, sitting, or lying on a machine with a vibrating platform. Energy is transmitted to the body as the machine vibrates. It forces the muscles to contract and relax multiple times every second, which may cause you to feel as if you are exercising yourself. (Related: Use whole body vibration exercise for weight loss, bone density and muscle building.)

The research team analyzed four publications on whole body vibration exercise and soccer with an overall of 80 participants between 20 and 25 years old. Soccer primarily involves running, while sprinting, dueling, jumping, and changing direction are key performance factors that need maximum strength and anaerobic power of the neuromuscular system. Results showed that the balance, stability, sprints, and overall performance of the soccer players, who did preconditioning exercise with whole body vibration, improved.

For whole body vibration exercise and diving, they analyzed two studies with a total of 32 participants between 17 and 44 years old. Diving involves skill, coordination, flexibility, and muscular power of lower limbs, requiring large range of motion to perform unique body positions. In addition, it involves the prevention of decompression sickness or reducing bubble formation after a dive. The studies revealed that flexibility and strength of lower limbs were higher and bubble scores were reduced in people who did whole body vibration exercise than those who did not.


Lastly, for whole body vibration exercise and combat sports, they assessed two studies with 42 total participants. As part of the warm-up process and improving flexibility for combat sports, static stretching is mainly used. The studies revealed that handgrip and flexibility improved after whole body vibration intervention.

The findings of the studies indicate that the use of whole body vibration exercise is a safe and useful technique to enhance the physical conditions of players of soccer, divers, and combat sports athletes. The findings of the study were published in the African Journal of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicines.

The other health benefits of whole body vibration exercise

Whole body vibration training does not only benefit athletes, but also people who are unable to perform normal exercise or physical activities. It is used as a therapy for people who suffered from stroke, those with osteoarthritis and whose mobility is limited, those with chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases who have difficulty in exercising and breathing, and those with type-2 diabetes and post-menopausal women who do not have enough motivation to exercise.

Even though studies found that whole body vibration exercise's  heath benefits are limited to bone health enhancement and the capacity to walk or move from a sitting to a standing position, these resulted to reducing risk of falls and fractures and increasing the capacity to perform daily activities. In addition, some studies suggested that it can reduce back pain, improve strength and balance of the elderly, and lessen bone loss, if done properly.

Find out more information on the benefits of staying physically fit at Slender.news.

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