Background Indirect vibration stimulation i.e. whole body vibration or upper limb vibration, has been suggested increasingly as an effective exercise intervention for sports and rehabilitation applications. However, there is a lack of evidence regarding the effects of whole body vibration (WBV) stimulation superimposed to graded isometric contractions superimposed on. For this scope, we investigated the effects of WBV superimposed to graded isometric contractions in the lower limbs on muscle activation. We also assessed the agonist-antagonist co-activation during this type of exercise.Twelve healthy volunteers were exposed to WBV superimposed to graded isometric contractions, at 20, 40, 60, 80 and 100% of the maximum voluntary contractions (V) or just isometric contractions performed on a custom designed horizontal leg press Control (C). Tested stimulation consisted of 30Hzand 50Hz frequencies and 0.5mm and 1.5mm amplitudes. Surface electromyographic activity of Vastus Lateralis (VL), Vastus Medialis (VM) and Biceps Femoris (BF) were measured during V and C conditions. Co-contraction activity of agonist-antagonist muscles was also quantified. The trials were performed in random order. Results Both the prime mover, (VL) and the antagonist, (BF) displayed significantly higher (P < 0.05) EMG activity with the V than the C condition. For both the VL and BF, the increase in mean EMGrms values depended on the frequency, amplitude and muscle contraction level with 50Hz-0.5mm stimulation inducing the largest neuromuscular activity. 50Hz-0.5mm V condition also led to co-activation ratios significantly (P< 0.05) higher at 40, 80 and 100% of MVC than the C condition. Conclusions Our results show that the isometric contraction superimposed on vibration stimulation leads to higher neuromuscular activity compared to isometric contraction alone in the lower limbs. Compared to the control condition, the vibratory stimulation leads to higher agonist-antagonist co-activation of the muscles around the knee joint in all vibration conditions and effort levels. The combination of vibration magnitude (frequency and amplitude) and the level of muscle contraction affect neuromuscular activity rather than vibration frequency alone. Results of this study suggest that more parameters need to be taken into consideration when designing vibration exercise programs for sports and rehabilitation purposes.
Pujari, A. N., Neilson, R. D., & Cardinale, M. (2018, May 8). The Effects of Different Vibration Frequencies, Amplitudes and Contraction Levels on Lower Limb Muscles during Graded Isometric Contractions Superimposed on Whole Body Vibration Stimulation. BioRxiv. bioRxiv. https://doi.org/10.1101/317602