Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968   
Ios-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Androit-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
from September 2014
©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2013) 12, 439 - 446

Research article
Variations in Neuromuscular Activity of Thigh Muscles During Whole-Body Vibration in Consideration of Different Biomechanical Variables
Dennis Perchthaler1, , Thomas Horstmann2,3, Stefan Grau1
Author Information
1 Department of Sports Medicine, Medical Clinic, University of Tuebingen, Germany
2 Faculty for Sport and Health Sciences, Technische Universität München, Munich, Germany
3 Medical Park Bad Wiessee St. Hubertus, Bad Wiessee, Germany

Dennis Perchthaler
✉ University Medical Hospital Tuebingen, Department of Sports Medicine, Medical Clinic, Hoppe-Seyler-Str. 6, 72076 Tuebingen, Germany
Publish Date
Received: 06-02-2013
Accepted: 12-04-2013
Published (online): 01-09-2013
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The intention of this study was to systematically analyze the impact of biomechanical variables in terms of different vibration frequencies, amplitudes and knee angles on quadriceps femoris and hamstring activity during exposure to whole-body vibration (WBV). 51 healthy men and women (age 55 ± 8 years) voluntary participated in the study and were randomly allocated to five different vibration-frequency groups. Each subject performed 9 static squat positions (3 amplitudes x 3 knee angles) on a side alternating vibration platform. Surface electromyography (EMG) was used to record the neuromuscular activity of the quadriceps femoris and hamstring muscles. Maximal voluntary contractions (MVCs) were performed prior to the measurements to normalize the EMG signals. A three-way mixed ANOVA was performed to analyze the different effects of the biomechanical variables on muscle activity. Depending on the biomechanical variables, EMG muscle activity ranged between 18.2 and 74.1 % MVC in the quadriceps femoris and between 5.2 and 27. 3 % MVC in the hamstrings during WBV. The highest levels of muscle activation were found at high frequencies and large amplitudes. Especially in the quadriceps femoris muscle, a WBV frequency of 30 Hz led to a significant increase in muscle activity compared to the other tested frequencies. However, it seems that knee angle is only relevant for the quadriceps femoris muscle. The results of this study should give more information for developing individual training protocols for WBV treatment in different practical applications.

Key words: Vibration training, surface electromyography, muscle strength, muscle tuning

           Key Points
  • WBV leads to a higher muscle activity of the quadriceps femoris than of the hamstrings.
  • The maximum levels of muscle activity were significantly reached at high amplitude and high frequency.
  • The knee angle only significantly affects the quadriceps femoris.
  • Certain combinations of the biomechanical variables have similar effects on the level of muscle activity.
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