Acute effect of whole-body vibration
warm-up on footspeed quickness

Donahue RB, Vingren JL, Duplanty AA, Levitt DE, Luk H,
Kraemer WJ. The Journal of Strength and
Conditioning Research.
2016; 30(8): 2286-2291.

Take Home Message: Whole-body vibration
improves performance on quick feet test when compared to a traditional warm-up.

Whole body
vibration (
WBV) training involves performing various movements while on a
vibrating platform, which forces the leg muscles into rapidly alternating
concentric and eccentric contractions causing an increase in metabolic rate and
muscle temperature. Implementing WBV training is becoming popular as athletes look for methods to improve
performance in a more time-efficient manner; however, effects of WBV used
in the warm-up have not been thoroughly investigated. Therefore, the authors tested
20 healthy and physically active men (18-25 years) using 4 different warm-up
methods to examine the acute effect of a WBV warm-up on feet quickness. The
athletes completed the 4 different warm-up protocols at least 48 hours apart,
which consisted of the following protocols: a traditional warm-up (using various
static and dynamic exercises and stretches), WBV warm-up (using only WBV as a
warm-up), a combined warm-up (using a traditional warm-up followed by the WBV
warm-up), and a control protocol (no warm-up). The WBV warm-up consisted of 60
seconds of vertical vibration at a frequency of 35 Hz and amplitude of 4 mm
with the athlete in a comfortable “athletic stance”. Athletes completed the
quick feet test (
QFT) following each of the warm-up protocols to determine the effectiveness
of the 4 warm-up protocols. The QFT involves athletes rapidly lifting and lowering
their feet for 3 seconds on a measurement board that counts the number of foot
contacts during the specified time interval. Researchers concluded that both
warm-ups that incorporated WBV resulted in significantly higher QFT scores than
the traditional warm-up and the control.

These results suggest
that implementing WBV may have beneficial effects on quick foot movements. This
could provide advantages for sports in which footwork and agility is paramount,
such as soccer and tennis. Sports professionals that might consider implementing
WBV into the warm-ups of their athletes should also consider limitations in the
current study. The authors do not define “feet quickness” nor explain what
sports are considered “quick foot movement” sports. In addition, the QFT only
tests for vertical movement of the feet and not movement in any other direction.
Future research should explore the use of different tests to determine dose-response
relationship with WBV warm-ups as well as the longevity of its benefits.
Despite weaknesses in the current study, medical professionals should consider
the potential benefits of adding WBV to their athletes’ warm-up protocols.

Questions for Discussion: What other
tests can be performed to more effectively measure the benefits of WBV training?
Is WBV feasible for all sports/is it readily available? What other tests could
be done to make the results more sport specific?

Written by: Stuart McCrory
Reviewed by: Jane McDevitt

Related Posts:

Donahue RB, Vingren JL, Duplanty AA, Levitt DE, Luk HY, & Kraemer WJ (2016). Acute Effect of Whole-Body Vibration Warm-up on Footspeed Quickness. Journal of strength and conditioning research, 30 (8), 2286-91 PMID: 27328378