Middle age is associated with a pronounced decline in power and flexibility. Whilst whole body vibration training (WBVT) improves performance in a range of populations, whether WBVT can improve muscle power and flexibility in a middle-aged population is not known. The present study aimed to determine the influence of 5 weeks progressive WBVT in middle-aged (45-55 yrs.) and younger (20-30 yrs.) recreationally active females. Participants in each age group were randomly allocated to an intervention (WBVT) or control group. The WBVT groups trained for five weeks on a vibration platform, while the control groups performed identical exercises, with no vibration. Prior to, and after, the five-week study vertical countermovement jump (VCMJ) and range of motion (ROM) performance were measured. WBVT significantly (P = 0.001) improved VCMJ performance when compared to the control groups. This improvement was significantly (P = 0.001) greater in the middle-aged compared with the younger WBVT group. WBVT significantly (P = 0.001) improved ROM irrespective of age. Taken together, these results suggest that WBVT can off-set age related performance decrements, which has therapeutic implications for musculoskeletal aging. Therefore, WBVT could be undertaken to minimise age-related performance deterioration in middle-aged female populations.
- Muscle power