Background: This randomized controlled study investigated the effects of 1-year whole-body vibration (WBV) training on isometric and explosive muscle strength and muscle mass in community-dwelling men older than 60 years.
Methods: Muscle characteristics of the WBV group (n = 31, 67.3 +/- 0.7 years) were compared with those of a fitness (FIT) group (n = 30, 67.4 +/- 0.8 years) and a control (CON) group (n = 36, 68.6 +/- 0.9 years). Isometric strength of the knee extensors was measured using an isokinetic dynamometer, explosive muscle strength was assessed using a counter movement jump, and muscle mass of the upper leg was determined by computed tomography.
Results: Isometric muscle strength, explosive muscle strength, and muscle mass increased significantly in the WBV group (9.8%, 10.9%, and 3.4%, respectively) and in the FIT group (13.1%, 9.8%, and 3.8%, respectively) with the training effects not significantly different between the groups. No significant changes in any parameter were found in the CON group.
Conclusion: WBV training is as efficient as a fitness program to increase isometric and explosive knee extension strength and muscle mass of the upper leg in community-dwelling older men. These findings suggest that WBV training has potential to prevent or reverse the age-related loss in skeletal muscle mass, referred to as sarcopenia.