Whole-body vibration (WBV) has been shown to be osteogenic in animal models; however, its application in humans is not clear. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of an 8-month program involving WBV plus resistance training on bone mineral density (BMD) and bone metabolism in older postmenopausal women. Fifty-five estrogen-deficient postmenopausal women were assigned to a resistance training group (R, n=22), a WBV plus resistance training group (WBVR, n=21), or a control group (CON, n=12). R and WBVR performed upper and lower body resistance exercises 3 days/week at 80% 1 Repetition Maximum (1RM). WBVR received vibration (30-40 Hz, 2-2.8 g) in three different positions preceding the resistance exercises. Daily calcium intake, bone markers (Bone alkaline phosphatase (Bone ALP); C-terminal telopeptide of Type I collagen (CTX), and BMD of the spine, dual femur, forearm, and total body (DXA) were measured at baseline and after the intervention. At baseline, there were no significant group differences in strength, BMD, or bone marker variables. After 8 months of R or WBVR, there were no significant group or time effects in Bone ALP, CTX, or total body, spine, left hip or right trochanter BMD. However, right total hip and right femoral neck BMD significantly (p<0.05) decreased in all groups. A group x time interaction (p<0.05) was detected at radius 33% BMD site, with CON slightly increasing, and WBVR slightly decreasing. R and WBVR significantly (p<0.05) increased 1RM strength for all exercises, while CON generally maintained strength. WBVR had significantly (p<0.05) greater percent increases in muscular strength than R at 4 months for lat pull down, seated row, hip abduction and hip adduction and at 8 months for lat pull down, hip abduction and hip adduction. Bone metabolism in postmenopausal women was not affected by resistance training either with or without WBV. In contrast, the addition of WBV augmented the positive effects of resistance training on muscular strength in these older women.
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