The effects of vibration during maximal graded cycling exercise: a pilot study

J Sports Sci Med. 2012 Sep 1;11(3):423-9. eCollection 2012.


Whole Body Vibration training is studied and used in different areas, related to sport performance and rehabilitation. However, few studies have investigated the effects of Vibration (Vib) exposure on aerobic performance through the application of this concept to cycling exercise. A specifically designed vibrating cycloergometer, the powerBIKE(™), was used to compare the effects of Vib cycling exercise and normal cycling on different physiological parameters during maximal graded exercise test. Twelve recreationally active male adults (25 ± 4.8 yrs; 181.33 ± 5.47 cm; 80.66 ± 11.91 kg) performed two maximal incremental cycling tests with and without Vib in a block-randomized order. The protocol consisted of a 4 min warm up at 70 rev·min(-1) followed by incremental steps of 3 min each. Cycling cadence was increased at each step by 10 rev·min(-1) until participants reached their volitional exhaustion. Respiratory gases (VO2, VCO2), Heart Rate, Blood Lactate and RPE were collected during the test. Paired t-tests and Cor-relation Coefficients were used for statistical analysis. A significantly greater (P<0.05) response in the VO2, HR, BLa and RPE was observed during the Vib trial compare to normal cycling. No significant differences were found in the maximal aerobic power (Vib 34.32 ± 9.70 ml·kg(-1)·min(-1); no Vib 40.11 ± 9.49 ml·kg(-1)·min(-1)). Adding Vib to cycling exercise seems eliciting a quicker energetic demand during maximal exercise. However, mechanical limitations of the vibrating prototype could have affected the final outcomes. Future studies with more comparative setting are recommended to deeply appraise this concept.

Keywords: Aerobic; Cycloergometer; Endurance; Energetic demand; Vibration.