Effect of localised vibration on muscle strength in healthy adults: a systematic review

Physiotherapy. 2018 Mar;104(1):18-24. doi: 10.1016/j.physio.2017.06.006. Epub 2017 Aug 6.


Objective: To investigate the effects of local vibration on muscle strength in healthy adults.

Data sources: The electronic databases PubMed, CINAHL, Scopus and Web of Science were searched using a combination of the following keywords: vibration, vibration therapy, power, maximal voluntary contraction, performance, rate of force development and vibratory exercise. In addition, the Medical Subject Headings 'vibration', 'strength' and 'exercise' were used. The bibliographical search was limited to articles published in English.

Study selection: Trials that evaluated the effect of localised vibration on muscle strength in healthy humans were included.

Data extraction: Two independent evaluators verified the quality of the selected studies using the PEDro Scale and the Cochrane Collaboration's tool for assessing the risk of bias. Muscle strength was calculated for each intervention.

Results: In total, 29 full-text studies were assessed for eligibility. Eighteen studies did not match the inclusion criteria, and were excluded. The 11 studies included in this review had an average PEDro score of 5.36/10. Most of the studies reported significant improvements in muscle strength after the application of local vibration. There was considerable variation in the vibration training parameters and target muscle location.

Conclusions: The use of local vibration on the target muscle can enhance muscle strength in healthy adults. Further well-designed controlled studies are required to confirm the effect of local vibration training on muscle strength.

Keywords: Local vibration; Muscle strength; Strength training; Vibration training.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Isometric Contraction / physiology
  • Isotonic Contraction / physiology
  • Muscle Strength / physiology*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology*
  • Physical Therapy Modalities*
  • Vibration / therapeutic use*