Neural adaptations in quadriceps muscle after 4 weeks of local vibration training in young versus older subjects

Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2018 May;43(5):427-436. doi: 10.1139/apnm-2017-0612. Epub 2017 Nov 24.


This study investigated the effects of a 4-week local vibration training (LVT) on the function of the knee extensors and corticospinal properties in healthy young and older subjects. Seventeen subjects (9 young and 8 older) performed 3 testing sessions: before (PRE1) and after (PRE2) a 4-week resting period to control the repeatability of the data as well as after the LVT (POST). Jump performance, maximal voluntary contraction (MVC) and electromyographic (EMG) activity on vastus lateralis and rectus femoris muscles were assessed. Single-pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) allowed evaluation of cortical voluntary activation (VATMS), motor evoked potential (MEP) area, and silent period (SP) duration. All training adaptations were similar between young and older subjects (p > 0.05) and the following results reflect the pooled sample of subjects. MVC (+11.9% ± 8.0%, p < 0.001) and VATMS (+3.6% ± 5.2%, p = 0.004) were significantly increased at POST compared with PRE2. Maximal vastus lateralis EMG was significantly increased at POST (+21.9% ± 33.7%, p = 0.03). No changes were reported for MEPs on both muscles (p > 0.05). SPs recorded during maximal and submaximal contractions decreased in both muscles at POST (p < 0.05). Vertical jump performance was increased at POST (p < 0.05). LVT seems as effective in young as in older subjects to improve maximal functional capacities through neural modulations occurring at least partly at the supra-spinal level. Local vibration may be used as an efficient alternative training method to improve muscular performance in both healthy young and older subjects.

Keywords: activation corticale volontaire; cortical voluntary activation; corticospinal excitability and inhibition; entraînement par vibration locale; excitabilité et inhibition corticospinale; local vibration training; older population; population âgée; stimulation magnétique transcrânienne; transcranial magnetic stimulation.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological*
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Electromyography
  • Evoked Potentials, Motor*
  • Exercise
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Isometric Contraction
  • Knee / physiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscle Contraction / physiology*
  • Quadriceps Muscle / physiology*
  • Rest
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation
  • Vibration*
  • Young Adult