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School of Health Sciences

The effect of vibration on Shoulder Muscle Activation and Fatigue

Researchers: Miss Jessica McMahon, Dr Omid Alizadehkaiyat, Mr David Hawkes and Mr Ian Horsley

Vibration 1 Vibration 2Does vibration alter the activation of shoulder girdle muscles during upper limb exercises? Does vibration induce earlier activation of the rotator cuff muscles?Does the soft tissue massage effect of vibration enhance muscle recovery from fatigue?

We explore the effects of vibration on shoulder muscle activation during common rehabilitation exercises and the effects of vibration on recovery from fatigue. Using the principles of whole body vibration (WBV)/acceleration training, which was first introduced to combat the negative effects of a zero gravity environment, we stimulate a rapid reflexive response (R3) in the muscles via the proprioceptors that increases nerve communication to and from the CNS.

How it works‌

The vibration creates micro-moments of instability within the body that induces an involuntary activation of the muscles (R3) via the tonic vibration reflex (TVR) (Vibration induced activation). WBV training is done on a vibration platform that either oscillates side to side or vertically vibrates at given frequencies and amplitudes. Vibration is transferred to the body via standing on the platform or through accessories such as hand straps.

Participants are required to attend one 2-hour session in the biomechanics labs (Health Science Building). Electromyography (EMG) will be used during the session to measure the shoulder muscle activity/fatigue during selected exercises. Participants will gain knowledge about the use of whole body vibration training for both recovery and performance that they will be able to utilize in the future.  Voluntary participation will contribute to a research project that is collaborated with the EIS (English Institute of Sport) in which the results may help enhance training rehabilitation programs for athletes.


Contact Information

For more information on this project, please contact Dr Alizadehkaiyat at