Athletes and trainers know the benefits of warming up muscles prior to activity to help reduce pain or stiffness. Whole-body vibration has emerged as an alternative to simple stretching to warm up the entire body; for example, PHS Chiropractic offers two levels of vibrating platforms ideal for both the professional and recreational athlete. The National Strength and Conditioning Association looks at how this new protocol not only provides an effective warm-up, but even improves performance.
Prior to all activities, athletes should undergo some type of warm-up to prepare their bodies for activity. It is important to perform an adequate warm-up in order to decrease muscle and joint stiffness. The use of a general warm-up may also be used to enhance physical performance and possibly aid in the prevention of sport-related injuries. Warm-up techniques are primarily used to increase body temperature and are classified in three major categories:
Passive Warm-Up – increases temperature by some external means
General Warm-Up – increases temperature by non-specific body movements
Specific Warm-Up – increases temperature using similar body parts that will be used in the subsequent activity (more strenuous)
In a research study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, investigators set out to determine if whole-body vibration (WBV) is a useful tool within a warm-up for recreational golfers. The researchers used sit and reach, ball speed, carry distance and total distance to evaluate the effectiveness of the warm-up.
The results of the study revealed that significant and profound benefits were seen after executing a warm-up on a WBV platform. There was an increase in flexibility and power output after the WBV warm-up.
Thus, it can be recommended that if practitioners have access to a WBV platform, it can be used within a warm-up protocol. It is recommended that practitioners follow the protocol provided within the study as this protocol was used to enhance flexibility and power within recreational golfers.