Metabolic Responses to Whole-Body Vibration Exercise

  • Jörn RittwegerEmail author


The key substrates in human energy metabolism are ATP, phosphocreatine, glucose, carbohydrates, and lipids. While phosphocreatine and glucose allow some limited generation of ATP in the absence of oxygen, the bulk of ATP generation is through the oxidative phosphorylation of carbohydrates and lipids. Accordingly, measurement of oxygen uptake (VO2) by spirometry is straightforward for the assessment of the body’s energy metabolism.

A large number of studies demonstrate that VO2 is increased during WBV and that this increase is systematically dependent on vibration amplitude and frequency. Further studies demonstrate that skeletal muscle is responsible for the increase in VO2. However, the effect is quite moderate in itself and, hence, probably irrelevant to long-term energy balance.

A small number of studies suggest that WBV shifts energy metabolism toward utilization of carbohydrates and that it may enhance excess postexercise VO2. However, more research is needed before conclusions can be drawn.


Exercise physiology Diabetes Nutrition Diet Fuel Substrate utilization 


  1. 1.
    Stryer L. Biochemie [Biochemistry]. Heidelberg: Spektrum Verlag; 1990.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Quistorff B, Secher NH, Van Lieshout JJ. Lactate fuels the human brain during exercise. FASEB J. 2008;22(10):3443–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Kim J, Saidel GM, Cabrera ME. Multi-scale computational model of fuel homeostasis during exercise: effect of hormonal control. Ann Biomed Eng. 2007;35(1):69–90.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Whipp BJ. The slow component of O2 uptake kinetics during heavy exercise. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1994;26(11):1319.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Berger NJA, Rittweger J, Tolfrey K, Williams A, Jones AM. Pulmonary O2 uptake on-kinetics in sprint- and endurance-trained master athletes. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2005;37(5 Suppl):S362.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Speakman JR, Selman C. Physical activity and resting metabolic rate. P Nutr Soc. 2003;62(3):621–34.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Westerterp KR. Exercise, energy expenditure and energy balance, as measured with doubly labelled water. Proc Nutr Soc. 2018;77(1):4–10.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Ryschon TW, Fowler MD, Wysong RE, Anthony A, Balaban RS. Efficiency of human skeletal muscle in vivo: comparison of isometric, concentric, and eccentric muscle action. J Appl Physiol. 1997;83(3):867.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Zange J, Haller T, Muller K, Liphardt AM, Mester J. Energy metabolism in human calf muscle performing isometric plantar flexion superimposed by 20-Hz vibration. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2009;104(2):271–7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Rittweger J, Schiessl H, Felsenberg D. Oxygen-uptake during whole body vibration exercise: comparison with squatting as a slow voluntary movement. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2001;86:169–73.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Rittweger J, Ehrig J, Just K, Mutschelknauss M, Kirsch KA, Felsenberg D. Oxygen uptake in whole-body vibration exercise: influence of vibration frequency, amplitude, and external load. IntJ Sports Med. 2002;23(6):428–32.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Garatachea N, Jimenez A, Bresciani G, Marino NA, Gonzalez-Gallego J, de Paz JA. The effects of movement velocity during squatting on energy expenditure and substrate utilization in whole-body vibration. J Strength Cond Res. 2007;21(2):594–8.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Vissers D, Baeyens JP, Truijen S, Ides K, Vercruysse CC, Van Gaal L. The effect of whole body vibration short-term exercises on respiratory gas exchange in overweight and obese women. Phys Sportsmed. 2009;37(3):88–94.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Avelar NC, Simao AP, Tossige-Gomes R, Neves CD, Mezencio B, Szmuchrowski L, et al. Oxygen consumption and heart rate during repeated squatting exercises with or without whole-body vibration in the elderly. J Strength Cond Res. 2011;25(12):3495–500.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Yarar-Fisher C, Pascoe DD, Gladden LB, Quindry JC, Hudson J, Sefton J. Acute physiological effects of whole body vibration (WBV) on central hemodynamics, muscle oxygenation and oxygen consumption in individuals with chronic spinal cord injury. Disabil Rehabil. 2014;36(2):136–45.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Gloeckl R, Richter P, Winterkamp S, Pfeifer M, Nell C, Christle JW, et al. Cardiopulmonary response during whole-body vibration training in patients with severe COPD. ERJ Open Res. 2017;3(1) Scholar
  17. 17.
    Fares EJ, Charriere N, Montani JP, Schutz Y, Dulloo AG, Miles-Chan JL. Energy expenditure and substrate oxidation in response to side-alternating whole body vibration across three commonly-used vibration frequencies. PLoS One. 2016;11(3):e0151552.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Kang J, Porfido T, Ismaili C, Selamie S, Kuper J, Bush JA, et al. Metabolic responses to whole-body vibration: effect of frequency and amplitude. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2016;116(9):1829–39.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Serravite DH, Edwards D, Edwards ES, Gallo SE, Signorile JF. Loading and concurrent synchronous whole-body vibration interaction increases oxygen consumption during resistance exercise. J Sports Sci Med. 2013;12(3):475–80.PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Da Silva ME, Fernandez JM, Castillo E, Nunez VM, Vaamonde DM, Poblador MS, et al. Influence of vibration training on energy expenditure in active men. J Strength Cond Res. 2007;21(2):470–5.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Gojanovic B, Feihl F, Gremion G, Waeber B. Physiological response to whole-body vibration in athletes and sedentary subjects. Physiol Res/Acad Sci Bohemoslov. 2014;63(6):779–92.Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Milanese C, Cavedon V, Sandri M, Tam E, Piscitelli F, Boschi F, et al. Metabolic effect of bodyweight whole-body vibration in a 20-min exercise session: a crossover study using verified vibration stimulus. PLoS One. 2018;13(1):e0192046.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Rosenberger A, Beijer A, Schoenau E, Mester J, Rittweger J, Zange J. Changes in motor unit activity and respiratory oxygen uptake during 6 weeks of progressive whole-body vibration combined with progressive, high intensity resistance training. J Musculoskelet Neuronal Interact. 2019;19(2):159–68.PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Cochrane DJ, Sartor F, Winwood K, Stannard SR, Narici MV, Rittweger J. A comparison of the physiologic effects of acute whole-body vibration exercise in young and older people. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2008;89(5):815–21.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Rittweger J, Moss AD, Colier W, Stewart C, Degens H. Muscle tissue oxygenation and VEGF in VO-matched vibration and squatting exercise. Clin Physiol Funct Imaging. 2010;30(4):269–78.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Zange J, Molitor S, Illbruck A, Muller K, Schonau E, Kohl-Bareis M, et al. In the unloaded lower leg, vibration extrudes venous blood out of the calf muscles probably by direct acceleration and without arterial vasodilation. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2014;114(5):1005–12.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Thornton MK, Potteiger JA. Effects of resistance exercise bouts of different intensities but equal work on EPOC. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2002;34(4):715–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Hazell TJ, Lemon PW. Synchronous whole-body vibration increases VO(2) during and following acute exercise. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2012;112(2):413–20.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Aerospace Medicine, German Aerospace Center (DLR)CologneGermany
  2. 2.Department of Pediatrics and Adolescent MedicineUniversity of CologneCologneGermany

Personalised recommendations