Purpose: The present study compared the muscle activity of the upper trapezius with those of the serratus anterior and the lower trapezius when slings, unstable surfaces, were laterally vibrated, to examine the effects of vibration during sling exercises on shoulder stabilization muscles.

Methods: The subjects performed push-up exercises on a sling and maintained isometric contraction in the final stage, while vibration was manually administered to the rope of the sling during the isometric-contraction stage. Vibration within a range of 10 cm was delivered for five seconds at a frequency of 1 Hz in time with a metronome. Vibrations were applied for five seconds at 3 Hz and 3.5 Hz, respectively.

Results: The serratus anterior showed a significant differences between isometric contraction with vibration of 3 Hz and isometric contraction with vibration of 3.5 Hz.

Conclusion: The upper trapezius and the lower trapezius showed prominent changes in muscle activity at 3.5 Hz, and the serratus anterior showed prominent changes in muscle activity at 3 Hz and 3.5 Hz. Therefore, as vibration frequency increased, making the load-bearing surface more unstable, the recruitment of the upper trapezius, the lower trapezius, and the serratus anterior increased. To perform exercises that selectively strengthen the serratus anterior, the exercises should be performed at a vibration frequency of 3 Hz.

Key words: Vibration, Shoulder joint, Muscle activity