Adipose-derived progenitor/stem cells (ASCs) are discussed as a promising candidate for various tissue engineering approaches. However, its applicability for the clinic is still difficult due to intra- and inter-donor heterogeneity and limited life span in vitro, influencing differentiation capacity as a consequence to decreased multipotency. Extracorporeal shock wave treatment has been proven to be a suitable clinical tool to improve regeneration of a variety of tissues for several decades, whereas the mechanisms underlying these beneficial effects remain widely unknown. In this study we show that human and rat adipose derived stem cells respond strongly to repetitive shock wave treatment in vitro, resulting not only in maintenance and significant elevation of mesenchymal markers (CD73, CD90, CD105), but also in significantly increased differentiation capacity towards the osteogenic and adipogenic lineage as well as toward Schwann-cell like cells even after extended time in vitro, preserving multipotency of ASCs. ESWT might be a promising tool to improve ASC quality for cell therapy in various tissue engineering and regenerative medicine applications.