Have you ever used electronic muscle stimulators? Most people use electronic muscle stimulators for muscle recovery. But did you know that electronic muscle stimulators can also be used for training purposes?
EMS has received increasing attention in the last few years because of its potential to serve as a strength training tool for healthy subjects and athletes, a rehabilitation and preventive tool for partially or totally immobilized patients, a testing tool for evaluating the neural and/or muscular function in vivo, and a post-exercise recovery tool for athletes.
Source: electrical muscle stimulation
How electronic muscle stimulators came into use
Let’s take a little journey back in time for a second. Let’s find out how electronic muscle stimulators came to be in the first place. Back in 1711, Leo Galvani was the first who found out that current can produce movement in a muscle. During the 60’s, the Soviets experimented with electrical stimulation on athletes, later claiming they had achieved 40% force gains using this method.
Electric stimulators were (and still are) most commonly used for rehabilitation methods and as health products. Electric stimulators were designed to keep muscles from atrophying by combining muscle cells with electricity.
This caused the muscles to contract and it kept them busy in cases where a limb had to be immobilized or in patients that were comatose. Over the past two decades, various devices have been constructed for the purpose of treatment for patients that suffer from a variety of illnesses.
I am talking about illnesses like cancer and chronic heart failure, patients who had gone through orthopedic surgery, etc. The initial success of electronic stimulators later triggered an interest in electronic muscle stimulation (EMS) as a method for complementing other forms of voluntary training. Today, electronic muscle stimulators are widely used both in rehabilitation and as fitness and health products.
How does an electronic muscle stimulator work?
Basically, during exercise, or any movement of your muscles whatsoever, your brain sends electrical impulses through your spinal cord. Your brain sends the electrical impulses to all the muscles you’re currently using, “telling” them to contract and relax. This is called voluntary muscle action, when you, i.e. your brain is in direct control of your muscles.
The electronic muscle stimulators mimic these electrical impulses, triggering an involuntary reaction of your muscles. Our muscles are made out of different types of fibers. The slow twitch fiber is the first in line when voluntary muscle action is triggered. Though the slow twitch fiber isn’t energy demanding, it’s not very powerful either.
The fast twitch fiber on the other hand, though not as durable, packs a lot more firepower. Our brain coordinates these two types of fibers during voluntary muscle action, creating a kind of wave throughout the entire muscle. Also, as a last resort, the brain regulates a third type of fiber, the anaerobic fast twitch fiber, which is directly correlated with our anaerobic threshold.
The anaerobic fast twitch fiber also correlates with our VO2max, which indicates the amount of oxygen our muscles use during an intensive workout. It has been shown that regular training of both the fast and the anaerobic fast twitch result in a better VO2max capacity, which is very important for an athlete.
Why electronic muscle stimulators are helpful during training
When electronic muscle stimulation is implemented, all the motoneurons in the designated muscle fiber at the same time, thus triggering an uncoordinated contraction. This is quite important, as some of these fibers are very hard to utilize during voluntary muscle action, most of which are fast twitch fibers.
This electronic stimulation phases on and off, thus mimicking the conventional workout. If the electronic stimulation is done right, it results in an increased muscle tone and stronger muscle fibers. Used properly and accompanied by regular, traditional training and exercise, electronic muscle stimulation can help with muscle hypertrophy. It specifically helps by increasing muscle strength and endurance.
Electronic muscle stimulation allows you to get more out of regular training sessions. Therefore, the result is an increase in body temperature. With regular workouts, this can help you speed up your metabolism, helping your body with fat absorption.
The active recovery principle can be augmented using electronic muscle stimulation, since this has been recently proven to be much more effective than other recovery methods. This is of crucial importance, since EMS has been proven to help with the removal of exercise byproducts, such as metabolites and other chemicals that are responsible for the inflammation of the muscle.
Thanks to electronic muscle stimulators, no one will have to skip days after a rough training. Electronic muscle stimulators like Compex consist of multiple programs, each meant for a different result. Since EMS can induce different types of contraction, these programs are meant for reaching a specific goal, such as muscle strength, endurance, post-training recovery, etc. It all depends on what the user wants.
Compex – a global leader in electrostimulation
The great thing about electronic muscle stimulators is that anyone can use them. It doesn’t matter whether you are an athlete, a bodybuilder or just someone who exercises at home. But since there are different types of electronic muscle stimulators, how do you know which one is ideal for you?
Compex has been the one of the leading innovators in electrotherapy. Compex’s EMS products are used by athletes and health care professionals. Compex enables you to build muscle strength and get bigger. But that’s not all.
You also get to increase your power and endurance with Compex’s EMS products. When you are done with the training, your muscles get to recover properly with a Compex-made stimulator. And since you get to use this simulator to warm up easily in the first place, the strain on your muscles is decreased throughout the workout.
You don’t need to alter your current training program if you opt for a Compex electronic muscle stimulator. You simply continue with your current training and just complement it with a Compex product. As a result of using this electronic muscle stimulator, you get to train faster and more efficiently.
The Compex electronic muscle stimulator has 5 intensity levels that help you progress while training. Your muscles get stimulated during a training session, which makes recovery faster and easier. As a result of faster recovery, you get to train more efficiently without wasting extra time.
With the Compex electronic muscle stimulator, you will get various benefits. One of those benefits is the ability to increase your oxygen consumption. When you do endurance training, your primary goal is to maximize your oxygen consumption.
Your muscles will be healthier since Compex-made stimulators reduce muscular and osteoarticular damage. Training will become easier since fatigue will decrease during training. Compex-original electronic muscle stimulators also improve explosive strength.
Find the full line or Compex muscle stimulators and other performance monitors at HEAmotivation.