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Can You Build Muscle with Electrical Stimulation?

Can You Build Muscle with Electrical Stimulation?

3 minute read

An EMS Unit (which stands for Electrical Muscle Stimulation) is designed to deeply engage your muscles with little to no effect on the central nervous system. Normally, your brain would send electrical impulses through the central nervous system, which would then signal the muscles to fire. But the question is, can electrical stimulation provoke the same response in your body?

Electrical Muscle Stimulation

The answer is yes, your body can't tell the difference!

Here are the 5 more things that an EMS (electrical muscle stimulation) Unit can do to aid recovery, aside from encouraging muscle growth:

  • Increasing strength without draining the athlete. An EMS Unit forces the muscles to contract, meanwhile the user could be seated or laying down. According to the Journal of Strength and Conditioning, EMS Units were tested on high level athletes and discovered that "despite their already high level of fitness, are able to significantly enhance their level of strength to same extent as is possible with untrained subjects."
  • Can aid with muscle/joint pain. Many users rely on EMS Units to aid their muscle soreness. It should be used right after a tough workout, and by stimulating the muscles on a low level, they cool down and ease into recovery. 
  • Improved Circulation. The electrical waves cause blood to move in and around the area, improving circulation.
  • Complete Muscle Contraction. By being able to control where the Electrical Muscle Stimulation (EMS) Unit pads are placed, you can target complete muscles and contract specific muscles that are more difficult to isolate with exercise alone. In a 2010 study, the Journal of Cachexia, Sarcopenia and Muscle found that the use of an EMS Unit was combined with voluntary muscle contractions (as in normal anabolic exercise) "increased muscle strength more effectively", which led to the conclusion than the use of EMS Units can supplement strength training by providing a more powerful and complete contraction of the muscle. 
  • Faster Recovery. When used on the lower intensity levels, an EMS Unit gently contracts the sore muscles and by doing so, promotes blood flow and sends more oxygen to the muscles. This assists a flush of lactic acid, which promotes the fastest recovery possible so that you can push harder in your next workout.

If you're still in search of a high quality EMS Unit with many strength levels, we always recommend the TENS/EMS VPod Unit. It's wireless and has 24 different modes (one of them being "muscle toning") and you can easily adjust intensity level and duration from the VPod App, which can be found in any app store. 


Happy Recovery!

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