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Does Electrical Muscle Stimulation Work?

Does Electrical Muscle Stimulation Work?

3 minute read

Can You Build Muscle with Electrical Stimulation?

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. 

Electrical Muscle Stimulation

What's crazy is that your body can't tell the difference!

Here are the 5 main things that an EMS Unit can do to aid recovery:

  1. 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."
  2. Can aid with muscle/joint pain. Many users rely on EMS Units to aid their muscle soreness. It is used right after a tough workout, and my stimulating the muscles on the low level, they are allowed to cool down and ease into recovery. 
  3. Improved Circulation. The electrical waves cause blood to move in and around the area, improving circulation.
  4. Complete muscle contraction. By being able to control where the 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. 
  5. 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 out of lactic acid and promotes that fastest recovery possible so that you can go harder on the next workout.

If you're still in search of a high quality EMS Unit with many strength levels, a great option is the VERVE EMS Unit by Massage Therapy Concepts. It has 12 modes, so you can easily adjust depending on your immediate needs.


Happy Recovery!

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