What is Electrical Muscle Stimulation?

you are a bio electric phenomenon


What is Electrical Muscle Stimulation?

Well, it is exactly what it says… electricity stimulates the muscle to contract. Think about it, you want to pick up a weight – or your cup of coffee – and that activity requires your muscles to work. The muscles contract and the weight, large or small is lifted. What most of us don’t realize is that the muscle contraction starts in the brain as a thought (I want coffee!) which is an electrical impulse that travels down the nerve to the muscle tissue and you pick up your cuppa Joe.

So, you really are an electrical generating machine! Because all movement starts as an electrical impulse from your brain and/or your spinal cord that causes your muscles to contract. Electrical Muscle Stimulation, commonly referred to as EMS, assists you in contracting muscle, which is work. And working a muscle makes it stronger (that’s why its called a “work out”).

It doesn’t take a lot of electrical energy to make muscles contract – wiggle your toe – see? Not much effort, so EMS is a low level of electricity that is safe for us to use to assist us is getting stronger. EMS has been shown to contract muscle fibers that you don’t normally contract by yourself which means you get a better, deeper, more complete work out of muscles than you could without EMS. Your muscles get an extra-hard workout that is safe and effective. Now, there are studies where people use EMS and don’t exercise, relying on the EMS to contract their muscles, it works but not for normally active people like you. The most effective way to use EMS is to train while you wear the EMS apparatus.

At FITtec, we use what is known as WB-EMS. Whole Body – Electrical Muscle Stimulation. 20 pads are placed on 10 paired large muscles that are central to all movement and activity. You then train with a personal trainer to exercise the muscles connected to the EMS. So, you get help in contracting large areas of muscle that make you stronger faster with shorter training times!

By - Dr. Richard Garde

References:

Electrical stimulation for neuromuscular testing and training:
State-of-the art and unresolved issues
Maffiuletti, Nicola A.; Minetto, Marco A.;
Farina, Dario; Bottinelli, Roberto (2011)

European Journal of Applied Physiology.
111 (10):2391–7. doi:10.1007/s00421-011-2133-7 PMID 21866361

Effects of Electromyostimulation Training on Muscle Strength and Power of Elite Rugby Players
Babault, Nicolas; Cometti, Gilles; Bernardin, Michel;
Pousson, Michel; Chatard, Jean-Claude (2007)

The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research.
21 (2): 431. doi:10.1519/R-19365.1.

Maffiuletti, N.A., Minetto, M.A., Farina, D. et al.
Eur J Appl Physiol (2011) 111: 2391. doi:10.1007/s00421-011-2133-7

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