What You Need to Know About Electrical Muscle Stimulation
6 April, 2020
Electrical muscle stimulation (EMS) is a fitness game-changer, delivering an effective workout in a fraction of the time it usually takes.
It involves the use of a device to generate electrical impulses and electrodes which are attached to the skin. As the device generates the impulses, they are delivered through the electrodes to the muscles – which in turn causes them to contract.
EMS methods are frequently used in medical settings to strengthen weak muscles and prevent atrophy. Now, EMS delivered through a wearable suit is becoming a popular workout option.
Fitness training – how EMS is being utilised
When used in fitness training, electrical muscle stimulation can produce the same results as a full body workout in far less time.
It does this by activating deeper muscle groups and causing muscle tissue to work harder and more efficiently during exercise sessions. This can mean achieving the same results as you would with hours of standard training but in as little as 20 minutes.
EMS can also help prevent exercise injury by reducing stresses on ligaments and joints, as well as assist in post-exercise muscle recovery.
Another benefit of EMS is that because it builds up your level of lean body mass, your body becomes much more efficient at burning calories.
What’s the evidence for electrical muscle stimulation?
While the usefulness of EMS in healthcare settings is well-known, there is also solid evidence in favour of EMS in fitness training.
For example, a review of 89 trials showed significant strength enhancements in subjects using EMS – in maximal strength, speed, power, jumping and sprinting ability. The researchers concluded that EMS offers a promising alternative to traditional strength training, in that it enhances results and saves time in achieving them.
Another study that tested the effect of EMS training on elite rugby players also showed significant gains – in squat strength, squat jump and drop jump over a 12-week period compared to controls.
EMS is also showing some potential for reducing abdominal obesity. For example, in a 2015 study on the use of EMS for young women with abdominal obesity, results showed an average 6cm reduction in waist measurement in subjects after six weeks of treatments. No significant changes were shown in controls.
The evidence is definitely in favour of electrical muscle stimulation for athletes and fitness enthusiasts. Don’t hesitate to get in touch if you’d like to know more about EMS, and discover how it could work for you!