Imagine this: you walk into a gym, pick up a 20-pound dumbbell, and start doing bicep curls. Your brain tells your bicep to fire as many muscle fibers as needed to lift 20 pounds, no more, no less.
Once those muscle fibers start to fatigue, your brain recruits more and more muscle fibers so you can continue doing curls. At some point, you’ll reach total fatigue, probably after 80 reps (because you’re a beast) and you will have exhausted all the muscle fibers in your arm.
Electrical muscle stimulation (EMS) is an excellent technique to engage your muscles and enhance your athletic performance, recover faster, or just massage away common aches and pains, without all the inconvenience stated above.
Once previously unknown to the public and exclusively delivered by physicians and physical therapists, EMS is becoming increasingly commonplace.
Electric muscle stimulation is now available to everyone, from professional athletes and coaches to fitness enthusiasts, weekend warriors, and everyone in between.
Let’s delve further into the origins of electric muscle stimulation to learn about some little-known facts as well as new applications and advantages. You’ll learn about the science of electrical muscle stimulation as well as how to incorporate it into your monthly training program.
What is EMS?
Electric muscle stimulation causes muscles to contract using electrical impulses, resulting in more robust, more toned muscles. Your brain sends an electronic signal to your muscles, which causes them to contract.
This approach is replicated at a higher intensity by the We202 Wireless EMS program. Our EMS gadget transmits electrical pulses to your motor neurons, causing many more muscle fibers to contract than would otherwise be possible during a conventional workout.
A typical EMS program targets two major muscle fiber groups. Slow-twitch muscle fibers contract and fatigue slowly, contributing to muscular strength and endurance. Fast-twitch muscle fibers contract fast, yet they use a lot of energy and exhaust quickly.
Electric muscle stimulation increases blood flow, delivering oxygen to muscles while also cleaning away lactic acids. Because electrical muscle stimulation bypasses the central nervous system, it aids in the acceleration of muscular contraction, strengthening, endurance, and recuperation.
When used appropriately and regularly, electric muscle stimulation treatments can assist improve overall fitness performance by increasing explosiveness, strength, strength endurance, and recovery.
EMS and Your Muscles
There are various hypotheses on how EMS could help with muscle strengthening.
One possible explanation is that when you maximally contract a muscle, only 30% of your muscle fibers are contracted. The remaining 70% are quiescent, waiting to be recruited when the contracting fibers wear out.
You can possibly boost the strength of these resting muscle fibers by electrically stimulating them using EMS. Clinically, EMS appears to be more helpful when the muscles are very weak and performing typical anti-gravity activities is difficult.
Another way that EMS works is by increasing the recruitment of nerve conduction rates. Simply said, it takes your brain roughly 10,000 repetitions to learn how to swiftly convey a message to your muscles via the shortest neuronal paths.
This contraction pattern becomes your “memory engram,” and the more frequently you engage a muscle, the better your body grows at determining the fastest method to activate that muscle. EMS may be able to supply you with repeated contractions to help you learn faster.
A Basis in Science
A study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning investigated whether EMS may aid pro athletes to obtain a competitive advantage.
“The data demonstrates that trained and elite athletes, despite their already high level of fitness, are able to dramatically boost their level of strength to the same amount as untrained people,” they concluded.
The researchers concluded that “EMS offers a potential alternative to traditional strength training for boosting strength indices and motor skills in athletes.”
Another research published in 2015 presents a contrasting illustration of EMS’s efficacy. This study looked into whether EMS may help you shed body fat rather than fitness levels.
A set of individuals in this research underwent 30 minutes of high-frequency current treatment through a series of electrodes put on their tummies. For six weeks, the subjects attended these courses three times each week.
The researchers assessed the subjects’ waist circumference, body mass index, subcutaneous fat mass (fat beneath the skin), and total body fat percentage after six weeks.
As expected, EMS did indeed cause significant effects on decreasing waist circumference, abdominal obesity, subcutaneous fat mass, and body fat percentage.
The findings led the researchers to conclude that the use of high-frequency current therapy may be beneficial for reducing the levels of abdominal obesity in young women.
Another field test, this time at the University of Bayreuth, sought to determine if EMS training improved body strength, general wellbeing, body composition, body awareness, muscle imbalances, mood, back pain, and incontinence.
The subjects’ total maximal strength grew by 12%, while their overall muscular endurance increased by 69%, according to the researchers.
Participants’ feelings about their bodies also improved significantly, with 83% reporting reduced body stress, 89% reporting stronger stability, and 83% reporting higher overall body performance.
87% of them noted favorable improvements in body shape, and 90% said EMS treatments were a good way to improve general fitness and well-being.
Meanwhile, one research published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology discovered that EMS resulted in an improvement in strength in both healthy persons and athletes.
The Bottom Line
Many of the world’s best athletes continue to employ electrical muscle stimulation to supplement their training. However, electronic muscle stimulation is now more widely available than ever before.
With modern science gradually yet steadily backing its effectiveness, it is clear that EMS has come a long way from merely being a procedure offered to rehabilitate patients with muscle concerns to dominating the scene as the next health and wellness craze.
If you wish to experience the best of what EMS science has to offer, you may drop us a message or visit the nearest We202 Wireless EMS Studio to experience and be on your way to fitness in no time!