Electro Muscle Stimulation (EMS) continues to receive an increasing amount of attention. Especially in the last few years, and for many reasons. Here’s why...
1. It’s the perfect strength training tool: EMS can be utilized as a strength training tool for the average fitness enthusiast as well as pro and amateur athletes.
2. It helps people rehabilitate: It is used as a rehabilitation and preventive tool for people who are partially or totally immobilized.
3. Best post-exercise tool: It is used as a post-exercise recovery tool for athletes or post-operative patients.
The concept of electrical muscle stimulation is not a new one. We can go as far back as 500 BC when the Egyptians discovered that certain fish, (like the sting ray) emit electrical impulses and thus, these fish were used to treat pain and various ailments.
In the 18th century, German physician Altus Kratzstein ascertained that muscles could be manipulated by an electrical current. The concept became known as Galvanism, the idea that scientists could manipulate electricity to stimulate or restart life. Sound familiar? It should, this concept inspired Mary Shelley to write the novel Frankenstein.
Restarting life is still the stuff of science fiction, but using EMS to stay fit, healthy and build muscle is now proven by scientists and endorsed by athletes on a global scale.
But how does it work?
Technology drives our daily lives and we could not imagine a moment without our smart watch, our laptops, our TVs or our phones. It only makes sense that tech would creep into our health and fitness plans as well!
We are constantly looking for a better, more effective way to do things and that is exactly what EMS training and technology offers.
In order for a muscle to contract, your brain has to send an electrical impulse to neurons in muscle fibres. EMS basically mimics what your brain does in this scenario.
Using our EMS suits, small electrical impulses are sent to the muscles, telling them to contract. This is also why EMS is particularly useful for people who have experienced an injury as the technology is able to "re-teach" their brain how to activate a muscle.
Electrical muscle stimulation overrides our central nervous system, so it helps speed up muscle contraction, strengthens muscles, improves muscle endurance and supports faster muscle recovery.
These impulses also reach deep muscle layers, which are harder to activate through regular training. The effect of the impulses causes the muscles to work harder than they would in a conventional gym session, in less time and with less effort.
EMS activates the body’s slow-twitch muscle fibres and fast-twitch muscle fibres individually sending electrical pulses every 2-3 seconds. Slow-twitch muscle fibres contract and tire slowly; they are responsible for supporting muscle strength and endurance.
Fast-twitch muscle fibres contract quickly, but require lots of energy and tire quickly as well. Electric muscle stimulation helps promote blood flow, sending oxygen to muscles while also flushing out lactic acids that can cause muscle soreness.
Studies have shown that EMS training increases muscle mass faster than conventional training. Significant fat loss can also be seen when the technology is used regularly and in conjunction with a wellness and nutrition programme.
Due to the nature and science behind EMS technology, it is imperative that you work closely with a trained professional. As with any workout regime, the correct knowledge of how the body moves and what is best for your level of fitness is of paramount importance.
It is important to note that whilst EMS workouts can significantly speed up your progress, EMS is not a quick fix. A regular training routine, a good nutrition plan and clear goals are all necessary factors to a successful health and fitness journey.
To find out more about the benefits of EMS technology and to experience it for yourself, book a free demo at your nearest Body20 Studio.