EMS promises great success through the electrical impulses of muscle stimulation. Sweating under power is a completely new trend, which should make a daily effort on the weight bench unnecessary.
But how does EMS work regarding fitness and training success and are there side effects that should allow the trend to be considered with a skeptical eye?
Fitness without effort – myth or reality?
Electric impulses save the athlete in the skin-tight functional dress expenses that played an important role in the past for fitness. But the principle is not that simple and even if EMS has become a trend, it is not synonymous with sports for Lazy. The pulses activate tired muscles but do not replace movement as in a normal workout. Physical fitness alone from the power outlet is not possible, even if the device is exactly this appearance and in promises of promises for an increasing fitness completely without own intervention.
From a sports science point of view
The impulses produce an effect and can have a supporting effect on muscle function. The electrical surges can be made variable and so not uncomfortable for the athlete, but effectively set for the respective muscle tissue. The tradition of EMS went back in time and took its course in rehab measures. Patients with regressed muscles after accidents or surgery received a training program for which the muscles were activated with electrical influences.
The method is safe in proper and expert use
So that athletes can certainly help their fitness with electrical impulses and accelerate the effect of training. It is not a myth, but an overrated and non-sporting option that is not functional.
This is how the training becomes effective
For muscle stimulation, small platelets are applied directly to the muscles. The athlete wears tight functional underwear that supports the stimulation. The training should start slowly and with only light surges so that the athlete does not find the power supply in his body unpleasant.
Even patients with heart problems can follow this current trend and choose a more endurance training method that uses EMS. With light workouts and consistent consistency, EMS leads to success and strengthens the muscles, aids in training to diet, and increases exercise capacity and endurance. Anyone who has a cold or has a slightly irritable skin, should refrain from training and not burden his body unnecessarily. The first successes come after a short training period.
Where it works well
Muscle electrical stimulation is a type of treatment often used in physical therapies with a personal trainer or other rehabilitation settings. The two main uses of this treatment are pain relief and muscle re-education.
In most scenarios, there is a machine that provides an electric current. The cables of the machine are connected to adhesive patches that are placed on the skin over a predetermined area. The electric current is then sent from the machine to the patches and delivered to the muscle tissue below, causing a sensory or motor response.
For pain relief
Electrical stimulation can be used for pain relief. There are two theories for this. The first says that pain signals are sent to the brain through nerves but must pass through a “gate.” The sensation of stimulation is said to pass through the “gate,” thus blocking the nerves that deliver the sensations of pain. Another theory is that the stimulation causes the brain to release the body’s natural painkillers – endorphins and enkephalins – which results in pain relief.
Studies have shown a marked increase in these chemicals after the use of low-frequency electrical stimulation.
For muscle re-education
Electrical stimulation is also used to retrain muscles that have problems contracting. Although it is used for several conditions, it is commonly used in people who have suffered from embolism or have undergone orthopedic surgery. Many times these patients have problems when trying to move a muscle or a joint.
When the electrical impulse is sent into the muscle tissue, under the proper configuration, the muscle can be contracted without the help of the patient. Doing this while having the subject actively trying to contract the muscle can sometimes cause the brain to re-learn how to contract the tissue on its own.
Benefits of electrostimulation
Electrical stimulation has many benefits as it is a way to control pain and re-train muscles after an injury or illness, and along with good personal training, the impact is very positive. It is not addictive and often the machines are compact and user-friendly. Among other benefits are:
Muscle atrophy is a symptom characterized by a decrease in muscle mass and may occur as a result of numerous medical conditions. Electrical muscle stimulation can be used to decrease or prevent the effects of muscle atrophy by keeping the weakened muscles active.
Osteoarthritis is a painful and sometimes debilitating condition caused by the degradation of joint tissues. According to a clinical study published in the “Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation,” it was found that electrical muscle stimulation is an active component of physical therapy for elderly patients who developed hip osteoarthritis after a complete surgery of hip arthroplasty.
It also has important benefits for mobility and independence; electrical muscle stimulation can strengthen the muscles of the knee, which also a personal trainer could help in the correction of this condition.
Prevention of pressure ulcers
Electrical muscle stimulation or electrostimulation can effectively reduce the risk of pressure ulcers in prone patients. Pressure ulcers are common problems in patients who walk in wheelchairs, beds, or other equipment that result in constant pressure applied to some regions of the body.
Electrostimulation can be applied to the buttocks of patients in a wheelchair. This treatment can produce significant results regarding maintaining the correct shape of the buttocks and the avoidance of deformities, which can be effective in reducing incidences of pressure ulcers.