Electric Muscle Stimulator Good or Bad for your muscles

Electric Muscle Stimulator, or electronic muscle stimulation, has been around for a long time. And while most people with a lick of common sense don't buy into these outrageous ads, there is a lot of curiosity about these muscle zapping gadgets

Electric Muscle Stimulator

Electric Muscle Stimulator is it the new way to achieve performance ?

What are Electric Muscle Stimulator Manufacturers Saying

Electro-muscular stimulation, or EMS training is challenging the belief that to achieve success you need to put in long hours, by demonstrating that great things can also be achieved by simply working smarter. Just because all physical exercise involves muscular contraction doesn’t mean that such action must be voluntary and the result of excessive physical effort.These contractions occur naturally when the brain signals muscles to move via a series of chemical reactions transmitted along motor nerves. The effect is to generate an electrical charge that causes muscle fibres to voluntarily contract.EMS training produces the same effect, but does so involuntarily. The required electrical charge is delivered from an external source via electrodes on the skin. Charging is repeated at short and variable intervals, creating a pulsed effect that results in the rapidly repeated contraction and relaxation of targeted muscles. As a result, the subject experiences the equivalent of multiple reps using conventional apparatus, but in far less time. In practical terms, this means that results will also become evident in far less time. In fact, all of the evidence accumulated to date indicates a fivefold advantage. This, in turn, means that a 20-minute session of Electric Muscle Stimulator training is able to provide the same benefits that would otherwise have required almost two gruelling hours of conventional exercise.

What are study's telling us about Electric Muscle Stimulator

Several studies of training programs have tested the impact of electro stimulation on strength gain. In rugby players, for example, isolated stimulation of the quadriceps femoris, gluteus maximus and triceps surae muscles during a 12-week period led to a marked increase in the strength and power of these muscles . However, the technical skills of rugby,  as scrummaging and sprinting, did not benefit from these improvements. In another study, the combination of electro stimulation and plyometric training improved the maximal strength of the quadriceps femoris, as well as vertical jump and sprint but electrostimulation alone reduced the sprint velocity and its benefits did generally not exceed those observed when applied in combination with plyometric training.

 In a recent review, electrostimulation combined with fast concentric (1808/s) or eccentric training was acknowledged to increase maximal concentric moment. However, these examples, as in most of the published studies on the subject, have poor methodological qualities. In this systematic review,  showed that electrical stimulation is more effective to increase the quadriceps femoris strength, only compared to no exercise, and even more effective when the stimulation was combined with simultaneous voluntary activity . Electrical stimulation was still not more effective than classical training, except when associated with eccentric training. Thus, as summarized by Vanderthommen and Duchateau , strength gains due to electrostimulation do not seem to be higher than those due to training with voluntary contractions. Because these gains are likely due to the intensity of the stimulation, it is extremely important to use comfortable currents, even if no standardized method exists. Electrostimulation in healthy subjects and athletes looks more like a complement to classical strengthening programs, particularly in combination with simultaneous voluntary contraction. Its main advantages are to increase the muscle workload, as a complement to classical training, and  to induce a contraction pattern different from the pattern during voluntary contraction . Finally, even if strength gain could be transferred to sports activities, negative outcomes  suggest that skill training is always needed to improve the muscle coordination necessary for the task to be trained.