Electrical muscle stimulator

An electrical muscle stimulator is a device which delivers an electric impulse directly to the muscles. The electricity simulates the same impulse which comes from the nervous system and tells the muscle to move. A muscle stimulator can be used as a therapeutic tool in recovery from various injuries or muscular disorders and also as a training tool for athletes. We are going to focus on its use as a training tool in this article.

The science behind electrical muscle stimulation is nothing new. A scientist named Luigi Galvani discovered that electric impulses could activate the muscles back in 1791. Research throughout the time since then has discovered that using electricity to stimulate the muscles can generate long-term changes in the muscle and help build and tone muscle tissue. Using different levels of electrical stimulation can actually target specific functions such as reducing muscle fatigue and stimulating increase muscle tissue production.

The device uses electrode pads that you stick to the skin in the correct spots to stimulate a particular muscle or muscle group. The stimulator that you purchase should have a guide to placement with it but if it doesn’t, be sure to find one. Putting the electrodes in the wrong spots will not only not help tone your muscle, it could end up being painful should the impulse be sent to a nerve.

The typically recommended program for using electrical muscle stimulation as a part of your total training process is to not only have regular sessions to train but to also have sessions after intense activity to stimulate the muscles to repair faster. Because the stimulation creates an uncoordinated muscle contraction, it acts as an isometric exercise for that muscle. This involuntary contraction can be up to 30% more powerful than a voluntary contraction would be, therefore the effects are noticeable in a much shorter period of time.

A full course of electrical muscle stimulation starts off with the focus on building to peak strength quickly. Generally top ability is reached within ten sessions and after that point, the gains are negligible. That’s why top athletic trainers recommend a brief but intense strength building routine initially with follow up boosters every six months for the first couple of years. After that, once per year is sufficient to maintain peak strength, assuming all other athletic endeavors remain the same.

Routine stimulation can be done nightly for maintaining peak strength as well as speeding recovery and stimulating new muscle growth. The best time to do it yourself is at least two hours past any other workouts, with before bed being the best time This will put your body right into it’s rest and restore phase that takes place while sleeping as well as helping the release of more growth hormones through the night. Many experts recommend to perform the treatment after a shower so that the muscles are warm, loose and receptive then.

When purchasing a machine for self-use, keep in mind that electric muscle stimulators come in a wide range of prices and quality. In most cases, the most comfortable and versatile machines will be in the upper price ranges but there are some exceptions to the rule. You want to be sure you buy a muscle stimulator that gives you full control over the length of the electrical pulses and rest period in order to be able to get the maximum benefit from the training.

An electrical muscle stimulator may be overkill for the average person but if you are serious about building more muscle and toning/strengthening the muscles you have, then this device may be just what you are looking for. Keep in mind that this will only work for large muscle groups as the smaller muscle groups should only be done by a professional as it is easy to miss the correct stimulation spots without medical knowledge.

Last updated on Apr 6th, 2010 and filed under Health Products. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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