EMS or “Electrical Muscle Stimulator” is primarily a machine that will contract your muscles via an electrical pulse.
EMS uses a cycle of stimulation, contraction and then relaxation to increase blood flow to the area, which decreases inflammation and promotes healing and muscle growth. By stimulating the muscles at their basic structure, an EMS machine causes muscle contractions similar to those obtained by exercise. The EMS machines are professionally used to prevent atrophied muscles or for retraining muscles, such as in an individual who has been paralysed or partially paralysed.
If you are looking to help strengthen or re-train your muscles using an EMS machine then read on.
Fact 1: If you (without any stimulant) maximally contract a muscle, you will only, at best, have 30% of all your muscle fibres in a state of contraction. The remaining 70% are dormant and awaiting recruitment when the contracting fibres fatigue. An EMS machine can potentially stimulate the resting muscle fibres to improve their strength.
Ever heard of 'speed of motor unit activation'.? Neither did we until we started researching the benefits of EMS.
Fact 2: It takes approximately 10,000 repetitions for your brain to learn how to quickly send a message to your muscles via the quickest nerve pathways.
Fact 3: This contraction pattern becomes your "memory engram".
Fact 4: The more frequent your muscle is recruited the better your body becomes at finding the quickest way to recruit that muscle.
A theory of EMS is that it can potentially provide you with repeated contractions to accelerate this learning process.
You should always consult your local physiotherapist who specialises in EMS muscle retraining prior to using an EMS machine.