Whether your health and fitness goals are lifestyle or professional related, EMS (Electrical Muscle Stimulation) training can support you with both.
The benefits of using EMS include improved strength and blood flow, helping to speed up recovery from injury or surgery. It also gives you more flexibility and convenience with your exercising, you can get a more intense workout in a shorter time, and you can use it anytime, anywhere.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at 6 benefits and how EMS can support you in achieving your health and fitness goals.
Before we go into the benefits of EMS training, let’s have a quick refresher of what EMS is.
What is EMS?
To keep it simple, EMS works by sending electrical impulses through electrode pads which are in contact with the skin immediately above major muscles.
There are 2 main ways to use EMS for training.
- By using an EMS machine in a gym or fitness center, which is controlled by a personal trainer.
- With an EMS suit which is completely wireless and controlled by the user via a remote device.
The electrical impulses created by the EMS suit cause the muscles contract involuntarily, mimicking what normally happens when we lift weights.
So, let’s take a look at 6 benefits using EMS
- Speed Up Recovery for Athletes
- Strengthen Muscles After Surgery
- Help Seniors Retain Muscle Mass
- Save Time
- Customizable to Focus on Specific Areas
- Avoid Sweaty and Crowded Gyms
1. Speed Up Recovery for Athletes
EMS can be used by athletes to speed up recovery. The sooner your muscles recover, the sooner you can get back to training.
With EMS you are able to target specific muscles and make them contract, and these repeated contractions increase blood flow, helping injured muscles repair quicker.
She says, “EMS can be a great way to help with recovery, particularly in runners, because the muscle pumping activity can help with circulation and decrease swelling in the lower limbs without requiring additional impact or exercise,”
Swelling and inflammation are common injuries for athletes during training, so using EMS for recovery provides athletes with a nice way to recover without additional activity.
2. Strengthen Muscles After Surgery
After having surgery, patients may be unable to move, resulting in the muscles weakening. This is known as muscle atrophy.
For these patients, EMS helps to “re-educate” the muscles. The electrical impulses which EMS provides cause the muscles to contract and retrain the muscles to function as they should.
As an example, knee injuries are a common injury in sports. And following knee surgery patients may be inactive for a period of time. During this time, it’s possible for the muscles in the quads and hamstrings to atrophy considerably as they are not being used.
EMS prevents this by making the muscles contract as if they were being used.
And in rehabilitation after surgery, we want to put as little excess load on the knee area as possible. With EMS specifically targeting these muscles, they can be rebuilt and strengthened without extra putting pressure on the knee.
3. Help Seniors Retain Muscle Mass
We all get old. It’s a fact of life.
And the older we get, the harder it is to keep mobile and retain our muscle mass. This age-related muscle loss is called Sarcopenia.
Harvard Medical School has stated that after the age of 30 we begin to lose as much as 3% to 5% of muscle mass per decade. Most men will lose around 30% of muscle mass during their lifetimes.
Reduced muscle mass means greater weakness and less mobility. A 2015 report from the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research found that people with sarcopenia had 2.3 times the risk of having a low-trauma fracture from a fall, such as a broken hip, collarbone, leg, arm, or wrist.
The overall benefits for seniors using EMS are:
- retain muscle mass
- gain strength
- experience better mobility
- improved mental sharpness
- increased metabolic health.
4. Save Time
One of the most popular excuses given for not exercising is “I don’t have enough time!”
EMS is a perfect solution for busy professionals as it can deliver the same results from a 3-hour workout in just 20 minutes.
How does EMS give you a 3-hour workout in just 20 minutes?
- Because the EMS suit is igniting muscle contractions all over your body, every muscle is being worked with every move
- The intensity of the electrode being applied means that the muscle contractions can be stronger and longer in duration.
- EMS targets often unused muscle fibers and causes all of the individual fibers in a muscle to contract at once.
When lifting weights, we should aim to take 4 seconds for the concentric part of the exercise (the shortening of the muscle) and another 4 seconds for the eccentric movement (the lengthening of the muscle). The goal is ‘time under load’ for the muscle.
As we are humans, and in control of this movement ourselves, we sometimes don’t always stick to these time patterns and get the maximum benefit.
EMS solves this problem.
We can set our EMS machine or suit to pulse (make the muscles contract) for 4 seconds and then rest for 4 seconds, ensuring that you get the full benefit.
A study by a group of Sports Physiologists from the Frontiers in Physiology in France, showed that eccentric training can build muscle size and strength better than standard concentric-eccentric movements.
Examples of eccentric exercises include:
- Lowering a weight during a shoulder press
- The downward motion of squatting
- The downward motion of a push-up
- Lowering the body during a crunch
- Lowering the body during a pull-up
Performing the eccentric movement of the exercise while the EMS is pulsing will crank up the difficulty of the exercise and make the muscles work harder.
Even just performing basic bicep curls with an EMS suit will get your muscles burning!
5. Customizable to Focus on Specific Areas
When we want to become stronger, we should work on specific muscle groups and then rest them. For example, in one session we focus on shoulders, the next session focuses on abs, and another session on legs.
With EMS you can specifically target muscle groups or go for a full body workout.
And because you manage the intensity yourself, you can jack it up or reduce it far quicker and more effectively than going back and forth to the weights rack in the gym and picking up a different set of dumbbells after every set.
6. Avoid Sweaty Gyms and Crowded Classes
The recent COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown has forced everyone to adapt and change and integrate new habits into our lifestyles.
Our exercise habits are no different.
As we become more health conscious and aware of hygiene, the idea of going to a busy gym and using the treadmill or weights bench immediately after someone else isn’t as appealing as it once was. And the restrictions caused by social distancing make it increasingly difficult even if we want to.
Many EMS machines are still located in gyms, where you have to hook up to the machine under the guidance of a trainer.
As an EMS suit is fully wireless bodysuit, you can enjoy the flexibility and convenience of working out whenever and wherever you want.
You can use it to workout in the comfort of your own home, use it when you’re relaxing on the sofa or doing the dishes. You can even wear it when you go out shopping!
With an EMS suit, there are simply no restrictions.
There is a benefit for everyone in turning to EMS as your training partner, whether you are a recreational or professional user.
If you’re in need of rehabilitation, or want to speed up recovery after training.
Or perhaps you are motivated to work out but just can’t find the time in your busy schedule..
The AWI Powersuit has you covered on all these fronts. To find out more about it, click here.
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