Throughout the course of a season, pro-athletes are continuously pushing the limits, and looking to train harder, faster and for longer.
And they want to avoid getting injured and spending weeks in rehab!
Enabling your muscles to recover properly is a super important part of any athletes training regimen.
In other posts we’ve shown how EMS (electrical muscle stimulation) can be used in combination with your workout to increase strength and build muscle.
In this post we’ll show how EMS can be used for post-workout muscle recovery.
EMS can be an effective way to speed up recovery post-workout. An EMS suit contracts the muscles softly to increase blood flow, oxygenates muscles to keep them flexible, removes lactic acid. All of this enables your torched muscles to recover as quickly as possible and maintain your training routine.
In this post, we’ll look into this in more detail and cover the following points for you:
- The cause of post-workout muscle soreness
- Post-workout recovery techniques
- Benefits of EMS suits for recovery
- How to use EMS suits for recovery
The Cause of Muscle Soreness
Whether you’re a novice or an elite athlete, the soreness we feel in our muscles after a new or high-intensity activity is something we all experience.
We all know that feeling of waking up the morning after crushing yesterday’s workout – only to find that our legs feel like bricks!
This soreness is caused by tiny, microscopic tears in your muscle fibers, and your body responds to this damage by increasing inflammation, leading to a delayed onset of soreness in the muscles, known as DOMS.
In the case of pro-athletes, Sports Medicine Journal says that “DOMS is most prevalent at the beginning of the sporting season when athletes are returning to training following a period of reduced activity. DOMS is also common when athletes are first introduced to certain types of activities regardless of the time of year.”
Post-Workout Recovery Techniques
It’s super important for elite athletes who need to train every day in order to maintain peak performance, to not only recover quickly, but also recover effectively.
Getting back into training without allowing muscles to recover properly can lessen the benefits of your original muscle building exercise, as well as increasing the risk of injury.
6 Ways to Speed Up Muscle Recovery:
- Active Recovery
- Massage Therapy
- Ice Baths
- Self-Myofascial Release
Let’s look at a couple of these in more detail…
#1 – Active Recovery
Active recovery workouts are low to moderate intensity and low impact activities that help the body to recover, such as light jogging, swimming or cycling.
The types of “active recovery” workout that athletes might do, can also be quite different from the normal sporting activity they participate in.
For example, a football player may do yoga or pilates to work on flexibility, whereas a long-distance runner might go for a swim to work the legs but in a low-impact and low-intensity way.
Jane Chertoff from Healthline says that “Active recovery is often considered more beneficial than inactivity, resting completely, or sitting. It can keep blood flowing and help muscles recover and rebuild from intense physical activity.”
#2 – Massage Therapy
A 2017 study published in the Frontiers of Physiology concluded that “current evidence suggests that massage therapy after strenuous exercise could be effective for alleviating DOMS and improving muscle performance.”
The study found that people who received a massage 24, 48 or 72 hours after an intense workout reported significantly less soreness than those people who didn’t get a post-workout massage.
One of the challenges athletes face with recovery is that it’s not always feasible to get a massage or perform active recovery after a workout or game.
One convenient alternative to active recovery and massage therapy is a wireless EMS suit.
EMS Used for Recovery
The Chicago Institute of Wellness published an article on the benefits of EMS therapy, in which they state EMS works “very much like therapeutic massage, and can encourage blood circulation, muscle stimulation and healing.”
Effectively, EMS can be seen as an alternative to traditional massage.
That’s why the use of a fully wireless EMS suit can be a great addition to your kitbag!
Benefits of an EMS Suit for Athletes
Let’s take a look at 3 fantastic benefits provided by an EMS suit for post-workout recovery for elite athletes:
- It’s Portable
Thanks to its lightweight and compact design, a wireless EMS suit can easily be packed into your kitbag.
And most EMS suits come equipped with a battery that, when fully charged, can last up to 8.5 hours – which far exceeds the recommended 20 minutes of use.
An EMS suit can be a real alternative for athletes who spend a lot of time travelling and don’t have the luxury of private masseurs. Even top-class venues and cities can have logistical nightmares ar times, so having your EMS suit as your back up plan is a good idea
- Zero Impact on Muscles and Joints
We mentioned the benefits of active recovery earlier, but even active recovery involves some further impact on your muscles and joints.
With an EMS suit you get all the benefits of active recovery but without putting any further impact on the muscles and joints. And doing active recovery like cycling, swimming or yoga isn’t really possible on a bus or plane!
- It Can Aid Mental Freshness
Overtraining can lead to injury, burnout, lack of energy during workouts and also less enjoyment for exercise in general. For athletes who just pushed their body to inhuman levels of exertion, doing a pool workout during a long season is too much of an emotional burden to do at 3:00 a.m.
With an EMS suit, you can be an “athletic vegetable” and still get recovery done.
How to Use an EMS Suit for Recovery
The AWI Powersuit comes with a “relax” preset mode which is easily controlled through an app on your phone.
As with all EMS training patterns, the recommended workout (or in this case ‘recovery’) time is just 20 minutes. This is all the time you need to achieve the benefits of EMS of muscle recovery.
The suggested “pulse frequency” for EMS muscle recovery is 100Hz. This frequency will allow for optimum muscle tension and pain relief.
NB: Pulse frequency (measured in Hz) means how many individual pulses per second will act on the musculature during the contraction phase. Each pulse results in a muscle contraction. Muscle contractions are strengthened by increasing the pulse frequency.
Ok guys. We hope you found this useful and helps to show the key benefits for athletes using an EMS suit for the all-important muscle recovery.
To recap, EMS aids muscle recovery by:
- Enhancing blood flow through the activation of muscles
- Oxygenating muscles to keep them flexible
- Removing metabolic waste such as lactic acid
- Releasing endorphins – the feel-good chemical
And for elite athletes EMS suits have further benefits of:
- Being portable
- Creating no further impact on muscles or joints
- Refreshing your mind
To find out more about the AWI Powersuit, visit our website here.
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