A revolutionary method to accelerate muscle building and weight loss without much effort is the dream of any person who wants to be in good shape. Fortunately, this is possible today with electrical muscle stimulation. You can shape your body, reduce fat deposits, tighten your connective tissue, activate muscles that you would not achieve with any other training, and increase your general performance. And to achieve these results, you must first find the muscle stimulator that suits your needs.
Electrical Muscle Stimulation explained
While with conventional training the muscles are controlled by electrical signals from the brain so that a contraction and consequently movement is triggered, with EMS activation takes place through external electrical impulses. In both cases, the muscle responds by contracting. How much current ultimately reaches the muscles depends on the muscles themselves, the subcutaneous fat, and the skin's thickness.
In the EMS, the voluntary muscle tension is triggered by nerve impulses that are sent directly to the muscle fibers. The nerve impulse causes a chemical reaction with the release of calcium, which then triggers a mechanical reaction at the motor endplate (the connection between muscle fiber and motor nerve).
Mechanical reaction now means shortening (contraction) or constant tension of the muscle. The electrical stimulation starts exactly at this point on the motor end plate. The current flow during electrical stimulation mimics the action of the nerves with specially adapted impulses.
A controlled tension of the muscle is initiated. The current pulse gives the muscle fibers the command to contract, and, as a response, the muscle obeys and contracts whether you want to or not.
Electrical muscle stimulation benefits
Since the muscle is forced to contract from the outside, it is very easy for the “weaker self”, which is your personal indolence, to be bypassed. Even if you consciously try to defend yourself against the tensing up of the muscles, it won’t be possible. With an electrical muscle stimulation machine, your muscles have no choice but to work.
Probably the most significant advantage of electrical stimulation is that even deep muscle fibers can be reached through the current treatment. During normal training, some fibers can only be trained with difficulty at will, and there is no way out for them with electrical stimulation.
Skeletal muscle consists of nearly 90% muscle fibers and 10% of connective and fat tissues. With normal, voluntary tension of the muscle, usually only up to 60% - 70% of the muscle fibers of a skeletal muscle are activated at the same time.
When using electrical stimulators to build muscle, this percentage should increase to up to 90%. For this reason, electrical stimulation is often used as an additional training method in competitive sports.
The different types of devices
In addition to muscle stimulators specifically designed to block the transmission of pain to the brain, such as TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation), several other types of devices are designed to increase muscle mass and strength, including:
The traditional EMS
In principle, this muscle stimulator device works like a turbo amplifier of your own strength. With every movement you make in everyday life, your brain sends the command to tension (muscle contraction) through bioelectrical impulses to the corresponding muscles. With the EMS muscle stimulator, this principle is reinforced repeatedly, so your muscles are stressed much more.
EMS training is becoming increasingly popular - more and more people are slipping into skin-tight suits and vests with built-in electrodes after work so that electrical impulses train their muscles and melt their pounds. Twenty minutes of electrical muscle stimulation per week should be enough to replace classic sporting activity.
In EMS training, the muscles are not trained with weights but rather stimulated through electrical impulses to contract. This allows individual muscle groups to be targeted. With this time-saving variant of strength training, muscle strength is more effectively built up than with classic exercises - on equipment or with your own body weight.
NMES (Neuromuscular electrical stimulation)
With this muscle stimulation machine, movements are not restricted by special clothing or cabling, and a wide variety of training options are made possible, such as endurance, strength, hypertrophy training, and many more.
In contrast to other EMS applications, only two muscles are activated at the same time for health reasons. Otherwise, the different body systems could be overloaded. This protective function is one of several differences to functional fitness training in studios accompanied by a trainer.
At the muscular level, NMES training leads to an improvement in quadriceps muscle mass (measured by the cross-section of the muscles) and changes in terms of more efficient muscle architecture.
Neural adaptations mainly occur during the first four weeks of training, while muscle adaptations gain significance between the 4th and 8th weeks of training.
Russian muscle stimulation
This technique is used to strengthen the muscle tone in normally innervated muscles. Also known as 'Kotz', the name comes from its Russian developer.
Medium-frequency currents are converted into low-frequency currents, which ensure greater muscle recruitment in the muscle fibers and, at the same time, are very well tolerated by the patient. Therefore, electrostimulation of the muscles with Russian currents is mainly used in the treatment of excessively tense muscles in order to build muscle mass and to treat idiopathic scoliosis.
Compared to other programs for stimulation in the low-frequency range, methods with Russian current offer better muscle strengthening and depth effect, as the skin offers less resistance to these frequencies. However, this method has the disadvantage that it is difficult to stimulate specific muscle fibers with the two-phase rectangular current; this is more likely possible with lower frequencies.
CoolTone for muscle development and toning
This device works through a process called 'Magnetic Muscle Stimulation', which delivers intense pulses into the muscle tissue that involuntarily causes muscles to contract. CoolTone, contrary to what the name suggests, does not work with cold. The procedure aims to strengthen and define the muscles. This is what the CoolTone for muscle definition and toning device does using magnetic muscle stimulation.
The electromagnetic energy is chased into the muscles, which then triggers an unwanted contraction. The body reacts to this by building strong deep muscles. It can be used for the abdominal muscles, buttocks, and legs. A single 30-minute session can stimulate more than 20,000 muscle contractions, and, in order to achieve success, several treatments will be necessary.
The exact number depends individually on the person and the area to be treated. On average, four treatments can be assumed within two weeks.
CoolTone is sometimes recommended after CoolSculpting sessions for a one-two punch combination. With CoolTone, you can achieve a more toned body shape with improved musculature and minimized fat, build more muscle mass through magnetic muscle stimulation (MMS), and enjoy a safe device, nonsurgical, noninvasive, and FDA-approved.
Electrical Muscle Stimulation can be performed through several devices. Each of them works differently, has a distinct time of action, and could also offer different results.
Moreover, each person's body is different, which is why for some one type of treatment will work better for some, while for others, the same treatment may provide slower results. For these reasons, you should first seek your doctor's advice before testing any type of muscle stimulator.
Are there any side effects of Electrical Muscle Stimulation?
Regarding EMS and NMES, there are a few possible side effects, including redness or skin irritations where the electrode was applied, headaches, and painful muscles.
What are the contraindications for muscle stimulators?
These devices should not be used or only after consultation with a doctor by people with electronic implants such as pacemakers or pumps, cardiac arrhythmias, seizure disorders such as epilepsy, skin diseases in the area of application of the electrodes, or malignant (malignant) conditions in the area of application.
Should I combine electrical muscle stimulation with classic methods?
By combining classic training with a good electro stimulator device, you will increase the level of stress spatially and temporally and can thus stimulate more fibers in a shorter time, which would only be impossible with traditional training.
However, this is also essential for another reason, namely to transfer the strength and physical properties of the acquired skills into dexterity and movement.