Electro muscle stimulation (EMS) is one of the fastest growing areas in the fitness industry. With several professional athletes such as Usain Bolt, Rafael Nadal & David Haye benefiting from it in their training regime. While traditional strength and conditioning methods are effective, EMS has become the new secret weapon among athletes and trainers alike.
This leaves the question: why is it that more and more professional athletes are adding EMS into their training? In this post, we’ll explore the benefits of EMS for professional athletes and how it can improve their performance.
What is EMS?
EMS is a technology that uses electrical impulses to stimulate muscle contraction. These impulses mimic the signals that the brain sends to the muscles during physical activity, causing the muscles to contract and relax. EMS devices consist of electrodes that are placed on the skin over the muscles being stimulated. The electrical impulses are then delivered through the electrodes, causing the muscles to contract. Curious? Read more here.
Benefits of EMS for Professional Athletes
- Improved Strength and Power
One of the primary benefits of EMS for professional athletes is improved strength and power. The electrical impulses delivered by the EMS device cause the muscles to contract more forcefully than they would during voluntary movement. This increased muscle activation can lead to greater gains in strength and power. A study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that four weeks of EMS training significantly increased muscle strength and power in professional basketball players.
- Faster Recovery
Another significant benefit of EMS for professional athletes is faster recovery from injuries and muscle soreness. EMS can be used to stimulate blood flow and lymphatic drainage, which can help to reduce inflammation and promote healing. Research published in the International Journal of Sports Medicine shows that EMS reduced muscle soreness and improved recovery after eccentric exercise in professional soccer players. Additionally, EMS can be used to reduce muscle soreness after a workout or competition, allowing athletes to train harder and more frequently.
- Enhanced Endurance
Endurance is essential for many professional athletes, particularly those who compete in endurance sports like distance running or cycling. A study published in the Journal of Sports Science and Medicine found that EMS improved endurance performance in cyclists. This is because of EMS efficiency to enhance endurance by improving the efficiency of muscle contractions and reducing muscle fatigue. This can lead to improved performance during long-duration events.
- Targeted Muscle Activation
One of the unique benefits of EMS is the ability to target specific muscles for activation. This is particularly useful for athletes who have imbalances or weaknesses in certain muscle groups. This was backed up by the Journal of Electromyography and Kinesiology, which found that EMS improved muscle activation and strength imbalances in professional soccer players.
- Time Efficiency
EMS can be a time-efficient training method for professional athletes. It can be used to supplement traditional strength and conditioning workouts or used as a standalone training method. EMS sessions can be completed in as little as 20-30 minutes with 300x more efficacy, making it an excellent option for athletes with busy schedules. A study published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology found that six weeks of EMS training produced similar improvements in muscle strength and power as traditional strength training in professional rugby players, but with significantly less time spent in the gym.
EMS is a promising technology for professional athletes looking to improve their strength, endurance, and recovery. EMS can be an effective supplement to traditional strength and endurance training methods. With its ability to target specific muscles and its time-efficient nature, EMS is a valuable tool for athletes looking to enhance their performance whether that be on the field, slope, or track.
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