benefits / risks and which one to choose
Electrostimulation (EMS) has become one of the most fashionable training and recovery methods among athletes in recent years. Although its popularity has plummeted since its inception, many people choose to invest their money in this type of method in search of the holy grail, since they consider it as a quick and effective option to train, lose weight and achieve their goals .
Although electrostimulation can become a great ally for the athlete in both training and recovery, there are certain aspects that should be taken into account. Therefore, below we reveal what are the pros and cons that you will find if you use this method.
What is electrostimulation?
It is a technique that uses electric current to cause muscle contractions. Thanks to it, more fibers are recruited and much more intense work is achieved in less time.
The truth is that said this way sounds pretty good, right? Everyone wants to get the best possible results in the shortest time and without suffering too much, but, really, electrostimulation should not replace sports practice in any case. Rather it is a technique that we could combine in some cases.
What is the difference with TENS?
It is common to confuse electrostimulation devices (EMS) with Transcutaneous Nerve Electrical Stimulation (TENS), although it is true that there are devices with both functionalities on the market. Unlike electrostimulators, which stimulates motor nerve fibers (exceeding the motor threshold to tone and enhance muscle), with TENS an analgesic effect is intended, reducing pain through stimuli in sensitive nerve fibers.
Now that you know what electrostimulation is, let's see what its main benefits and advantages are:
- It causes greater muscle activation and contraction of the fibers. In these cases, fibers that would be impossible to achieve with voluntary contractions are recruited.
- Being a type of exercise that does not produce great fatigue, it makes the user have a greater endurance during the session.
- There is an improvement in strength and endurance.
- Improve capillarization. It offers an elevation of blood circulation, as well as lymphatic irrigation.
- Eliminates toxic substances from the body.
- It can help you recover after a training session, and improve certain injuries.
As we mentioned earlier, although this technique provides a series of benefits and advantages to the athlete, it also contains some Disadvantages and aspects to consider:
- Not as much muscle volume is achieved as is produced with voluntary training, so it is not a suitable technique for hypertrophy work.
- It does not allow training control or muscle coordination.
- It can produce a fibrillar rupture, and even, in more serious cases, a muscular rupture.
- If a type of training is carried out that exceeds the athlete's tolerance, rhabdomyolysis may occur. It is a pathology that is generated by the breakdown of muscle fiber with the release into the bloodstream. If there is a case of very serious rhabdomyolysis, it can trigger an acute renal failure.
- According to some medical specialists, the user may suffer an acute epilepsy.
- For pregnant women, electrostimulation is somewhat counterproductive if applied in the abdomen area, and can be used in the rest of the body. In the case of electrostimulation vests, its use is not advised at all, since it is a fairly tight garment that can generate pressure.
There are many brands that offer this technology being the most prominent in the sport the Swiss Compex with a range of models ranging from 100 to 1000 €. But there is more and of proven quality, We recommend one of Beurer, selected by our specialists, with an excellent quality / price ratio:
You save: € 21.91 (31%) (31%)
Is electrostimulation recommended?
The use of this technique is especially recommended for Experienced athletes who wish to improve their physical condition, or recover certain areas of their body after training or competition (in this case applying low fixed frequency), rehabilitation and even in the prevention of injuries. It should always be combined with conventional sports practice, since it should not be abandoned. One session per week of electrostimulation would be enough.
In the case of non-athletes and sedentary people, it would be necessary to be somewhat more cautious with their use. It would be advisable to start this technique little by little, without exceeding the intensities. Of course, it should also be combined with exercise, and it is highly recommended that it be supervised by a professional.
In conclusion, electrostimulation turns out to be a good training and recovery option to combine with physical exercise in cases of people in good physical condition.