Training with Electrostimulation

17th August 2019
Physical training trends are more and more innovative with every turn. Training with electrostimulation is a great example. Let's learn all about it!

Electrostimulation isn’t a new concept. It’s actually been around for years now in physiotherapy and sports rehabilitation. In our post today, we’re going to take a look at the people who use this type of training. Is it effective? Let’s find out.

Electrostimulation

When we say “electrostimulation”, we’re referring to administering electrical stimulation to muscle fibers in order to make them contract involuntarily.

Up until now, people have mainly used the procedure in physiotherapy to rehabilitate muscle injuries. Electrostimulation helps muscles stay active even when you can’t move or contract them yourself.

But today, we want to talk about training with electrostimulation. This form of training uses electrodes to send electrical stimulation to muscle fibers as a person is exercising.

To train with electrostimulation, participants need to wear a special electrode suit that covers both his or her front and back. In addition, the suit covers the participant’s quads, biceps, and triceps to stimulate those areas as well.

The suit is designed to fall on the body in a way that positions each electrode over a specific area on the body to stimulate as the participant exercises. The suit is connected to a control system that regulates the intensity of the electrical shocks. Thus, participants can adjust the levels to meet their workout objectives.

Training with electrostimulation sessions is usually organized in intervals of different exercises. In addition, they usually last around 20 minutes.

Training with electrostimulation: does it really work?

Remembering ads for the ab belt that used electrodes to help users exercise while laying on the couch, we were hesitant about this training method at first. It seemed as if it’s just another “miracle product”.

electrostimulation training

But training with electrostimulation is a relatively new concept that aims to enhance workouts by increasing the intensity of the exercises.

Furthermore, people who have actually tried this form of training confirm that they feel a higher level of intensity and have to make a greater physical effort, even those who exercise regularly.

What does science have to say about it?

An initial 54-week study on training with electrostimulation focused on elderly women with sedentary lifestyles. The women did three sessions of training with electrostimulation every 14 days. The other subject group also followed sedentary lifestyles and did ten-week blocks of light exercise. Each week they exercised for 60 minutes and after ten weeks, they followed with ten weeks of rest.

The group that trained with electrostimulation later showed more favorable results. They should improvements in skeletal muscle mass, isometric strength and stronger extensor muscles in the upper body. However, both groups showed the same fat mass results.

Another study compared a control group that did two weekly 60-minute cardiovascular and strength-building workouts and compared them with another group that did the same workouts. However, the second group also did two complimentary 20-minute electrostimulation sessions as well. The second group yielded more favorable results showing stronger isometric strength and better waist measurements.

According to Kemmler, this type of training is beneficial for people who lack the time to exercise or who have difficulties increasing the intensity levels of their workouts.

Side-effects of the method

Though training with electrostimulation boasts its benefits, certain people should limit its use:

  • People who use a cardiac, cardiopulmonary or any other kind of medical pacemaker.
  • Patients who suffer from cardiac or circulatory diseases or complications.
  • Pregnant women.
electrostimulation side effects
Image: Gremyo.com

Conclusions on training with electrostimulation

To wrap up, we can attest to the proof that this type of training can help enhance physical training or overall health for certain people. Training with electrostimulation should complement an exercise routine to yield the best results. If you don’t have time to work out, it could be a very useful and efficient solution!

  • Herrero et al., (2015). Posicionamiento de la National Strength and Conditioning Association-Spain. Entrenamiento con electroestimulación de cuerpo completo. Rev. Andal. Med. Deporte. 2015;8(4):155–162
  • Kemmler W; von Stengel S; Schwarz J; Mayhew JL. (2012) Effect of whole-body electromyostimulation on energy expenditure during exercise. J Strength Cond Res. 2012;26:240–5.
  • Kemmler W, Bebenek M, Engelke K, von Stengel S. (2014). Impact of whole-body electromyostimulation on body composition in elderly women at risk for sar- copenia: The Training and ElectroStimulation Trial (TEST-III). Age (Dordr). 2014;36:395–406.