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How does Electro Muscle Stimulation (EMS) work?

By now, we are all aware that muscles need stimuli to get activated. In everyday life, these stimuli are triggered via the central nervous system and forwarded through the spinal cord and nerves to the proper muscles. From somatic point of view, these endogenous stimuli are of electrical nature, meaning produced naturally in our bodies.

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EMS is ultimately nothing more than a deliberate strengthening of the body’s own electrical stimuli but applied from the OUTSIDE.

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As such, the best results are achieved when functioning fitness and electrical stimulation are combined. Meaning that for each exercise that leads to the contraction of muscles there is in addition, a corresponding electrical impulse from outside, set directly on the muscle group. The muscle undergoes through a supplementary voltage increase, recruiting and engaging its fibers and thus making a more effective stimulus setting.

Electronic muscle stimulation (EMS) may help you to facilitate the strengthening of weak muscles. There are several theories on how EMS may assist muscle strengthening.

One potential cause is that when you maximally contract a muscle, at best, only 30% of all your muscle fibers are in a state of contraction. The remaining 70% are dormant and awaiting recruitment when the contracting fibers fatigue. With EMS you can potentially electrically stimulate these resting muscle fibers to improve their strength. Clinically, EMS appears to be more effective when the muscles are very weak and you have difficulty performing normal anti-gravity exercises.

Another support is that EMS works via an improvement in the speed of motor unit activation.

Explained simply, it takes approximately 10,000 repetitions for your brain to learn how to quickly send a message to your muscles via the quickest nerve pathways. This contraction pattern becomes your “memory engram”. The more frequent your muscle is recruited the better your body becomes at finding the quickest way to recruit that muscle. EMS can potentially provide you with repeated contractions to accelerate this learning process.

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There are several muscles types involved

in your natural everyday movements and

the physical training of your body.

 

 

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Type 1 muscle fibers (slow twitch fibers)
  • During normal movement, slow muscle fibers of type 1 (slow twitch fibers) are claimed in everyday life.
Type 2 muscle fibers (fast-twitch fibers)
  • Although, the Type 2 muscle fibers are more relevant when training in the gym, being fast and strong, but which are increased only through high intensity training.
  • By using the EMS technology, however, the muscle fibers of type 2 are being engaged and trained, and having fast results.
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Synchronized muscle stimulation

Another advantage of EMS training in the Fit Express™ studios compared to conventional strength training is that almost all motor units are activated in the same time. Meaning, you can train all 9 major muscle groups at once, compared to a gym session where you train a group muscle after another. Take also into consideration that during conventional training you cannot perform a full body workout in 20 minutes like you can do it using the EMS technology.

So, to really understand the concept lets the take a simple example, the activation of agonist and antagonist muscle groups (Biceps and triceps) are being trained simultaneously with the EMS Technology.

Highly effective muscle tightening

With EMS also low-lying muscle fibers are specifically controlled to strengthen – due to freely selectable training parameters.

And that means: unlike conventional strength training in the gym, EMS does not have to be time consuming but connected with holding exercises for the low-lying muscles (such as yoga or Pilates). These are just some of the advantages offered by EMS training.

To summarise, EMS is all about:

Saving time

It is a simultaneously contraction workout of all your muscles, therefore you will spend only 20-25 minutes training.

Achieving optimal percent of body fat

Since it is an effective strengthening workout, it changes your metabolism and the way your body burns out calories. It is a very effective tool for weight loss and fat elimination, from the first session of training.

Building muscle mass

The electrodes are placed on each important muscle group; so all the impulses reach their target. It is easy, and you can’t go wrong with this type of training since every muscle contracts, as it should.

Relieving joints

The electric impulses work directly on the muscles, there is no pressure on the joints; therefore they are not stressed – as it is often the case with weight workouts.

Relieving back problems

As there are electrodes built into the training suit along the spinal column, those rarely trained muscles that support your posture get worked as well. So muscles get stronger which can lead to the relief of backaches.

Balancing out the muscular system

The built in electrodes can stimulate and develop all the muscle groups or just selected ones if desired, so the otherwise ’weaker links’ of the body can be strengthened.

Also, you don’t need a gym bag, we give everything you need to train and get back to your life!

So train like an athlete, at Fit Express!

FAQ

How does EMS training work in the Fit Express™ studios?

  • EMS is technically a full body workout using electrical stimulation.
  • You have to understand: our muscles are constantly being stimulated to normal everyday life by bioelectronics inside our bodies.
  • This is what makes up the EMS (electrical muscle stimulation) an advantage: it reinforces exactly this body’s own effect through additional, barely perceptible electric impulses from outside the body.
  • Thus leads to stronger, more intense muscle contractions than with conventional training.

Are there any studies on EMS Technology?

  • Several studies of the universities of Bayreuth (2002-2003) and Erlangen-Nuremberg (2009), the German Sports University in Cologne (2008) and the Heart Clinic Bad Oeynhausen (2010) demonstrate the effectiveness of the EMS training.
  • Even untrained people achieve with a time of fifteen to twenty minutes per week in a short time, visible and tangible results.
  • Incidentally, not only the general toning is improved: EMS works great when specific priorities are to be set.
  • For example: buttocks stomach or back.

Can I combine EMS with traditional training?

  • Yes.
  • One should also train on endurance and regularity set up as conventional training also.
  • The upright keeping the efficiency of the muscle is only possible with regular exercise.
  • Substituting the training over a longer period of time translates into muscles returning to their original state.
  • Just like the conventional strength training.

Why is EMS so remarkably effective?

  • When you come to a Fit Express studio you should expect a full body workout in just 20 minutes.
  • 90% of muscle fibers are contracted simultaneously with each and every contraction!
  • As opposed to the conventional weight training also the lower-lying muscles are addressed.
  • Improves the intra- and inter- muscular coordination
  • Training is particularly intensive and fast.

Are there any medical conditions that can be improved with EMS?

  • Indeed they are.
  • EMS was initially applied as a medical support therapy.
  • It can relieve back pain
  • It can improve muscle condition in case of atrophy.
  • Also, in case of body trauma (ex knee surgery)
  • It can train only specific parts of your body.
  • A 2011 study published by the National Strength & Conditioning Association revealed the use of EMS as a recovery tool for baseball pitchers.
  • The study shows that EMS may benefit pitching performance by aiding the recovery process.
  • It stated that could potentially: reduce some injuries, enable the pitcher to throw more pitches each game, and mean less days are required between pitching appearances.

What distinguishes Fit Express from other EMS providers?

  • Fit Express focuses exclusively on EMS with its studios.
  • We believe so much in this fitness concept, that we do not promote something else in between.
  • In addition, we allowed our specialisation that every customer gets his own personal trainer – a very important aspect for the achievement of the training goals.
  • In a Fit Express studio, the trainer focuses 20 minutes only on you.
  • And maybe I should mention, that the dosage of electrical impulses is individually adjusted 🙂

What requirements one must meet to use EMS?

  • Nothing special.
  • Any healthy person can use EMS beneficially.
  • Only in certain target groups, in which in principle greater physical stress or sport is excluded, even EMS training is not advisable.
  • For example in: acute febrile diseases, pacemakers, epilepsy, during pregnancy, cancer etc.
  • A personal health interview should be ruled out to see if there are workout contraindications.

Can I use EMS after pregnancy?

  • Yes, indeed.
  • But it depends on the type of birth you had, such as natural or C-section.
  • In case of C-section, you may want to validate with your health provider to indicate when it is a proper timing to start.
  • Generally, most women can use EMS after having a C-section, after 3 months.
  • It is extremely efficient on abdominals, because EMS strengthens the core and it works also type 2 fibers, neglected during pregnancy.
  • It is wonderful recovery training after 9 months of pregnancy, and it only takes 20 minutes.

How would you sumarize the benefits of EMS training?

  • Recovery – increase blood flow and remove lactic acid
  • Training – power, endurance, strength, size, etc.
  • Rehabilitation – building and strengthening muscle
  • Prevention – warm-up before exercise
  • Appearance – muscle toning