How EMS Works

All muscle movement in the human body is activated by electrical nerve impulses originating in the brain and carried along the spinal cord. Each impulse causes muscle fibers to contract creating tension. The tension causes the muscle to flex, which creates movement.

EMS (Electronic Muscle Stimulation) uses electrical impulses that mimic the very same impulses from the nervous system, causing the muscle to contract in a consistent and simultaneous manner. Body InVest EMS technology enhances the impulse, resulting in a more intensive contraction when compared to classic weight or resistance training. It stimulates, sculpts and enhances all major muscle groups simultaneously, safely and effectively. One potential reason is that when you maximally contract a muscle, at best, only 30% of all your muscle fibres are in a state of contraction. The remaining 70% are dormant and awaiting recruitment when the contracting fibres fatigue. With EMS, you can potentially electrically stimulate these resting muscle fibres 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. EMS works via an improvement in the recruitment of nerve conduction rates. 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 pathway”. The more often your muscle is engaged the better your body becomes at finding the quickest way to recruit that muscle. EMS can provide you with repeated contractions to accelerate this learning process.

In 1791, Luigi Galvani was the first to document scientific evidence that electrical current can activate muscles. During the 19th and 20th centuries, researchers continued to study and document the exact electrical properties that generate muscle movement. In the 1960s, Soviet sport scientists applied EMS in the training of elite athletes, claiming 40% force gains. In the 1970s, these studies were shared during conferences with Western sport establishments. Further medical physiology research pinpointed the mechanisms by which electrical stimulation causes adaptation of cells of muscles, blood vessels, and nerves.

The first widespread use of EMS was by physiotherapists for injury rehabilitation and prevention. As the effectiveness and benefits became widely studied and recognized, EMS is increasingly being employed as a strength training tool for athletes and as a fitness tool for health savvy individuals. The XVIII Congress of the International Society of Electrophysiology and Kinesiology focused on EMS training and performance in sports. Numerous scientific studies have been conducted on its effectiveness for general and specific athletic and health enhancements.
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The American College of Sports Medicine examined the effects of short-term EMS training on the physical performance of hockey players, specifically skating, knee extensions and vertical jump performance. The study concluded that EMS significantly enhanced short skating performance and isokinetic strength, where the muscle contracts and shortens at a constant rate of speed. Isokinetic muscle contraction is the fastest way to increase muscle strength as muscle strengthens uniformly through an entire range of movement. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: March 2005 – Volume 37 – Issue 3 – pp 455-460. Applied Sciences: Biodynamics. Abstract
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Another study with volleyball players concluded that EMS combined with plyometric training improved vertical jumping performance and showed rapid increases in the muscle strength of knee extensors (muscles that move the knee joint) and plantar flexors (muscles that create movement between the front of the foot and the shin). Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: October 2002 Volume 34 Issue 10 pp 1638-1644. Applied Sciences: Biodynamics. Abstract
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The National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) conducted a study to evaluate and quantify the effects of EMS on the cardiorespiratory system, muscle metabolism and perceived exertion on cyclists. The testing evaluated cycling with EMS versus cycling without EMS. The main findings indicated that cycling with EMS could enhance aerobic performance in athletes as well as individuals who are unable to sustain heavy workouts. Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: September 2012 Volume 26 Issue 9 p 2383–2388; doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e31823f2749. Original Research. Abstract
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The NSCA also conducted a study on the effects of EMS on high performance sports: strength, speed, power, jumping and sprinting ability. The test group was comprised of untrained subjects, trained athletes and elite athletes. Scientific analysis showed significant gains and improvements in all areas, in all fitness levels. Even elite athletes at an already high level of fitness, were able to significantly enhance their performance across the board. The study concluded that EMS is effective in developing physical performance, and stated that EMS is a “promising alternative to traditional strength training”. Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: September 2012 Volume 26 Issue 9 p 2600–2614. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e31823f2cd1 Abstract

20 minutes, 2x per week for astounding results.