Electro-Stimulation: Far from being a Lazy Person

Many received ideas still hover around electrostimulation. Among them, we also hear it is the device that does everything, we are content to remain motionless stretched out or sitting on the sofa, it is a lazy activity, or even “the electrostimulation? It hurts.” And sometimes even: this kind of device is only used in rehabilitation”. What is it really?


The interest of electrostimulation

By definition, electrostimulation consists of a series of electrical impulses that reproduce the processes involved in muscle contractions commanded by the brain. This type of technique can be used for various types of objectives:

  • Recovery (recovery programs, post training, competition, massage programs)
  • Performance (bodybuilding programs)
  • Rehabilitation (post-injury)
  • Pain relief (muscle, joint, tendon)

If we focus on the electrostimulation used as part of bodybuilding programs, its interest is to support the voluntary contraction of the muscle to produce a more intense effort. It also helps to solicit muscles that are more difficult to access in order to develop them more quickly than during a conventional training.


Electrostimulation and sports training

Here are the essentials to know to start in electrostimulation:

On a performance program (bodybuilding, resistance, strength, hypertrophy), there is an alternation between working time with intense contractions and recovery time (low intensity).

To train effectively, it is preferable to perform contractions at maximum intensity (below the pain threshold).

To allow work at higher intensities, it is to create a voluntary contraction, at the same time as the contraction generated by the electrostimulation device ( here a model of the brand Compex ), and this by performing a movement allowing the muscle to contract without the electrical impulses. For example, when you want to work the quadriceps, it is ideal to perform a squat the time of the electrical impulse.

First, work statically, gradually increasing the intensity (stay in a squat position).

Secondly, work dynamically. in this case, the muscle alternates concentric and eccentric movements during the contraction phase. Thus, in order not to distort the movement, the intensity must be reduced by half compared to the maximum intensity reached in static.

To conclude, your muscle training will be more intense and efficient using an electrostimulation device. But it is important to keep in mind that electrostimulation sessions do not replace traditional training. They act as a complement to the latter, and a single session of electrostimulation will have no visible effect. 

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