#107: How to Use Electric Muscle Stimulation with Functional Fitness

#107: How to Use Electric Muscle Stimulation with Functional Fitness

Making gains in your functional fitness training isn’t solely about what you do in the gym. Your muscle growth transformation also largely depends on what you do outside of the gym. If you want to make progress with your functional fitness workouts, then other facets—like muscle recovery—are paramount. Let’s specifically dig into how you can use electric muscle stimulation with your functional fitness training.

The Answer to Better Results With Functional Fitness

The benefits of using electric muscle stimulation with functional fitness are many. Here are just a few reasons EMS should be incorporated into your lifestyle.

Use Electric Muscle Stimulation to Speed Up Recovery After Training

Are you experiencing sore muscles? If it’s stopping you from hitting your next workout on schedule—or with the intensity that you’re aiming for—then finding a way to take the edge off will really come in handy. You can significantly reduce your muscle recovery time after working out by using an electric muscle stimulation device like PowerDot.

One reason that electric muscle stimulation is so powerful is because when it triggers those tiny muscle contractions, it’s simultaneously encouraging your body to better deliver oxygen and nutrients to your tissues. This also means that your circulation benefits.

By more rapidly delivering the nutrients that these muscles need to heal, PowerDot helps to noticeably reduce your muscle recovery time. This means that you can feel better faster and get back to your functional fitness workouts sooner.

Incorporate Smart TENS to Reduce Functional Fitness-Related Pain

Sometimes, sore muscles aren’t just sore muscles—it’s an injury. This could be as minor as a small pull or strain, or as severe as a full-blown tear.

Either way, you might very likely be experiencing pain that ranges from mildly distracting to almost debilitating. What can you do?

Here’s the thing: PowerDot actually has two types of programming. Neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES)—often called electric muscle stimulation or EMS for short—is excellent for building healthy muscle mass overall.

However, we also offer something called transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation—or TENS—to particularly address muscle pain.

TENS works in two ways.

For starters, it nudges your body to release endorphins, a natural painkiller. Endorphins help your body better fight pain in a safe and effective way.

Secondly, TENS operates on something called the Gate Theory. Essentially, the electrical stimulation closes the “gates” to your central nervous system—your spine and brain.

Once this happens, your brain literally cannot process pain signals, and therefore, you won’t experience pain.

That’s why if you’re experiencing injury (or just severely sore muscles) during your functional fitness journey, a TENS unit can help to mitigate that pain and discomfort.

Not only will your muscle recovery time be shorter and more manageable, but you’re going to feel better overall and be able to tackle future workouts without the pain.

PowerDot’s Smart TENS programming allows you to customize a pain relief program that makes sense for you, based on the type of pain you’re experiencing, what the cause was (injury, surgery, etc.), and your pain level.

Warm Up Strategically with Electric Muscle Stimulation

The warm-up portion of your workout might feel rather uneventful; but you should actually look at your warm-up as part of your workout—because it is!

This is the time you dedicate to preparing your body for what’s to come: legitimate strain and stress on your system (albeit, good strain and stress). Your warm-up plays one of the biggest roles in protecting you against injury and works in favor of your muscle recovery.

You likely already know that warming up for a workout should incorporate stretching and mobility exercises. It should also give you an opportunity to rehearse whatever movements will appear in your functional fitness workout.

For example, if the day’s programming brings high-rep, low-weight power cleans, then you should practice power cleans with an empty bar, both to encourage muscle memory with the proper bar pattern and also tell your muscles, “Hey, this is what we’re doing today. Get ready.”

There’s more that you can do to get the most out of your workouts, though.

When you use an electrical muscle stimulation unit like PowerDot on the muscles/muscle groups that are going to be doing most of the work, it can help to stimulate those muscle fibers by contracting them with small electric pulses.

In doing so, it’s encouraging blood flow and circulation, activation, muscle endurance and strength, and injury prevention.

Improve Mobility with PowerDot

You might already be familiar with mobility basics, things like active stretching, spending time on a foam roller for myofascial release, and digging into knots and tight tissues with something like a lacrosse ball.

Let’s take this one step further.

When it comes to not just improving your mobility but maintaining that progress as you go, electric muscle stimulation can be your greatest ally. Because it helps you to move pain-free, it can very easily give you an edge when it comes to mobility. And when you can move pain-free, you’re going to train better.

Plus, EMS can improve muscular strength, size, density, endurance, and power.

“What does that have to do with mobility?” you might be wondering. The truth is that fitness, in general, is a complicated cycle, in that everything affects everything. So, yes—muscular strength plays into mobility and vice versa, as an example.

Importantly, we want to note that in order to leverage electric muscle stimulation to its fullest potential and maximize the benefits you get out of it, you need to be using PowerDot consistently, as part of your overall lifestyle. Using it once, when you happen to be particularly sore or tight, won’t magically fix things overnight.

Instead, look at it as part of a more holistic approach.

Similarly, we want to note that EMS shouldn’t be treated as a replacement for other facets of a healthy lifestyle, like regular physical activity, stretching, and active recovery.

When you put all of the pieces of the puzzle together, your fitness and overall health will reap the rewards.

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