Who’s heard of Compex? Have you considered using electrical muscle stimulation in your training programme? Well if you’re serious about your training read on!
What is electrical muscle stimulation?
Neuromuscular electrostimulation (NMES) is a clinically proven, non-invasive, non-addictive means of muscle rehabilitation. Physiotherapists have been using it for many years after injury, surgery or disease. In sports medicine, NMES is used for muscle strengthening, selective muscle retraining, and the control of exercise related fatigue, soreness and oedema.
The principle of electrostimulation is very simple and precisely reproduces the processes that occur when our brain orders muscles to contract. When we decide to contract a muscle, our brain sends a signal in the form of an electric current that travels at high speed along the nerve fibres up to the muscle which reacts by contracting. In the case of electrostimulation, excitation occurs directly on the motor nerve using electrical pulses perfectly controlled to guarantee effectiveness, safety and comfort in use.
There are many different forms of NMES available but the new Compex Wireless is by far the most practical system for recreational and professional athletes alike. Many professional athletes like Kilian Jornet (ultra trail runner extraordinaire), Chris McCormak (Kona Ironman winner), Didier Defago (Swiss ski team), Tony Martin (professional Tour De France cyclist) are happy to sing the praises of this new wireless system as a complement to their normal training programme.
But why I hear you ask? Well, here are the top 4 reasons to get yourself hooked up to a Compex Wireless…
1. Helps muscles to recover more rapidly
Using NMES after training helps to soothe any adverse muscular responses, such as pain, in order to move on to continue training the next day. By inducing a muscle pumping action and increasing the blood flow, the electrostimulation enables the quick dispersion of accumulated exercise induced inflammatory chemicals and toxins. Use it after long races or heavy training sessions so that you can recover quicker and start training again earlier.
2. Optimises muscle qualities
Depending on the programme selected NMES can be customised to develop specific muscle qualities of your choosing, such as endurance or strength. Placing the electrodes directly over the motor nerves that cause muscles to activate means that the specific type of muscle contraction that we want to train can be specifically selected. The benefit of the wireless system means that you can optimise sports specific actions by using it during exercise!
3. Targets specific weaknesses
No one is perfect, everyone has some form of weakness or tightness, perhaps relating to previous injury, leading to altered movement patterns. Or was the altered movement pattern there first causing the injury? This is what your physiotherapist can identify for you! However, NMES can specifically target weak muscles to help optimise movement patterns to improve performance and prevent injury.
4. Easy to use wherever and whenever
The wireless technology of the new Wireless from Compex means that NMES has become more practical, portable and discrete. You can now use it during training out on the road, trail or in the gym to optimise sports specific muscle training. For recovery use it in the car on the way home from a race, under your jeans in the pub, even on a plane to limit those ‘heavy legs’ of travelling.
You might be able to tell that I am a fan! I used a Compex Wireless for several years during my recovery from two knee surgeries. I used it early on whilst low resistance spinning on the bike to try to engage switched off muscles, I used it later on to build strength and endurance whilst doing my rehabilitation exercises and I used it to recover from my workouts. I still use it today to target specific weaknesses that I am left with and if I still treated patients there is no doubt that I would use it on them too!
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