Top 5 reasons you need stim in your life.
You’ve seen the big name crossfitters use them, you hear about them a lot. You know there is probably some good reasoning behind it, but maybe haven’t looked into the details. Here are some commonly accepted benefits provided by electronic muscle stimulation (stim).
1. It just feels good
Just like you won’t drink a protein shake if it doesn’t taste good, you won’t use a recovery product that doesn’t feel good.
After a tough training session/day/week, and you are feeling particularly beat up and sore, a good stim unit feels like a warm massage on your aching muscles and joints.
It helps keep things loose and from stiffening up and creates a comforting feel that is almost addicting.
2. Pain relief
More specifically, TENS modes are developed to interrupt the pain receptor signal to the brain.
This is particularly useful during a tough bout of soreness, replacing a cortisone shot for non-threatening chronic pain, or providing relief during injury recovery as you heal.
Be careful as you don’t want to ignore if your body is signalling pain for a reason, but there are plenty of times when pain isn’t helpful and this is a great option to harmlessly mask it for a period of time.
Anyone that trains with intensity can appreciate an option to accelerate training results and allow more optimal training.
Stim helps dilate blood vessels, increasing blood flow to the applied region to help provide re-building nourishment.
The muscular contractions also power the lymphatic system which is responsible for removing metabolic waste from muscle cells.
This combination allows for a more efficient recovery process for the muscles and surrounding tissues. It’s often recommended to apply stim directly after training to maximize this effect. This is why you see popular athletes with them on right after workouts.
4. Muscle fiber optimization (warm up and activation)
We all know the importance of a proper warm up. You are at a much higher risk for injury when important muscles aren’t firing during a weighted movement, or are cold and tight.
EMS modes mimic a contraction signal from the brain and force a lazy muscle to wake up. This is particularly helpful if you have an imbalance where one side tends to do most of the work, or have muscle groups that don’t fire properly (very common) like glutes or smaller stabilizing muscles.
Proper activation also helps ensure the muscle is warm and pliable further limiting injury risk, as well as making sure the most muscle is recruited during a movement and therefore providing the best training benefit.
5. Strength and muscular endurance training
Some athletes like to apply stim to provide an alternate stimulus during a training movement (be sure to get advice on which movements and how before doing this).
Others will apply a more intense EMS mode to a muscle group that has just been trained to act as a “finisher” or “burnout” set.
Some experts also suggest that regular use can cause the creation of additional blood vessels providing faster delivery of oxygenated blood during performance.
At the Florida Grid League we have been exposed to a lot of types of stim units and truly are excited about the opportunity Pro-Tech provides for members of our community looking to capitalize on the benefits of muscle stim.