Based on EMS research done by Martin Gerry Gerhardt (April 2014)
Objective and Methodology
The aim of this study was to examine the effects of electro-muscle-stimulation (EMS) training on physical performance in three different areas:
- strength endurance
In order to measure the research participant’s performance in each of these areas, a test battery with a total of 9 tests was conducted pre- and post an EMS training intervention.
Participant’s performance was measured through the following tests in a standardized way:
- jump and reach test
- standing long-jump
- skippings – dynamic crunches
- static lower back
- dynamic push-ups
- wall sit – sit and reach test
- shoulder and wrist test
A total of 24 participants were tested before and after a 10-week training intervention, which included a total of 8 EMS training sessions. Every participant adhered to the condition that no strength or strength endurance (e.g. weight lifting), flexibility (e.g. yoga) or speed training was to be done parallel to the EMS training intervention.
The EMS training intervention consisted of a weekly 20 minute low frequency interval training session. This has proved to be an effective training stimulus for the improvement of maximum strength, strength endurance, speed and explosiveness as well as to stimulate muscle growth. This EMS research aimed to contribute to the still developing knowledge of whole-body EMS training, and also aimed to assess the effect of this high-intensity training method on flexibility.
Due to the simultaneous stimulation of agonist and antagonist muscles, while performing a dynamic motion as well as the direct stimulation of certain pain receptors, it was hypothesized that flexibility will increase through 20 minutes whole-body EMS training per week.
After collecting data from 24 participants, a t-test analysis of the means of every test was performed.
On average, the training intervention seem to have caused a highly significant performance improvement in every test, except for the jump and reach test, which had previously been shown to improve after an EMS training intervention.
The most significant change could be measured in the area of flexibility, as participants made very significant improvements in both tests assigned to this category.
These results suggest that whole-body EMS training can have a significant influence on flexibility improvement and there is a need for further research in that area. Furthermore, the findings of this research support previous findings of the positive effects of EMS training on strength endurance, speed and explosiveness.