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Physical development with EMS: history and evolution

Are you a sports training professional? Then, you will know that the practice of sport, especially the high-level, requires special qualities that need to be trained and enhanced. However, it sometimes involves excessive attitudes and requests to the athlete, so we must prepare the locomotive system to respond successfully. We’re going to do it by paying attention to the electrostimulation of i-motion. Are you ready to join us?

History of electrostimulation for the human body

To understand the present, you need to know the past. Are you ready? Although the practice of EMS in global training is an innovative modality for many athletes, electrical muscle stimulation has a long history. As we have mentioned in previous posts, its first uses date back to 200 BC in Asia Minor. At that time, electricity sources of different animal species were applied as electrotherapy.

It was a Roman physician who made the first written mention of this therapeutic method for pain treatment. In the course of the research, numerous experiments were conducted in which the exact mechanism of application in the human body was not understood.

In 1939, scientists discovered that mammals could release much greater contraction forces with artificial electrostimulation than those performed with voluntary contractions. This discovery served as an impetus to apply this phenomenon in humans in 1971.

By the mid-19th century, the first electromechanical generators began to be created to control localized muscle areas, and although they are still considered the model of modern electrostimulation, EMS has evolved significantly.

Gradually, around the 1960s, the therapeutic branch of functional electrical stimulation (FES) was created, which is still a focus of research in the medical sector.

But… how did electrostimulation get into sport?

Training with EMS has been introduced in different fields of application over the years. Its effectiveness for people has not only occurred in physiotherapy, clinics and rehabilitation centers, but it has also been seen in gyms and other sports centers.

Its feasibility and effectiveness have made electrostimulation an interesting tool for fitness personnel, as well as for differentiating investors in business models looking for sports and aesthetic solutions. One of its great advantages lies in how affordable an EMS investment and its rapid refinancing capacity is.

High-performance athletes already use it in Olympic training and performance centers to complement the physical training of their sport, as well as to increase strength and speed.

EMS has become an ideal tool for sport. Its investors continue to bet on it in countries around the world (Italy, France, Mexico, Chile, Dubai, Spain, etc.). It works!

Physical development with electrical muscle stimulation

Electrostimulation came to the sports sector in order to increase the recruitment of muscle fibers and increase strength. The training methodology that follows this objective puts the focus on the intensity and volume of cargo.

Therefore, the use of sports electrostimulation is a technique whose methodology varies depending on the pathology we address, the objectives we pursue and the characteristics of the user/patient/athlete.

If we focus on the sports population, EMS has three methods that cover the needs of athletes and their possible pathologies:

  • Static electrostimulation in muscle shortening.
  • Dynamic electrostimulation in muscle stretching.
  • Static electrostimulation in muscle stretch.

It should be noted that, when applying currents to receive an excito-motor response, several parameters must be considered:

  • The response times of a slow fiber are longer than those of a fast fiber. Therefore, slow ones require longer pulse times and lower frequencies.
  • Fast fibers require pulse times of around 300 microseconds and frequencies greater than 50 Hz.
  • There are other types of fibers, such as intermediate fibers. If we consider that the quadriceps in dynamic electrostimulation takes a second to extend the knee, we must add another two seconds to maintain the extension. However, in static EMS, the contraction would range from 3 to 5 seconds depending on the intensity.


How do you help athletes prevent muscle atrophy from athletic rest? Have you encountered toning and strengthening problems? How do you help them strengthen their muscles without rubbing joint surfaces? Do you need a solution to cause stress changes in periarticular structures?

If you have these or other questions and still don’t know the answer, i-motion can help you. We have the most advanced electrical muscle stimulation equipment on the market. Request a demo and find out by yourself.

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