Today we began a line of post that will aim to show both professionals and users the versatility of the wireless whole body electromyostimulation system Wiemspro.
We will see how whole body electromyostimulation is a technology with multiple applications. Today we will focus on recovery process after or between efforts.
Wireless electrostimulation Wiemspro- How to create programs for effort recovery
Although the most widespread use of this type of technology is aimed at increasing the training intensity, Wiemspro allows such a control degree over the system that we can create programs oriented to effort recovery. In the scientific literature we can find some discrepancies about its usefulness in this field. Such discrepancies depend on the electrostimulation programs used and the design of the experiments themselves. Once analyzed all these publications we can indicate the keys to create programs that help our athletes to improve their recovery process. In summary the parameters to use would be:
– Low frequency: below 10 Hz.
– Moderate intensity: within the motor threshold (visible muscle contraction), but without producing tetanization or muscle pain. Other option apply an electric impulse inside user´s sensitive threshold.
– Width of impulse: own of the muscule group, we can go to the lowest value of its range. For example, if the quadriceps needs between 350 us and 400 us, we can use 350 us obtaining good results.
– Duty Cycle (work-rest time): average density. Although the muscle are able to assimilates this kind of work , in this case it seems better to balance both periods of time, at least 70% -30% to achieve an effect of improvement of blood supply allowing the resynthesis of PCr and prevent depletion of intramuscular glycogen.
Through the use of the electrostimulation we can help the recovery process taking care of several criteria:
– Decreased muscle fatigue (maintenance of performance).
– Decreased markers of muscle damage (CPK).
– Decreased lactate in blood.
– Decreased sensation of pain and stiffness (called “soreness”).
Some of these benefits are attributed to improved blood flow in the muscle and peripheral tissues, but underlie other physiological processes to be explained in future post.
Let’s look at different ways of applying electrostimulation to improve the recovery process.
How to guide the recovery process based on the training performed
We do not want to be simplistic, reducing the recovery processes to the application of low frequency programs, although only the application of this criterion will give us good results.
We can spin thinner and adjust the use of Wiemspro to the type of recovery that our athlete-client needs.
It seems to be more effective (and where more scientific evidence has) after workouts in which the concentric component is a priority. In these cases it can be applied as an inter-series recovery method, so that the applied force values do not decrease at the same rate as with passive or active rest (force resistance with low loads). In these cases it seems that increased blood flow and accelerated metabolites (such as lactate) may be key in the process.
When our training is primarily eccentric, we have some controversy. These types of workouts create a lot of muscle damage, post-workout pain and some muscle stiffness. Depending on the characteristics of the training and the accustomed that the athlete to this, we can help the recovery in a broader sense or less. We know that we can achieve a decrease in the sensation of muscle pain and stiffness. Another parameter that is improved are the markers of muscle damage, although if the training is very aggressive this value does not always improve in the same proportion. As for the decrease in muscle fatigue, it seems that it is not possible to reduce recovery times. This is because the muscle damage is so high, that the structure of the muscle does not allow the generation of the same levels of force until its regeneration. It may also point to nervous-type motifs related to the eccentric phase of muscle contraction, but these processes are not fully clarified today.
Electrostimulation can be used as a means to support the recovery of the athlete.
There are several items that we can evaluate when evaluating this recovery and we will not always be able to cover them all. The type of training and sportsman will determine what our “targets” in this regard.
As always, we recommend that coaches be a constant process of training – updating and the users put in the hands of qualified professionals.
Nicolas Babault, Carole Cometti, Nicola A. Maffiuletti, Gaele Deley. Does electrical stimulation enhance post-exercise performance recovery? Eur J Appl Physiol (2011) 111: 2501-2507 DOI 10.1007 / s00421-011-2117-7
AKEF M. TAIFOUR; ALI AL NAWAISEH; AMAN S. KHASAWNEH. Isokinetic and isometric strength after electrical stimulation on Judo players. Journal of Physical Education and Sport (JPES), 13 (3), Art 64, pp. 400 – 408, 2013 online ISSN: 2247-806X; p-ISSN: 2247-8051; ISSN – L = 2247-8051 © JPES
Mark S Kovacs, Lindsay B Baker. Recovery interventions and strategies for improved tennis performance. British Journal of Sports Medicine • April 2014