As we live in one of the most active states in the US, many of our clients are runners, cyclists and overall fitness enthusiasts. EMS training and endurance training are great compliments to each other. Chris McCormack, winner of the 2010 Ironman world championship in Kona and Usain Bolt, world record holder for sprinting, both use EMS training to help them reach their goals.
What makes EMS such a great tool for endurance athletes?
Core Stability and Strength. Core strength is the pillar that translates into speed. Developing speed is actually a force that is being transferred from your core, your power house, to your appendages (your arms and legs). If your core is not stable and strong, you will absolutely have an increased risk of injury and diminished capacity for speed. Your core also acts as a shock absorber so impact will be control and reduced by your abdominal muscles. EMS training innervates not only the superficial muscles of the core (the six pack) but also the tiny stabilizing muscles of the spine. Even when you are doing bicep curls the impulse is still working your core which makes the workout even more powerful. Core strength and stability will translate the force and speed to your legs and arms.
Strength Training without Impact.
Type I muscle fibers are the endurance fiber type that are used during any endurance training. They have a higher oxidative capacity which means they can sustain activity for a longer period of time without needing to regenerate. EMS training innervates both muscle fiber types, especially type I, during training. The best part is that there is no impact on your joints which will save them for hitting the pavement. Changing the hertz from 65-85 can change the muscle fiber type being used if you are looking for a more strength based workout.
This is the most researched reason why EMS training improves endurance training. From flushing lactic acid to increasing blood flow, the stimulation removes the waste products in the muscles by squeezing the blood out of the capillaries to make room for fresh blood to supply the area with oxygen and nutrients to recover. The frequency sends a signal to the muscle to relax and increase endorphins as another component to recovery.
Your nervous system is what makes your muscles respond to activity. From infantry, your body has learned different movements and has been internally wired through your nervous system. Unfortunately, many of us have learned to move with poor patterns. EMS training works at the neuron level to rewire your system to move correctly by surpassing your brain and actually firing the muscle at the deepest level. By recruiting the muscles and reteaching the nervous system how to work, you will have better recruitment in your running.
You will notice a SIGNIFICANT change in your running related to one if not all of the key points above. Nothing feels better than an improvement in your sport. Train hard but train smart!
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