Compex Electric Muscle Stimulator with TENS Blog

Get Stronger, Faster, Without Working Harder.

  1. Compex® Trusted for 30 Years + FDA Clear

    FDA Cleared

    Compex®, the muscle specialist, is always looking to support athletes in their quest for well-being, performance or even exceeding training objectives.

    As a global leader for more than 30 years in muscle stim technology, Compex® has dedicated hours and energy to make sure health care professionals, athletes, and individuals have the essential technology and support needed to help relieve muscle pain and improve strength. Our FDA-cleared products are beneficial for muscle recovery, injury prevention, pain management, and intense training programs. We offer the best in Electric Muscle Stimulators (EMS), Electrodes, and EMS Accessories.

    Electrostimulation

    Electrostimulation allows you to naturally reap the benefits of improved stamina, quick recovery, as well as increased blood circulation, strength, and muscle volume. It's a great complement to any existing sports training regimen. From seasoned professionals to weekend warriors, there are many benefits that can be found adding FDA-cleared Compex® muscle stim devices into any training regimen.

    Compex® Electric Muscle Stimulators

    The technology of Compex®, drawn from its double roots — Swiss quality and medical requirement — is light, portable and easy to use. Whether used for training and muscle strength or relaxation and pain relief, Compex® FDA-cleared EMS devices are an essential go-to training tool as a complement to or occasionally to replace voluntary physical activity.

    With many pre-designed program options, the Compex® FDA-cleared devices are meant to help athletes and active individuals reach their fullest potential, fast and effectively.

    FDA-Cleared

    FDA-cleared medical devices are ones that FDA has determined to be substantially equivalent to (similar) another legally marketed device. A premarket notification submission is referred to as a 510(k) and must be submitted to FDA to review and provide clearance.

    Shop for a Compex® Muscle Stimulator

    Individual results may vary. Neither DJO Global, Inc. nor any of its subsidiaries dispense medical advice. The contents of this blog do not constitute medical, legal, or any other type of professional advice. Rather, please consult your healthcare professional for information on the courses of treatment, if any, which may be appropriate for you.

     

  2. How Compex® Can Help Your IRONMAN Training

     

    Training for an IRONMAN?

    Whether this is your first or you’ve tackled many IRONMANS, you know that you’ll need to put heavier-than-usual loads on your body to meet your training plan.

    During training, you put a ton of stress on your body. All that amount of pressure can lead to injury before, during, or after race day. What can you do? Using electric muscle stimulation (EMS) and transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) may be the final puzzle piece in your triathlon training plan to help you keep healthy for your IRONMAN and beyond the finish line.

    Why EMS and TENS?

    EMS and TENS is an essential part of IRONMAN training because it helps increase strength, endurance, stamina, and recovery, all of which help maximize performance.

    Lisa Bentley, 11-time IRONMAN Champion, coach, speaker and author of An Unlikely Champion says, “I have used TENS to reduce pain around a few different injuries—inflammation of tendons, lower-back tightness, and subsequent SI joint issues. I have used EMS to stimulate the muscles which often get turned off due to injury.”

    What are EMS and TENS?

    Basically, EMS mimics the way your body works to cause your muscles to contract. Your muscles act as if you’re working out. Except, instead of voluntarily firing off (because you, say, lift something), the muscles fire when given a very particular electrical impulse from your Compex® device. The TENS can help relieve muscle pain due to injury and over-training. The TENS setting on your Compex delivers small, safe, electrical signals through conductive pads to stimulate the nerves under your skin. It relieves pain in two ways: by helping the body to release natural painkillers (called endorphins) and by blocking pain messages.

    Using Compex® During Training

    Using Compex during your training can help you gain muscle strength in hard-to-reach areas and strengthen muscles when injured. “I had patellar femoral pain, I used EMS to stimulate the medial quadriceps muscle to get stronger and activated so that it could help hold my knee cap in place and counteract my overactive ITB from pulling my kneecap to the outside,” explains Bentley. “I had used EMS when I had a stress fracture to keep the surrounding muscles activated while we rested the bone and joint as they repaired. That way, when the bone was healed, I was able to return to training faster since the normal muscular atrophy had been reduced or eliminated.”

    Compex for Recovery

    Also, Compex can also activate muscles on recovery days to enhance blow flow, which in turn helps heal your body. “Training is the process of stressing out muscles and breaking them down. Improvements come during the recovery phase where the muscle gets stronger and more resilient,” shares Bentley.

    Ironically, injuries happen when you overload muscles and tendons. Recovery from injury occurs when you gradually introduce load to the muscle or tendons. You cannot have rehabilitation without introducing a controlled load. Adding in your Compex device to your training allows for that controlled load by stimulating the muscles.

    Compex for Warming Up

    On top of strength and recovery, you can use your Compex for an effective warm up. The pre-designed programs can target the specific muscle groups you’ll be using, whether you’re in the locker room, at your desk, or sitting next to the pool. The great thing about using Compex during your IRONMAN training is that it’s portable so you can multitask and warm up as you make your way to the pool or set up your bike for a ride. And, it reaches muscle groups that are hard to reach from a regular warm-up.

    Supplemental Tool

    Compex is a tool to supplement strength and endurance programs. You can use the conditioning pre-designed programs to supplement weight training on the same day. Say you focus on training legs one morning, you can use EMS strength on the same muscles that evening, and follow up with active recovery. This helps to fire up your muscles a little quicker than training alone.

    You’re putting in a lot of hard work for your IRONMAN. You want to wake up feeling refresh and ready to train each day. In addition to your plan, make sure you get proper sleep, eat well, and use your Compex for an all-around solid training routine.

    Shop for a Compex Device

    The contents of this blog were independently prepared, and are for informational purposes only. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily indicative of the views of any other party. Individual results may vary depending on a variety of patient-specific attributes and related factors.

  3. Tuesday Tip - Training Recovery Program

    Today's tip is all about how to use your Compex Training Recovery Program

  4. How to Recover for Better Triathlon Training

     

    Let’s face it. Training for a triathlon is a huge time commitment. And if you want to get better, you’ve got to put in the work. But, what if we were to tell you that you don't need to add longer, harder workouts to be a stronger triathlete.

    What’s the key to better triathlon training? Recovery.

    Depending on your fitness level will determine the number of training weeks you’ll need to cross the finish line strong, and safely. But to train your best, you need to make sure you give your body optimal recovery between workouts.

    Whether your goal is to set a new PR or finish the race, here’s how to recover for better triathlon training.

    Set Your Recovery Day

    No matter what triathlon training schedule you use, you should set one day as a full recovery day. A recovery day can be partaking in a yoga class, going for a long walk, taking a hike, using your Compex® device, or even indulging in a sports massage. You’re giving your body a break from the intense training, which you need to prevent overworking your muscles. So, choose one day a week as your recovery day, and stick to it. Your body will be happy, and you’ll gain more strength during training.

    Foam Roll Post-Training

    Also known as self-myofascial release (SMR), foam rolling is designed to work out the knots (also called trigger points) in your muscles. Myofascial adhesions can develop through stress, training, overuse, underuse, movement imbalances, and injuries. Mainly, the knots are points of constant tension and addressing them can have a positive effect on your workouts. Ignoring them can lead to muscle fatigue and may cause injury.

    While foam rolling can be uncomfortable, you control the pressure, and over time, you’ll be able to release the pain and relax the muscle. Tension can be released from the affected area, increasing blood flow and nutrients to the muscle tissue, and improving range of motion (ROM) for a more effective triathlon training program.

    Ice Your Muscles

    Got a sore muscle or slight inflammation? Ice therapy (cold therapy) can help a minor muscle-related injury because it can help reduce swelling and improve blood flow to the affected tissue. According to one Harvard Health study, applying ice to the sore area for 10 to 15 minutes is one of the cheapest, simplest, and a most effective way to manage swelling.

    Shop our HyperIce®or ColPac® collections for ice recovery.

    Use Your Compex® Device

    Electric muscle stimulation trains your muscles in a way that traditional workouts alone cannot. While you can use your Compex® device before or during your workouts, the recovery mode helps activate the muscle to contract based on the amount of resistance applied through the device. You can also use the TENS program, which helps to alleviate pain by either inducing an endorphin release (Low-Frequency TENS programs) or to block the pain signals to the brain through the Gate Theory (High-Frequency TENS programs). Regardless if you use EMS or TENS, your Compex device can help flush lactic acid, replenish muscles with nutrient, and get your body ready for the next workout.

    Learn more on EMS and TENS.

    Whether you’re looking to compete in a sprint triathlon or an IRONMAN, one of the most effective ways to train is to focus on your recovery, so your body is healthy, strong, and ready to compete.

    The contents of this blog were independently prepared, and are for informational purposes only. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily indicative of the views of any other party. Individual results may vary depending on a variety of patient-specific attributes and related factors.

    HyperIce® is a registered trademark of HyperIce, Inc.

    Shop for your Compex® device.

  5. Compex Wraps + TENS

    TENS Wraps / Heat The Compex lineup offers the best of training and recovery to athletes and gym rats and with the newest options of the TENS add-on, users can treat pain, too. Whether injury is acute or chronic, the use of of a TENS device can help to inhibit the experience of pain by targeting the sensory nervous system. With new knee and back wraps from Compex, pain management is even easier for common target areas by combining compression, heat TENS, and NMES all in one simple package!

     

    Compex Wraps

    With the new Compex wraps, targeting bodily pain becomes easier and puts treatment into the hands of individuals. With specially designed wraps for both the low back and knee, users that suffer from injuries to these common areas can seek relief. The anatomical fit of the Compex wraps maximizes the efficiency of the TENS device and eliminates the need for electrodes while also providing compression. No cords and sticky pads to worry about! These wraps also have two levels of heat control to increase blood flow to the affected area. The wireless device fitted to the Compex wraps feature an easy-to-use touch screen to choose the program, intensity level, and control heat functions. Portable and lightweight, it’s an easy add-in to your gym bag or travel pack when on the go!

    What’s the Difference? TENS vs NMES

    Though both TENS and NMES may appear similar, the use of either device serve very different purposes. An NMES device targets muscle fibers, exciting muscle tissue much like regular exercise would. This stimulation allows muscle growth and can aid in recovery from training by bringing blood flow back to sore or damaged tissue. On the other hand, a TENS device targets the sensory nerves, inhibiting the reception of the “pain signal” to the brain. This function “tricks” the mind into ignoring pain for a period of time and is also believed to release endorphins that further aid in shutting off pain. Sufferers of bulging discs or even arthritis often benefit greatly from the use of TENS.

    More effective and usable than ever, Compex’s most recent expanses offer considerable benefit to both training, recovery and re-cooperation. Gone are the days of relying solely on therapists for relieving pain and treating injury - it can happen right from your gym bag, right where you are!

  6. Tuesday Tip - Endurance Program


    Today's tip is all about understanding how to use the Endurance Programs on your Compex device.

  7. The Benefits of Using Your Compex® During Triathlon Training

     

    Before you add another workout to your training schedule, look at how you can be more efficient.

    It’s hard enough to find the time to train for one sport, let alone three. But triathlon training can be easier than you think. The key to finishing your triathlon strong is efficiency, not excruciating, joint-smashing workouts.

    So how can you effectively train? Adding your Compex® device to your routine can help you build strength, improve endurance, and recover quickly.

    Whether it’s your first triathlon or you're looking to set a new PR, here are the benefits to using your Compex® device during triathlon training.

    Warm-Up Assistance

    A gradual warm-up loosens up your muscles and improves the elasticity of them so your body can do the hard work during training and competition. Without a proper warm up, you’re more prone to an injury. The Compex® devices offer warm-up programs that deliver tiny electric pulses to the targeted area to help improve blood circulation and loosen up your muscles.

    Builds Muscle Strength and Endurance

    When Compex® electric muscle stimulation (EMS) is added to your triathlon training routine, it helps maximize your muscular effort by engaging a higher percentage of muscle fibers. You have two types of muscle fibers: Type 1 and Type 2. Compex targets both Type 1 slow twitch muscle fibers which impact endurance and Type 2 fast twitch muscle fibers with impact power and explosiveness. In other words, you can select specific pre-designed programs that can help you build strength and endurance quicker than if you just swim, bike or run. The Compex device allows you to target multiple muscle groups that you’ll use during triathlon training without having to do longer swims, runs or bike rides. It also strengthens the harder-to-reach muscles that prevent injuries from the primary muscles groups you use during a run, bike or swim.

    Small and Portable

    Whether traveling, at work or gym, the Compex® device is easy to use and take with you, wherever you go. It’s great to use while at work, either warming up or recovering from tri training. If you travel and may not have time to do your regular workouts, then throw on the electrodes for a quick session to at least keep your muscles working and prevent strength loss.

    Recovery Made Simple

    A sports massage usually is an excellent way to recoup from a tough workout, but you may not have that luxury. The Compex® device offers pre-designed recovery programs, one being a muscle relaxation/massage program, which runs at the lowest frequency to help relax the muscles that are fatigued from your tough workout.

    The contents of this blog were independently prepared, and are for informational purposes only. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily indicative of the views of any other party. Individual results may vary depending on a variety of patient-specific attributes and related factors.

    Shop for your Compex® device.

  8. Biceps like Phil Heath

    The first thing you might notice about Phil Heath are his biceps. Building arms the size of many athlete’s thighs is no small task so if you want to look like the legend, you’ll have to work like him, too.

    The use of a NMES device such as Compex® can build muscle strength and density by utilizing the full potential of a muscle group. Maximize the bicep “pump” with this Compex routine:

    The Prep

    The Compex Pre-Warmup program uses low frequency electric waves to help increase local blood flow and the temperature of a muscle group in under 5 minutes to help reduce risk of injury and potentiate your muscles. Place the electrodes on the biceps and perform some bodyweight “air curls” before your session.

    The Pump

    The Compex Resistance program helps maximize muscular effort by activating both Type 1 (slow-twitch) and Type 2 (fast-twitch) muscle fibers to increase strength and enhance full performance potential. During the contraction phases of the program, perform your favorite “bicep pump” exercise and let your NMES device maximize the contraction!

    Check out our Bicep page to learn about pad placement and videos with some of the movements you see below.

    Some of our bicep favorites are:

    Incline Hammer Curl

    EZ Bar Curl

    Wide-Grip Barbell Curl

    Overhead Cable Curl

    Dumbbell Curl

     

    The Prize

    Your session is done - maximize the rewards! The Compex Active Recovery program will help you recover faster for your next session and reduce delayed-onset muscle soreness. This program should be used just after your session to stimulate blood flow to help bring nutrients to the muscle group.

    Put on that tank top, head to the beach.

    “To be a champion your goal is to be a little bit better each day, making sure that every day is an opportunity to be your best.” - Phil Heath

  9. Recovery Throughout The CrossFit Games Open

    And...we’re back!

    It’s Open season once again in the CrossFit community. As you train your strength and skills to prepare yourself for your best performance yet, remember the importance in recovery as a ‘next gear’ tool to earning your success.

    The training leading up to the CrossFit Open is often a time of high energy, high volume and high stakes. This gateway competition gets increasingly more competitive each year as top athletes contend for a qualifying spot to Regionals. Even for those who are casual participants to this community affair find excitement this time of year and find themselves pushing harder through workouts. Because of this increase in volume and intensity, it means that it is equally as important to make sure that the body is adequately recovered from training, too. Though we may all try, you can’t ferociously burn the candle at both ends and expect to perform at your best.

    Recovery can mean many things, but some key practices can help you structure a responsible lifestyle that maximizes the benefit of your hard work. Though you may spend four hours in a gym, the other twenty are the ones that count.

    Time Management

    Simply learning to value and budget your time more wisely will have an impact on your sleep, work efficiency the relationship you hold to your responsibilities. How much time and energy are you wasting right now on social media? Do you drag through a 30 minute warmup everyday? If you are effective with the things you need to accomplish, you will leave more time for recovery practices and rest time.

    Visualization and Mindfulness

    The intensity of training for most athletes entering the Open season does a lot to tax the nervous system and the mind. Taking time to reflect on what is learned from training and how to increase a competitive mindset is just as important as the training itself. Take time to remember moments of success and visualize your goals.

    Joint Care

    Open prep often means repeating a lot of movements over and over in order to master efficiency. This can sometimes cause inflammation of the joints, tendons and ligaments and cause aching or soreness. Natural anti-inflammatories such as turmeric or beets can help with these pains, but also making sure that the connective tissues remain mobile.

    Soft Tissue Mobility

    Not only do our primary muscles get tight from training, but also the interconnected fascia that surrounds all of our nerves and organs, too. Exercises with a lacrosse ball, foam roller or yoga can be a good practice to maintain health of the soft tissue. Types of compression therapy or the use of an NMES device can help maintain blood flow in the tissue as well.

    Nutrition

    At some point, you will have to take responsibility for the fuel you put into your body. Supplements alone will never do the trick and learning healthy and sustainable lifestyle changes to the way you eat will help you increase the impact of your training. Find experts of the field and learn to test things for yourself to find the best building blocks for your body.

    The Open isn’t just a test of will power and strength, but about who is able to sustain health and focus through five tough weeks. Make sure you’re prepared for this years excitement by committing to your recovery as much as you do your training.

  10. Compex + Resolutions = Success

    Resistance Program

    The preset Resistance program is the most “bang for your buck” among the training programs. By activating both Type 1 and Type 2 muscle fiber types, you can help to maximize the muscle contraction and get the greatest strength gains. Although this program can be used as a stand-alone routine (yes, even while you sit on the couch!) it may be best utilized in conjunction with some body weight exercises such as squats, push-ups, or calf raises depending on what you want to train. By taking your body through range of motion during each contraction, you’ll get even more benefit of the program to help increase your squat, vertical jump, and increase muscle mass!

    Active Recovery Program

    The moments immediately following a tough workout can be some of the most critical for recovery in a number of ways. Using the Active Recovery program within thirty minutes of your workout can help reduce lactic buildup, muscle soreness and fatigue so that you’re better prepared for the next session. By starting at a higher frequency and gradually tapering down, this program can be used as an effective cool down method.

    Recovery Plus Program

    In the hours and days following a workout, using the Recovery Plus program will have the most benefit to ensuring your preparedness for the next session. Using a low frequency pulse, this program helps to increase local blood flow back to the muscle tissue to help keep it mobile and fight muscle soreness. A perfect rest day choice, stick on your electrodes for a relaxing weekend as you plan out your next week in how to continue towards your goals.

    We know you’re ready to put in work this New Year and Compex is here to help meet your fitness goals. Train, recover and PR with Compex into 2018!

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