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While electrical muscle stimulation was more commonly used in physical therapy and rehabilitation, it has quickly become a trade secret among elite athletes, bodybuilders, and exercise enthusiasts of all skill and experience levels. Whether you have hit a plateau or just want to add an extra level of enhancement to your workouts, electric muscle stimulators offer a wide range of benefits for your muscles and general health and well-being. Learn more about some of the benefits of muscle stimulator device below.
Improving Your Strength and Muscles
Unsurprisingly, one of the main benefits of muscle stimulator devices is their effect on your strength and muscles. Electrical muscle stimulation, sometimes referred to as neuromuscular electrical stimulation, works just the way the label says it does. The muscle stimulator device sends an electrical pulse through a series of wires into electrodes, usually comprising pads attached to your skin.
Contraction is the basic movement of any skeletal muscle. The trigger for that contraction is an electrical impulse, so for instance, when you think about moving your arm via your bicep, your brain sends electrical signals through the motor nerves in your bicep, making it contract. The amount that the muscle contracts depends on the strength of the signal.
Electric muscle stimulators mimic this exact same action. The electric pulses from a muscle stimulator engage your motor nerves and create muscle contractions. Used in conjunction with your existing workout, that means a more intensive and optimal workout. Muscle stimulators can engage a larger percentage of muscle fibers, allowing you to get the most out of every single action you perform. That equates to more efficient workouts and bigger, stronger, and denser muscle mass.
Certain muscle stimulators, including Compex products, go a step further by targeting the two different types of muscle fibers. Skeletal muscle comprises two types of muscle fibers. Fast-twitch fibers contract faster, have a higher anaerobic capacity, and can develop greater force. These fibers can impact your general strength, power, and explosiveness. Slow-twitch fibers develop force more slowly, but they also have a higher aerobic capacity and can maintain muscle contractions for longer periods of time. These have more of an effect on your muscles’ endurance and stamina.
Working out both types of muscle fibers with a typical workout isn’t always feasible, but by including a muscle stimulator, working on both fast- and slow-twitch fibers is much easier. That gives you a more efficient training regimen or workout session, which equates to more balanced fitness and muscles that are not only strong but also ready for whatever gets thrown at them.
The general idea of weight loss comes down to using up more calories than you take in. That usually means working out more, dieting, or some combination of the two. In terms of physical activity, weight loss usually requires a full-body workout that engages your heart, lungs and several different muscle groups. That means that an electric muscle stimulator on its own likely won’t have enough of an impact on your calories to affect the numbers on your scale.
However, using an electric muscle stimulator with your current exercise or training routine is a different story. The extra bit of muscle engagement provided by the electric muscle stimulator could be enough to give you an edge in burning fat and calories.
The last thing you want is to get injured during a training session, which is why warming up beforehand is so important. A gentle warm-up before your workout gets your heart pumping and blood flowing while loosening up your joints, all of which ensure proper biomechanical function to reduce the risk of injury. Whether you’re low on time or in need of more efficiency, electric muscle stimulators can provide dynamic warm-ups that prepare your muscles for a more intense workout.
Along with warming you up before your workout, electric muscle stimulators help with the cool down process at the end of your workout. Cooldowns are just as important as warming up. Going straight from an intense workout to the showers isn’t good for you or your body. Gradually cooling your body down with a low-intensity exercise helps to bring your heart rate and breathing back to normal and removes lactic acid and other toxins from your muscles. A cool-down period can also help to reduce stiffness and soreness and prevents post-workout muscle spasms or cramps, all while preparing your muscles for your next workout. This also factors into improved recovery.
Speaking of, an electric muscle stimulator benefits you with a faster recovery from workouts. Muscle recovery is an essential part of building up your strength and increasing your muscle mass. Recovery time allows your body to repair and rebuild those torn muscle fibers and turn them into harder, denser and bigger muscles. Unfortunately, that usually also means a lot of downtime while your body’s immune system performs the necessary maintenance and repairs.
Electric stimulators work to enhance blood flow in your muscles, bringing fresh oxygen and nutrients into every muscle fiber while flushing away harmful toxins contributing to muscle soreness.
Using an electric muscle stimulator can also keep any existing muscle soreness down and provide relief. Granted, alleviating pain doesn’t necessarily make your muscles recover faster, but it can help you get through your day and prevents the distraction while you’re working on other parts of your game. The electric pulses can stimulate the production and release of endorphins. These feel-good chemicals are naturally produced by your nervous system and can provide pain relief, boost your happiness, or in this case, dampen muscle soreness.
Muscle stimulators can also help you deal with sore, cramping muscles through the gate control theory. Essentially, when your muscles hurt, they send pain signals through the nerves into your brain. The electric impulses coming from the muscle stimulator actively interrupt the pain signals from reaching your brain, which can soothe soreness and keep it from distracting you for the rest of your day.
Now that you know the benefits of muscle stimulator devices, it’s time to use one. The process is simple enough. Just apply the electrodes to the muscles that could use an extra boost during your workout and apply the necessary settings on the device.
If you’re a beginner, start with the lowest setting. Going too high, too suddenly can be uncomfortable, painful and have the opposite effect of a good workout. Make sure you also read the label. There are parts of the body that muscle stimulators should not be attached to, and improper application can stimulate muscles in a dangerous way, like pulling joints in ways that they shouldn’t be pulled. You should consult your doctor or avoid using muscle stimulators if you wear a pacemaker, have a heart condition or are pregnant.
Above all, it’s important to understand that muscle stimulators are not meant as replacements for a workout. They shouldn’t be used passively. Instead, they’re a way to enhance your existing workouts and provide an extra edge for maximum efficiency.
Muscle stimulators offer a wide range of benefits, whether you are a pro-baller or a yoga enthusiast. From improving muscle strength and tone to providing more efficient, enjoyable and energetic workouts, the benefits of muscle stimulator machines know no bounds. Take a look through the Compex store for electric muscle stimulators suitable for all skill levels and start improving your physical performance today.
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 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 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
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
The Granite Games have been in play since 2013, in their fifth year of action, the level of competition continues to grow. Some of the fittest athletes will converge onto St. Cloud, Minnesota to compete alongside one another as they fight to earn their piece of the $100,000 prize purse pie! While the athletes duke it out on the competition floor, the spectators will have an opportunity to stock up on the essentials from sponsors like Rogue and Compex.
The event will take place on September 8th through the 10th at Saint Cloud State University. The goal is simple, celebrate athletes of every skill level. The Granite Games will host over 1,900 athletes in the heart of central Minnesota! In addition to offering a weekend of competition to the community, Granite Games gives back. Every year, they aim to support the growth of the fitness community both locally and nationally. From offering Fitness Education Scholarships to outfitting gyms with Rogue equipment, Granite Games aims to support the growth of the fitness community both locally and nationally.
Hope to see you there!
2017 was the first year the CrossFit Games was held in Madison. It proved to be an exciting location, packed full of new events for the athletes. The enclosed stadium allowed the crowd to be louder than ever, and the obstacle courses and weather provided additional challenges for the athletes to overcome.
Congratulations to our Compex® Athletes:
Mat Fraser - Fittest Man on Earth
Ricky Garard (AUS) - 3rd Place
Garret Fisher - 14th Place
Rob Forte (AUS) - 26th Place
Zeke Grove (AUS) - 34th Place
Kara Webb(AUS) - 2nd Place
Sara Sigmundsdottir - 4th Place
Brooke Wells - 14th Place
Lauren Fisher - 30th Place
Sarah Loogman : CrossFit Invictus - 6th Place
Learn More about our Athletes Here
A big Thank you to our Education Staff who worked all weekend, providing demonstrations of our muscle stimulators to the spectators and athletes.
It’s finally here! On May 8th, Compex® will be releasing a lineup of new colors across all wired devices. The devices themselves will be identical with the best of Swiss technology, but now you’ll have more options in shopping for your first or upgraded device.
The new colors will be:
Compex devices are beneficial for the occasional to elite competitor seeking a performance edge or for an exercise hobbyist looking to relieve aches or tightness associated with physical activity as well as to train for those activities.
NMES devices use electric waves to send signals to the muscle to cause an involuntary contraction. Dependent on the frequency of the wave, this effect can be used to help recover or even train the muscle to suit a variety of athletic needs. In Compex devices, preset programs have been engineered to optimize the efficiency of these desired effects with programs ranging from Massage to Active Recovery and Explosive Strength*, among others.
Not interested in fancy colors, but still want a great device at discounted cost? Keep your eye out for clearance discounts on our website leading up to and at the release of the newest devices. The originals will not be reproduced again so get them while they’re in!
*Note: not all devices come with all of the colors, see the comparison chart for more information.
Compex will be at the 2017 Arnold Fitness Festival this week in Columbus Ohio. The Arnold is a collection of athletic competitions including Bodybuilding, Martial Arts, and Powerlifting, as well as a Fitness Expo welcome to all spectators. Compex will be on site at the Fitness Expo March 3-5, performing demonstrations and offering special event pricing. You can find us at Location C booth #1759. If you can't make it to the event we still have great deals available online!
Join Compex at Wodapalooza this weekend in Miami. Competition starts Thursday January 12th at the Downtown Miami Bayfront Park and runs through Sunday January 15th. You can join us at the Festival to test out a device and talk with our experts on how to incorporate Compex into your current routine. Compex can help athletes with power, speed, endurance, and recovery.
Good luck to all of our athletes competing this weekend!
Join Compex this weekend at the 2015 Reebok CrossFit Games at the StubHub Center in Carson, California. Stop by our Compex booth inside the Vendor Village which is open daily from 8am-7pm Thursday July 23rd- Sunday July 26th 2015 to test out a device, learn about the benefits of electric muscle stimulation and how you can use it to target your training and increase power, speed, endurance and recovery, meet Compex athletes, win prizes and more.
Compex athletes Camille LeBlanc-Bazinet, the 2014 CrossFit Games winner and Graham Holmberg, the 2010 CrossFit Games winner will both be competing this year in The Games.
Support Compex sponsored athlete Chad Mendes in his upcoming UFC 189 Interim Featherweight Title Fight against Conor McGregor on Saturday, July 11th 2015 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Former All-American wrestler Chad "Money" Mendes who has ended five of his last six wins by knock out (KO) will fight Ireland's Conor McGregor in the main event on Pay-Per-View at 10pm/7pm ETPT.
Learn more about how Chad Mendes supercharges his workouts and trains with Compex on his athlete page: ShopCompex.com/athletes/chad-mendes
Step up your game by adding Compex into your workout regimen. Even the most elite athletes use less than half of their muscle potential. By integrating Compex electric muscle stimulation into your workouts you can activate 100% of your muscle fibers for the ultimate in warmup, performance and recovery.
Learn more about Electric Muscle Stimulation.
IRONMAN Arizona is one of the most popular triathlon events in the world because the spectator friendly non-ocean swim, atypical flat and fast bike route and its relatively flat running course. Compex athletes Jordan Rapp, Timothy O'Donnell, Amanda Stevens, Mike Zafirovski, and Neily Mathias competed this year under unusually adverse conditions ranging from cold temps to high winds on each leg of the race. Learn more about how Compex athletes Jordan Rapp and Timothy O'Donnell incorporated Compex into their post-race recovery programs after IRONMAN Arizona.
Congratulations to all Compex athletes:
3rd Place: Jordan Rappor
5th Place: Timmothy O'Donnell
5th Place: Amanda Stevens
10th Place: Mike Zafirovski
21st Place: Neels Mathias
Compex triathlete Jordan Rapp, who placed 3rd, talks about his IRONMAN Arizona post-race recovery and how he incorporated Compex into this recovery plan:
"Post race, I typically wait to see how the body sorts out for a few days. In the immediate aftermath, everything hurts. If there's long travel involved (not the case in this race), then I'd use the Recovery Plus or massage settings on a very low current just to keep the muscles moving my legs on the plane ride. I thought of this after racing IMMEL in 2013, and sitting on that 16 hour plane ride after the race and just locking up, I thought, "I have to figure out how to do this differently." And that's when I started experimenting, and the Compex is so easy in that regard. But since I fly to Tempe and it's just an hour flight, there's a lot of walking - too much! - at the airport and such and so I don't worry as much about keeping the muscles moving. This race is also different because as the last race of the season, I'm less worried about bouncing back as quickly as possible. I try to mentally unwind as well and just sort of let things flow. I take this approach with vitamins and stuff as well. I just sort of step back away from being an athlete for a couple weeks at the end of the season.
But I'm very keen to get back into swimming, since I find that is a great way to stay active, recover fast, and continue to work on my biggest weakness. So I'll probably start to getting back into swimming before the end of the week. For swimming, I personally have found the Compex to be great for obliques. All the rib muscles take a beating with the various demands and super long day of an Ironman, but I seem to have particular trouble with some of my obliques. So again, I'd start with using that to get those firing. Some light massage, recovery plus, and then maybe some potentiation before I swim. Mid-season, I'd probably focus more on doing something with my legs, especially in the peroneals and anterior tibialis to get my toes and sub-talar joint control working again. But since I'll take at least a week off of running and cycling, I'll just wait to use the Compex as normal and as needed once I start back up there.
I'm sure that as I unwind from the race, sore spots will crop up - like in my neck from lugging the bike box and suitcase on a beat-up body - and I can just get some relief with massage or recovery plus modes, again with super low current.
And, at least for this time of year, it's also good to use the Compex to get your abdominals working after you stretch your gut out to 5X its normal size at Thanksgiving!"
Compex triathlete Timothy O'Donnell, who placed 5th, talks about how he speeds up his post-race IRONMAN Arizona recovery with the Compex Active Recovery program.
"Recovering from an Ironman is never quick or easy, especially IM Arizona where the concrete run course take a huge toll on your legs. I rely heavily on my Compex post to get me moving and speed up my recovery. The active recovery program is my go to for my calves and to increase blood flow across my IT band and quads I rely on Recovery Plus Program. Thanks Compex!"
Compex is the Neuromuscular Electrical Muscle Stimulation (NMES) device of choice for athletes, coaches and trainers around the world. Pioneering electrotherapy techniques through extensive research and innovation spanning the last three decades, Compex’s flagship “Muscle Stim” devices are used to improve physical performance, speed recovery in preparation for the next performance, and for rehabilitating the muscle for peak performance.
Compex enables athletes to safely customize their training, exercise more muscle fibers in less time, and recover faster. The result is a more efficient workout with less risk of injury and virtually no cardiovascular fatigue. Learn more at www.ShopCompex.com