EMS protocol for leg in splint

Hey guys,

I understand the 10 treatment x 10 secs with 50secs rest is the normal protocol for EMS training.

However, I am soon to have a knee reconstruction and have access to one of these machines. I will have to take my leg out of the splint/brace twice per day to perform exercises and apparently with the leg immobilised the quad and hammie quickly loose size and strength.

As I have access to this sort of machine I was wondering if I just shouldnt increase the volume and do two sessions per day of teh above treatment or if I should do a max day followed by a tempo style day with less pulse and longer zaps?

I wont be able to do any running or squats funnily enough so this will basically be all the work I can do on the leg for some time to come.

any ideas would be appreciated.

You can certainly do EMS daily for strength, as it bypasses the CNS. It may be possible to do more than one session daily- with a spread of at least 4 hours. You could test your tolerance as follows:
First week: 1 x/day if no problem, follow with
Second week: 1x/day M, W, F, and 2 x/day T,Th, Sat, Sun off, if tolerated well, follow with:
Week 3: 2x/day M to Sat And so on to your own limit, with an absolute limit of 3x/day.

Thanks Charlie for your reply! Much appreciated.

I started with one treatement last night and will continue today.

My operation is on May 11 so hopefully by then I will know my limit and be ready for the 2-3 weeks in a brace.

Hopefully by the time I get out of a brace I will still have some sign of a quad and hammie muscle!

I have had two treatments so far on EMS and it seems to be going well.

However, how do I judge what I can tolerate?

Cramping? Pain? Soreness?

I guess that sometimes like most of the guys here I probably dont listen close enough when my body is telling me its time to stop so I am wondering what I should be looking for in terms of ensuring I am tolerating the work.

Its not like I will be able to run and I am assuming that my knee is going to be pretty sore anyway after the operation so its going to be hard to work out exactly whats going on. Put that together with an apparent loss of proprioception and conscious control of my quad and hammie after the op and I am thinking it may be a little hard to tell how I am tolerating the work.

Any thoughts would be appreciated.


If one has an injury and uses EMS to maintain strength, should they make adjustments in their next Max Strength Phase in terms of their EMS component? These adjustments would be to compensate for the greatly increased EMS volume (a proposed 1-3x daily) which might lead to earlier stagnation during the next “EMS phase” on weeks 2/3 of the Max Strength Phase’s 3 week loading.

Adjustments might be:

  • getting rid of the EMS component completely
  • lowering volume to 1-2x a week
  • EMS for only 1 week of the 3 week loading instead of 2 weeks

Time between the injury and the following Max Strength Phase would be a factor too, so is there a time barrier (2 months, 3 months, 6 months, etc.) to follow to help determine whether to make the above adjustments?

b to the ump

Everything changes with needs when an injury occurs. don’t plan your response due to later concerns- start the EMS now and decide how to adjust after recovery. As EMS bypasses the CNS, you can get back into it whenever you need to BUT there are coordination issues to deal with as well, so you may need a longer break before the next bout to get your rythem back- but that’s for later. Get healthy and keep fit now!