purchasing EMS units

great job and great infos :slight_smile:

As Ange has described, this is a great piece of equipment.

  1. What protocols did you use for this purpose? I feel I don’t use my compex as much as I could and should be. Many of my athletes are starting to get really tight hamstrings, especially in the adductors. Was hoping my unit might be of use in loosening that up. Would active recovery work, or some type of recovery protocol? What parameters might I use for this (time, intensity, placement etc)

  2. I have another athlete who dislocated her knee cap making a cut. We have been doing strength for hamstrings using 6 second contraction, 30 second rest for 10 seconds. (therapist has been doing stim on quads, but neglecting hams). Any suggestions for this athlete?

Thanks in advance.

1 I’d use the active recovery modalities where the tightness is concentrated, most likely low down near the knee.
2 I’d see if you can move the reps up from 10 to 15 at least, as she’s limited in other training activities.
I might also consider active recovery for her quads as well.

I used the active recovery for a knot recently that felt as large as a small grapefruit. I followed up with massage and did this after a light warm-up so he wasnt getting on the table cold. The results were fantasic and this was a non athlete.
For loosening see how the response goes first before changing any variables.
Does your stim have a max strength modality? Quiz the therapist to see what they are thinking and decide from there.

I have max strength (6 sec contractions) with 30 sec rest.

I used active recovery only with an athlete today. She felt immediately better. Curious to see how she feels Monday.

I began playing with my compex today with acive recovery, i’m curious if there is any difference in response in how intense the contractions are. I didn’t feel any difference after a session, maybe I had it too high??

The higher the intensity the better. Intensity means current (mA, or milliamps). Higher current penetrates deeper in the muscle tissue, thus recruiting more muscle fibers. Higher recruitment means helping more blood flowing in a larger portion of the muscle.

Because Active Recovery programs (like those in Globus and Compex machines) are made of twitches rather than sustained contractions, and twitches develop only about 1/3 to 1/4 of the force one develops with a sustained contraction, one doesn’t run the risk of overloading muscle fibers and the tendons, or to make them sore.

There are a couple of differences between the Globus and Compex Active Recovery, if anybody is interested.

Based on my experience, I do believe there is an “optimal” intensity for the recovery settings. While this optimal intensity is not low, it is not necessarily has high as you can handle. I’ve had variable results with different individuals - which I assume correlates with muscle fiber type.

In some cases, I have dialed down the intensity slightly and experienced better results. I would assume it is similar to a massage session, where too hard and deep a massage can have less optimal results. There is likely a point of diminishing returns. As with training, it is your job to determine “how much, how long, how frequently, etc.” based on your experience with various individuals and their tolerances.

i agree. I’d dial down on those with the most FT fibre because they might go “over the top” for ideal recovery. GC is right for most other cases.

Number Two,
I do not disagree with you: personal experience rules over theory. I’m inclined to think though, that if ESTI did not get any result, either the training was not stressing the body (i.e. didn’t need active recovery), or the Active Recovery program was too weak, and didn’t make a difference.

Correct, I did not need the program, was curious to see if how it felt during and after the treatment.

My athlete yesterday left feeling better, and today during a game felt tight and overall not well. Not sure if intensity was high enough, or too high??

There was a good amount of vibration of the muscles during treatment. Any idea how you can gauge intensity of treatment?

I think feedback from the athlete to gauge intensity can be useful.
And I am not sure how much time you spent doing stim with this athlete but don’t be so sure the tightness had anything to do with what you did or didn’t do.
You gotta try and keep records and see how it goes over time.
Think about using the stim on the glutes first ( active recovery) to supply blood flow for tight hams.

Can you explain better this point, please?

Thank You.

Jamirok, glad you asked the question.

The Active Recovery program makes the muscles twitch at frequencies between 1 and 9 Hz. This means that the muscle pulsates from 1 to 9 times per second. However, you can do this in different fashions. At Globus we experimented with different ways of doing this, and found that people seemed to get a better recovery and in a shorter time with a specific variation on this theme. This was adopted as the standard program.

In a nutshell, the change from 1 to 9 Hz can be done in a cycle lasting a certain number of minutes. The cycle adopted by Globus lasts a fraction of a minute and is repeated over and over. The cycle adopted by Compex takes 25 minutes and is done only once. I have my own theory, why cycling active recovery in shorter cycles apparently produces better results. But I would be interested in the opinion of others in this thread.

Some detail: the Compex program increases the frequency gradually during the course of 25 minutes. Every four minutes the frequency increases by 1 Hz, thus at the end you reach 9 Hz. At Globus we tested this against cycles taking 5 minutes, and repeated four times. Then we tried the same with even shorter cycles. Users manifested their preference for the shorter cycle, they also volunteered that they were obtaining their recovery faster. Therefore we were able to shorten the program from 25 to 20 minutes. Younger subjects even claimed they needed only 15 minutes.

If you use the programmable version of the Globus Premium, you should be able to try your own variations of the program and find out for yourself what works best.

I think I’m right if a say that with the Compex the frequency decreases every 4 minutes and at the end you have 1 Hz.

Thank you for the correction svincenz. My fault :o, I wrote the sentence up-side down.

thank you.

How would one use EMS for IT Band tightness which is giving knee pain?

Personally I use “the Stick” (do a google search) to address IT band tightness. You can use EMS on the VMO. This does not address IT band tightness directly but may help the knee pain.

IT band tightness = is the symptom of something else? Like tight hamstrings and or quads or glutes? I don’t know but the EMS can be used to address any of these large muscle groups initially through an active recovery mode or something that will promote blood flow to loosen the area.
Sounds to me that you need to combine several approaches to get a result.
Massage, epson salt, contrast therapy and follow up with EMS and Travel Roller or a stick or something in this category.
Are both knees bothering you?
I was told a long time ago sprinters often do not address the tband and over time it can lead to issues with your knee. Find someone knowledgeable to show you proper stretches for your hamstrings and quads.