Years ago, electrostimulation made its appearance in the world of fitness. This technique has always been used by athletes as a complement to training or as an aid to recover from injury.
But for some time now, the world of aesthetics has been using it as a slimming, anti-cellulite and anti-flaccidity method. Although not all the contexts in which these electric currents are used are correct. An example of this are the household appliances that are sold in the telemarkets, which promise sculptural bodies (like the ones that appear in their promotions) simply by using the electrostimulation device sitting on the sofa without making the least effort.
In this article we want to analyze the controversial topic of electrostimulation in depth. We want to provide a professional vision with which you can assess in which contexts to use it and the advantages and disadvantages it has.
What is electrostimulation?
The electrostimulation is a technique used to exercise the muscles by electrical impulses. Electric currents are generated by a device that are passed through electrodes attached to the skin. In this way, it is intended to imitate the muscular contraction that the nervous system generates when we exercise our body.
The objectives of electrostimulation are to stimulate the muscle and thus, with energy expenditure, avoid flaccidity and improve venous insufficiency. As a consequence of this, the muscles acquire strength and endurance .
Electrostimulation cannot always be used. People who cannot perform electrostimulation include pregnant women, patients with cancer or heart disease, who have pacemakers, who suffer from epilepsy, or who suffer from serious or infectious diseases. Nor can it be used in feverish states or in periods of rest.
Is electrostimulation an aesthetic technique?
Electrostimulation is also used as an aesthetic method to lose weight and combat flaccidity and cellulite . But it should be noted that this method should only be complementary to aerobic exercise and a healthy and balanced diet, since, as the SEME (Spanish Society of Aesthetic Medicine) emphasizes, the only way to lose calories is by doing physical exercise, because only this is how much of the muscular system is activated.
If it is the case that electrostimulation is used as a method to lose volume, it should be complemented with drainage massages that help to eliminate the fat that the electrostimulator device has dissolved. The devices have different programs that work on specific problems: recovery from injuries (rehabilitation), improve circulation problems or lose weight and tone.
Is it correct to go from a complementary method to a unique method?
The electrofitness is a variant of the fitness that combines the electrostimulation to complement the physical exercise that is done, since electrical currents help increase strength and endurance of muscles as physical exercise is performed. In addition, it is not only used as a training technique, it also helps athletes recover from injuries suffered.
The problem lies when you want to use electrostimulation as the only exercise method, that is, to have a strong and toned body without effort and in a short time. If that is your goal, unfortunately electrostimulation is not going to help you. You cannot have a healthy and slim body lying on the couch and without doing complementary physical exercise, despite what they say in the ads.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of electrostimulation?
By way of conclusion, we are going to analyze the advantages and disadvantages of the technique so that you can assess whether it is convenient for you to perform it.
Among its advantages are:
- Very specific muscle work. This technique allows you to work specific muscle areas, so if you need to perform a specific work on a muscle group, with electrostimulation the work will be more effective.
- Greater scope of the exercise. Thanks to electrostimulation, it is possible to reach and activate fibers that cannot be worked by exercising voluntarily.
- Excellent for people who cannot go to the gym. If you lead an active life but do not have time to go to the gym, you can complete your aerobic activity with the invigorating activity of electrostimulation while doing your daily activities (at work, at home, while you go shopping or take a break watching the television or reading a book, for example).
- Recommended for people who cannot get too tired . Electrostimulation is a passive exercise method because the nervous and muscular systems suffer very little fatigue.
- Elimination of liquids and cellulite. Thanks to the electric currents you will be able to eliminate liquids and improve blood circulation, with the consequent loss of cellulite.
- Good results . The results achieved with electrostimulation are quickly visible in the short term.
On the other hand, the drawbacks of this technique are:
- It does not promote coordination or muscle control . This is due to the fact that, as they are involuntary impulses caused by the device used, the brain disconnects and, therefore, no connections or voluntary orders for muscle contraction are produced.
- You cannot work all the muscles . Electrostimulation can only act on specific muscle areas, which can sometimes be beneficial, but to work at a general level, several sessions must be carried out.
- Minimal muscle volume . It is true that this technique manages to tone the muscles but, in no case, the same muscle volume is achieved as working the muscles while exercising or in the gym.
- The risk of injury increases. In the case of electrostimulation, only the muscles are worked, without exercising the ligaments or tendons, therefore the risk of injury is much higher despite being muscularly stronger.
- Not everyone can use electrostimulation. As we have commented previously.
- Kidney failure Overuse and collapse of the kidneys can occur, although this occurs only in extreme cases of overuse.