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Sports Science Meets Practice

Massive NMES Post

Dave-Sarah Sherman
Dave-Sarah ShermanPublished on October 12, 2022

The LiveOur review of the NMES literature has taken longer than we anticipated - but it will be worth the wait.

Here is a teaser:

Direct Stimulation of Muscle Fibers

Electrically induced NMES muscle contractions are different than natural contractions in two ways:

(1) Only the muscle fibers stimulated by the current are contracted. Natural contractions occur through activation of motor units, which innervate muscle fibers through the muscle fascicle. In NMES, fibers are not recruited through motor units, instead muscle fibers closest to the current are preferentially activated.

(2) The recruitment schema is reversed. NMES preferentially activates large muscle fibers first, plus all muscles fibers "turn on" at once. Whereas natural voluntary contractions preferentially activate small muscle fibers first and there is a variable motor unit firing pattern to help maintain constant force output and reduce fatigue.

So it's different, but does it work?

Stay tuned to find out! The rest of the post(s) will be coming out sometime this weekend or early next week. Only subscribers will have access to the full content.

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