Effect of Electrical Myostimulation on the Function of Lower Leg Muscles

J Strength Cond Res. 2017 Jun;31(6):1577-1584. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000001594.


Electrical myostimulation (EMS) method is applied to improve skeletal muscle function. The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of EMS applied to the sole and calf muscles on their strength and on maximal sprint performance. Each of 10 training sessions involved 10 seconds of stimulation and 50 seconds of rest for a total of 10 minutes. After the 10 training sessions, the maximal voluntary contraction (MVC) of right calf muscles increased by 6.0% from 830.0 ± 47.0 N to 878.0 ± 45.3 N (p ≤ 0.05). When EMS was applied to trained athletes, their 10-m sprint performance improved by 2.1% (p ≤ 0.05). In the second part of the study, a 3-week training program with EMS was applied to athletes, which significantly improved their 10-m sprint performance from a standing start by 5.3% and from a running start by 4.7% (p ≤ 0.05). Thus, 10 EMS cycles up to the maximal tolerated intensity applied every other day improved the MVC of foot flexion muscles and 10-m sprint performance from both standing and running starts. Three weeks of EMS training did not affect the intensity of calf muscle blood flow and oxygen saturation at rest. The training program supplemented with 10 EMS sessions produced significantly greater effects on the 10-m sprint performance from both a standing and a running start.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Athletes
  • Athletic Performance / physiology*
  • Electric Stimulation Therapy / methods*
  • Foot
  • Hemodynamics
  • Humans
  • Lower Extremity / physiology*
  • Male
  • Muscle Strength / physiology*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology*
  • Rest / physiology
  • Running / physiology*
  • Young Adult