Is high-frequency neuromuscular electrical stimulation a suitable tool for muscle performance improvement in both healthy humans and athletes?

  title={Is high-frequency neuromuscular electrical stimulation a suitable tool for muscle performance improvement in both healthy humans and athletes?},
  author={Julien Gondin and Patrick J. Cozzone and David Bendahan},
  journal={European Journal of Applied Physiology},
We aimed at providing an overview of the currently acknowledged benefits and limitations of neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) training programs in both healthy individuals and in recreational and competitive athletes regarding muscle performance. Typical NMES resistance exercises are performed under isometric conditions and involve the application of electrical stimuli delivered as intermittent high frequencies trains (>40–50 Hz) through surface electrodes. NMES has been acknowledged… 

Effects of Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation Training on Endurance Performance

The impact of high- vs. low-frequency NMES training on muscle vs. functional endurance in healthy vs. clinical populations is discussed and some recommendations for better clinical use of NMES are provided, and potential directions for future research are suggested.

Central Contribution to Electrically Induced Fatigue depends on Stimulation Frequency

The combination of high-stimulation frequencies and low-pulse amplitude induced the greatest neuromuscular fatigue.

Neuromuscular Fatigue After Repeated Jumping With Concomitant Electrical Stimulation.

Performing repeated squat jumps with concomitant NMES induced a greater fatigue than squat jumps performed alone and might potentially represent a stronger training stimulus.

Recommendations to Increase Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation Training Intensity During Quadriceps Treatments for Orthopedic Knee Conditions.

Recommendations are provided that a clinician can use to increase NMES training intensity when strengthening the quadriceps with NMES for orthopedic knee conditions to allow forceful contractions that can be sustained over a treatment with multiple repetitions without the rapid decline in force that is typically seen when NMES is used.

Wide-pulse electrical stimulation of the quadriceps femoris allows greater maximal evocable torque than conventional stimulation

Wide-pulse NMES protocols resulted in greater MET, lower MTCI and consequently in a lower proportion of subjects attaining MSO, which may lead to better NMES training/rehabilitation effectiveness and less practical issues associated with MSO limitations.

Effects of training intensity in electromyostimulation on human skeletal muscle

Investigating whether low-intensity NMES training could elicit muscle hypertrophy at the whole muscle and muscle fiber levels in the human skeletal muscle found it could increase MT, muscle fiber CSA, and muscle strength in healthy human skeletal muscles.

Exercise with TENS does not augment gains in balance and strength for dancers.

Comparison between the effects of 4 different electrical stimulation current waveforms on isometric knee extension torque and perceived discomfort in healthy women

The Aussie and PC approaches proved superior to Russian current for inducing isometric knee extension torque, and this information is important in guiding decision making with regard to NMES protocols for muscle strengthening.

Toward a wearable monitor of local muscle fatigue during electrical muscle stimulation using tissue Doppler imaging

Evidence is provided that Doppler ultrasound imaging can detect changes in muscle tissue during isometric muscle twitch that are related to muscle fatigue, fatigue recovery, and the generated joint torque as well as a feasible method to monitor localized muscle fatigue during EMS in a wearable device.

A new paradigm of neuromuscular electrical stimulation for the quadriceps femoris muscle

Neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) with large electrodes and multiple current pathways (m-NMES) has recently been proposed as a valid alternative to conventional NMES (c-NMES) for quadriceps



Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation

  • D. Lake
  • Medicine, Biology
    Sports medicine
  • 1992
It appears that when NMES and voluntary exercise are combined there is no significant difference in muscle strength after training when compared to either NMES or voluntary exercise alone, and there is also evidence that NMES can improve functional performance in a variety of strength tasks.

Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation and Voluntary Exercise

It appears from this review of the literature that in physical therapy, NMES effectively retards muscle wasting during denervation or immobilisation and optimises recovery of muscle strength during rehabilitation, since NMES contributes to a shortened rehabilitation time and aids a safe return to competition.


The PES training method is complementary to voluntary training, mainly because the application of PES causes an unconventional spatial recruitment of MUs that, depending on the muscular topography, may entail the preferential recruitment of the fast-twitch MUs.

Electrical muscle stimulation and isometric exercise effects on selected quadriceps parameters*.

  • H. Hartsell
  • Education
    The Journal of orthopaedic and sports physical therapy
  • 1986
It was concluded that while the two techniques of EMS concurrent with isometric exercise have the potential to positively increase selected physiological parameters in healthy innervated muscle, the greatest benefits will be noted for the weaker muscle.

Effects of neuromuscular electrical stimulation parameters on specific tension

Clinicians who administer SNMES should be aware of the magnitude of adaptations to a given amplitude, pulse duration, and frequency and of the area of activated muscle proportionally.

Strengthening of human quadriceps muscles by cutaneous electrical stimulation.

It is concluded that cutaneous electrical stimulation is a viable strengthening technique and there are obvious practical applications of this technique to the rehabilitation of patients who are not able to maintain an effective voluntary contraction.

Effects of Two Types of Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation Training on Vertical Jump Performance

The results showed that the height of the vertical jump significantly increased in both the F and E groups between tests 1 and 2 (5 cm and 3 cm respectively).

Activation of human plantar flexor muscles increases after electromyostimulation training.

It was concluded that an increase in neural activation likely mediates the voluntary torque gains observed after short-term EMS training.

Electrical stimulation of quadriceps femoris in an elite weight lifter: a single subject experiment.

The results showed a significant and clear relationship between performance gains and NMES administration and withdrawal, and support the use of high-dose NMES as an adjunct to weight training in elite lifters.

Central and peripheral contributions to fatigue after electrostimulation training.

The endurance time was shorter after 4 and 8 wk of NMES training, and this was associated with higher absolute contraction intensity and negative correlations were found between endurance time absolute changes and target torque absolute gains.