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      How to Use Electric Muscle Stimulation with Functional Fitness

      How to Use Electric Muscle Stimulation with Functional Fitness

       

      Making gains in your functional fitness training isn’t solely about what you do in the gym. Your muscle growth transformation also largely depends on what you do outside of the gym. If you want to make progress with your functional fitness workouts, then other facets—like muscle recovery—are paramount. Let’s specifically dig into how you can use electric muscle stimulation with your functional fitness training.

      The Answer to Better Results With Functional Fitness

      The benefits of using electric muscle stimulation with functional fitness are many. Here are just a few reasons EMS should be incorporated into your lifestyle.

      Use Electric Muscle Stimulation to Speed Up Recovery After Training

      Are you experiencing sore muscles? If it’s stopping you from hitting your next workout on schedule—or with the intensity that you’re aiming for—then finding a way to take the edge off will really come in handy. You can significantly reduce your muscle recovery time after working out by using an electric muscle stimulation device like PowerDot.

      One reason that electric muscle stimulation is so powerful is because when it triggers those tiny muscle contractions, it’s simultaneously encouraging your body to better deliver oxygen and nutrients to your tissues. This also means that your circulation benefits.

      By more rapidly delivering the nutrients that these muscles need to heal, PowerDot helps to noticeably reduce your muscle recovery time. This means that you can feel better faster and get back to your functional fitness workouts sooner.

      Incorporate Smart TENS to Reduce Functional Fitness-Related Pain

      Sometimes, sore muscles aren’t just sore muscles—it’s an injury. This could be as minor as a small pull or strain, or as severe as a full-blown tear.

      Either way, you might very likely be experiencing pain that ranges from mildly distracting to almost debilitating. What can you do?

      Here’s the thing: PowerDot actually has two types of programming. Neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES)—often called electric muscle stimulation or EMS for short—is excellent for building healthy muscle mass overall.

      However, we also offer something called transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation—or TENS—to particularly address muscle pain.

      TENS works in two ways.

      For starters, it nudges your body to release endorphins, a natural painkiller. Endorphins help your body better fight pain in a safe and effective way.

      Secondly, TENS operates on something called the Gate Theory. Essentially, the electrical stimulation closes the “gates” to your central nervous system—your spine and brain.

      Once this happens, your brain literally cannot process pain signals, and therefore, you won’t experience pain.

      That’s why if you’re experiencing injury (or just severely sore muscles) during your functional fitness journey, a TENS unit can help to mitigate that pain and discomfort.

      Not only will your muscle recovery time be shorter and more manageable, but you’re going to feel better overall and be able to tackle future workouts without the pain.

      PowerDot's Smart TENS programming allows you to customize a pain relief program that makes sense for you, based on the type of pain you’re experiencing, what the cause was (injury, surgery, etc.), and your pain level.

      Warm Up Strategically with Electric Muscle Stimulation

      The warm-up portion of your workout might feel rather uneventful; but you should actually look at your warm-up as part of your workout—because it is!

      This is the time you dedicate to preparing your body for what’s to come: legitimate strain and stress on your system (albeit, good strain and stress). Your warm-up plays one of the biggest roles in protecting you against injury and works in favor of your muscle recovery.

      You likely already know that warming up for a workout should incorporate stretching and mobility exercises. It should also give you an opportunity to rehearse whatever movements will appear in your functional fitness workout.

      For example, if the day’s programming brings high-rep, low-weight power cleans, then you should practice power cleans with an empty bar, both to encourage muscle memory with the proper bar pattern and also tell your muscles, “Hey, this is what we’re doing today. Get ready.”

      There’s more that you can do to get the most out of your workouts, though.

      When you use an electrical muscle stimulation unit like PowerDot on the muscles/muscle groups that are going to be doing most of the work, it can help to stimulate those muscle fibers by contracting them with small electric pulses.

      In doing so, it’s encouraging blood flow and circulation, activation, muscle endurance and strength, and injury prevention.

      Improve Mobility with PowerDot

      You might already be familiar with mobility basics, things like active stretching, spending time on a foam roller for myofascial release, and digging into knots and tight tissues with something like a lacrosse ball.

      Let’s take this one step further.

      When it comes to not just improving your mobility but maintaining that progress as you go, electric muscle stimulation can be your greatest ally. Because it helps you to move pain-free, it can very easily give you an edge when it comes to mobility. And when you can move pain-free, you’re going to train better.

      Plus, EMS can improve muscular strength, size, density, endurance, and power.

      “What does that have to do with mobility?” you might be wondering. The truth is that fitness, in general, is a complicated cycle, in that everything affects everything. So, yes—muscular strength plays into mobility and vice versa, as an example.

      Importantly, we want to note that in order to leverage electric muscle stimulation to its fullest potential and maximize the benefits you get out of it, you need to be using PowerDot consistently, as part of your overall lifestyle. Using it once, when you happen to be particularly sore or tight, won’t magically fix things overnight.

      Instead, look at it as part of a more holistic approach.

      Similarly, we want to note that EMS shouldn’t be treated as a replacement for other facets of a healthy lifestyle, like regular physical activity, stretching, and active recovery.

      When you put all of the pieces of the puzzle together, your fitness and overall health will reap the rewards.

      Article reposted with permission from www.powerdot.com

      Why Are You Inflexible?

      Why Are You Inflexible?

       

      We want you to try something right now. Stand up, fold at the hips, and try to touch your toes while keeping your legs straight. What happens? If you feel as though your hamstrings are being stretched to their absolute limit — and yet your hands have barely passed your knees — it sounds like you might be a little inflexible. 

      Don’t worry. It happens.

      Let’s talk about why you’re so inflexible, what causes it, why you should care, and what you can do to improve it.

      What Causes Inflexibility?

      There are a number of culprits. Here are a few of the more common ones.

      A Sedentary Life

      If you’re a 9-5er sitting at a desk most of your day, remaining mostly sedentary, it’s more than likely contributing to your inflexibility.

      Your body will only be as flexible as you ask it to be. If you’re sitting in a chair all day, you’re not asking it to do much. As a result, many of your muscles — including your hamstrings, groin, pecs, and the muscles of your lower back — tighten and shorten. The result? You can’t stretch them as far.

      And the really scary part? This is only one of the dangers of a sedentary lifestyle.

      Muscle Weakness

      We know what you’re thinking: What on earth could muscle weakness have to do with muscle inflexibility?

      Here’s the thing. Your brain and central nervous system will try to protect you from doing things that your body isn’t ready to do. Your muscles need to be strong enough to protect the joint that you’re attempting to stretch.

      If they’re not strong enough, then you’re going to run into that stiffness. This is an attempt to prevent tissue damage and injury.

      Soreness, Overuse, or Injury

      If you do a grueling 90-minute yoga session and have a hard time getting out of bed the next morning, it’s understandably the soreness that’s causing your inflexibility.

      The same can be said for overuse. Maybe you’re a functional fitness athlete working on your overhead squats. That’s a tough position for many people to get into as is. If you tackle this movement over and over again, across days and weeks, the overuse is going to get to you and likely cause some stiffness.

      An injury is a really good reason to take it easy. If you hurt your hip and then attempt to squat or lunge, you might run into some trouble. Don’t push it — your body is healing! That inflexibility, while frustrating, is there to protect you. It’s your body’s way of saying, “This is as far as I can go right now.”

      Why Should You Pay Attention to Your Inflexibility?

      Whenever your body tells you something, you should listen; and stiff muscles that don’t seem to want to stretch any further is no different.

      Unbeknownst to some athletes, inflexibility is a very common cause of injury. And it makes perfect sense, if you think about it. If you’re sitting at a desk all day — hunched over, head jutting forward to look at the monitor — and then you go run three muscles or do 40 kipping pull-ups in a workout or hit the tennis court to practice your backhand — why would this turn out okay?

      For most of us, training is a small part of our lifestyle. A much bigger part is the things that contribute to inflexibility, like sitting at a desk.

      This means that when you’re planning your training programming, you need to take your other lifestyle habits into consideration, because they absolutely have an impact.

      And when your muscles have reached their limit, it’s time to hit the pause button, listen to your body, and react accordingly.

      What does that mean, exactly?

      How to Improve Your Flexibility

      If you feel inflexible, here’s the great news: You’re not stuck with it! Just like everything else in fitness, this is something you can work on and improve. But we want to emphasize something really important: Patience is key. This will not happen overnight, and it’s not supposed to.

      Be diligent and consistent and over time, you’ll see results.

      Avoid Staying in One Position for Too Long

      This goes for both excessive sitting and excessive standing. If your job requires you to spend much of the day on your fit, inflexibility can strike you, too. And it’s for the same reasons: When your body gets used to one position, the muscles tighten to reflect it.

      The easiest way to manage this one is to set alarms or reminders on your phone for once or twice an hour. If you’re sitting, stand up and walk around. If you're standing, take a break and rest your feet. While you’re at it, throw in a few air squats for good measure.

      It’s a small change that will make a huge difference. You might also be surprised to find that any hip or chronic back pain you’ve been fighting actually disappears. Bonus!

      Roll Out First

      When you roll out with a foam roller, you’re breaking up some of the crusty tissue, helping your muscles relax, and quite literally aiding them in lengthening and stretching out. 

      This is an excellent way to get your muscles ready for further stretching. And on that note...

      Hold Your Stretches for a Little Longer

      Sometimes, five seconds seems like five minutes. But here’s the problem. Holding a challenging stretch for five seconds isn’t going to do much.

      Try holding it for 20 to 30 seconds instead.

      Bear in mind that these are habits you’re going to need to adopt and practice consistently every week. Even if it’s a rest day, you’d be wise to add a little stretching into your day, maybe first thing in the morning or before you go to bed.

      With time, you’ll kick your inflexibility to the curb.

      Another simple way to improve flexibility is with electric muscle stimulation. With a device like PowerDot, you can keep your muscle tissue healthy and active, recover faster, and even heal more quickly from injury.

      Article reposted with permission from www.powerdot.com

      How to Recover From a 5x5 Workout Program

      How to Recover From a 5x5 Workout Program

       

      Of all the training programs that come and go from the fitness community, one in particular has held steady for years and years, with a loyal mass of followers: the 5x5 strength training program.

      When we say 5x5, that means five rounds of five reps each. You can apply these to literally any exercise, although athletes commonly use them for compound exercises, picking three to focus on per session. For example, a day of 5x5 training might look like this:

      5x5 bench press

      5x5 deadlift

      5x5 back squat

      Here’s another example:

      5x5 strict overhead press

      5x5 barbell row 

      5x5 front squat

      You’re less likely to see a 5x5 of bicep curls, although hey — we’re not here to judge bicep curls.

      Athletes following a 5x5 strength training workout will typically train three times a week, with rest in between each day — for instance, Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Recovery is really important for 5x5 training. More on that a little later.

      The strategy also includes picking one exercise to really focus on each day. For instance, in one training session, you might opt for heavier weights for your bench press while going with something a bit more modest with your deadlift and squat.

      This programming shouldn’t constantly be pushing you to failure, but it shouldn’t be a walk in the park, either.

      The Benefits of 5x5 Programming

      5x5 training offers a number of benefits. For starters, it’s designed to help you improve strength and gain muscle mass faster than other programs might. The idea is that roughly three times a week, you hit the muscle groups hard, and then give yourself plenty of recovery in between.

      It’s a lot of reps — 25 per movement — and accumulating reps is one of the simplest (and most powerful) ways to build muscle, plain and simple. However, at the same time, the number of reps is low enough that you can still load up a pretty decent weight. Make no mistake about it: 5x5 training should not be easy. You can expect to seriously tax your muscles.

      Second, because it usually focuses on compound movements, you’re attacking multiple muscles at once. In other words, you get a lot of bang for your buck.

      Put simply, when people want to build muscle faster, they turn to 5x5 programming.

      Third, it’s simple. There’s nothing fancy about 5x5 training. You can tell any athlete of any level, “Do this movement, five rounds, five reps each round,” and they’re probably going to get it.

      Fourth, 5x5 training makes it easy to push through training plateaus and continue improving. Because the rep scheme doesn’t change a whole lot, the weight does. Is 200 pounds feeling too easy for your deadlift? Go up in weight. Simple. (On the contrary, if a weight is feeling too heavy, all you need to do is pull back a little bit.)

      5x5 training is the type of thing that works for just about anyone, and that’s because it’s fairly logical and no-nonsense. Your fitness performance is almost guaranteed to make gains. Still, athletes need to take caution to approach it the right way, so that they can reap all the benefits and, importantly, stay healthy and injury-free.

      How to Recover From Your 5x5 Strength Training With PowerDot

      Improving athlete performance isn’t just about training. Recovery is as important to your muscular strength and overall fitness.

      You might be feeling ambitious, which is excellent! However, with a programming style as aggressive and intense as 5x5, having days off between training sessions is crucial.

      This is especially important considering that in even just a single session of compound movements, you’re essentially getting a full-body workout.

      Tackling the same muscles multiple days in a row with no rest is a pretty sure route to eventual overtraining and likely injury. And hopefully, it goes without saying that you shouldn’t ever do two training sessions in one day.

      How else can you support your strength training with strategic rest and recovery? PowerDot. The benefit of PowerDot is twofold, so let’s explore both avenues.

      First, one must consider the benefits of electric muscle stimulation. When the device triggers those tiny muscle contractions, a number of things happen. As a result, you’re experiencing: 

      • Improved blood flow and circulation.
      • Improved delivery of oxygen and nutrients to your tissues.
      • Boosted muscle endurance.
      • Better muscular strength.
      • Quicker recovery.

      But that’s not where it ends. Your 5x5 training might leave you very sore some days. Thankfully, PowerDot can address your pain specifically, with transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, or TENS.

      TENS works in two ways. First, it operates by something called the Gate Theory. Essentially, it helps to close the “gates” to your central nervous system, so that pain signals can’t reach your brain. In other words, PowerDot can prevent you from experiencing soreness and discomfort.

      In addition, TENS encourages the release of endorphins — your body’s natural painkillers — further helping to combat muscle soreness in a totally natural way.

      Whether you’re experiencing regular muscle soreness, or if you’ve unfortunately injured yourself, TENS can bring immense relief.

      When you combine the power of EMS and TENS and use PowerDot consistently as part of your normal routine, not only do you position yourself to train harder, recover faster, and get stronger, but you’re going to feel significantly better along the way.

      5x5 programming is simple, straightforward, and effective, but that doesn’t mean you can cut corners and still get the results you want. As with any type of training, we encourage you to be intentional and strategic with how you go about it. Technique still matters. Don’t just perform the exercises. Do them the right way. Have designated time and specific habits that you stick to for nurturing your own recovery, and your programming will serve you well. 

      Article reposted with permission from www.powerdot.com

      Father’s Day Gifts That Rock!

      Father’s Day Gifts That Rock!

      Unique gifts that make him feel like FATHER OF THE YEAR

      by Rémi Vanecht on June 9, 2020

      How will you show your appreciation for Dad this year? Working from home while being occupied with homeschooling for the kids at the same time must have been hectic and chaotic. Add to that the ever changing landscape of do’s and don’ts of everyday life during the COVID-19 pandemic and it would be fair to say Dad is due for a little more appreciation than any other Father’s Day in the past.Taking this in consideration, we have selected the best gifts to help fathers feel better both physically and mentally:

      Still leading the pack, the Hyperice Hypervolt is a great tool for self-massaging but it will also allow you to give Daddy a great massage which will relieve muscle soreness and stiffness, improve range of motion and promote blood circulation, therefore decreasing Dad’s stress level. And that is beneficial for the whole household…

      What could be better than having a massage while working at the desk? The PowerDot Duo 2.0 provides relaxing massages and pain relief from the comfort of home. The app has pre-designed programs for various goals: muscle strength, muscle endurance, massages, recovery, pain/soreness relief, blood circulation, warm up and cool down.

      Dad has become more sedentary these last month? No problem, let’s make dad a strong athlete again with the WeckMethod BOSU® Elite. What is so special about it? It's not about instability training, it's about resistance training. The BOSU® Elite's new high-density dome and reinforced platform are designed to generate a powerful elastic resistance which is exciting untapped muscle fibers and bringing them to their max force limit. Basically, everything you do on the BOSU® Elite is amplified! Dad will get back in shape in no time!

      Back pain hits most of the dads. Always lifting too much or on the contrary sitting at his office desk for an extended period of time. The cutting-edge, digitally connected, portable device combines heat and vibration to loosen and relax stiff muscles is the go to option for the dads with lower back pain.The Hyperice Venom has an ergonomic design with Premium PlushTM neoprene. It displays a digital touch screen control with nanotechnology heat and vibration. The temperature can be adjusted as well as the vibrations frequency and patterns to personalize the treatment.

      Dad is an avid fan of golf? Get him a selection of great home golf training tools. Here is what we recommend:

      First of all, Let’s focus on the swing. The SKLZ Gold Flex Strength & Tempo Trainerwill improve Dad’s swing  tempo, strength, and flexibility. The exaggerated flex in the shaft helps lengthen your swing by keeping the hands and arms extended. This creates power to help bomb the drive and gain more distance.

      A “can’t go wrong” gift is the SKLZ Smart Glove to help a better wrist and grip position. It sets your wrist in the correct position through the swing with a proper wrist release (the wrist guide is removable).

      When it comes to chipping, the SKLZ Quickster Chipping Net is convenient for him to chip some balls in at home. The net features three different sized target holes and a ball-catching slot at the bottom for missed shots. Perfect for use with regular or practice golf balls in the home, garage, basement or backyard.

      In addition to that, the SKLZ Mini Impact Golf Ball is your first choice for home training. The limited-flight design makes them perfect for everyday home practice sessions.

      You can add the SKLZ Putt Pocket to reduce the cup’s size to build the precise aim and alignment that sinks more putts.

      The SKLZ Vari-Break Putting Mat is also a smart choice to sharpen Dad’s putting skills which feature adjustable breaks.

      And last but not least, the SKLZ Launch Pad All Purpose Hitting Mat is ideal to practice the hit off the tee, on the fairway, or out of the rough.

      With this bundle of tools, Dad will enjoy practicing his golf game all summer.

      This is a great 2-in-one convenient tool which will keep Dad in top form whether he’s working from home or the office! The SKLZ Hydro-roller is a stainless steel water bottle with a high-quality foam roller. Ideal to foam roll anywhere while constantly reminding you to stay hydrated during the hot months of summer. Ingenious!

      Dad is back in the office? Feeling overwhelmed by the increased stress levels? It is time to bring him a SKLZ Pro Mini-hoop to help him destress from time to time using a basketball hoop with the look, function and durability of a pro-grade basket. The complete set comes with a 5-inches mini hoop ball. Dad might even become the office Hall of Famer! 

      Knots and tight muscles are Dad daily aches? No problem, we’ve got you covered. This Father’s day, get him the RumbleRoller Beastie Massage Ball. RumbleRoller is specialised in deep tissue massage tools that release any type of knot in the muscles around the neck, back, thighs, chest, arms and foot. It is perfect to use at the office on the chair or against a wall since other options like bigger massage rollers would become bulky. It comes with a base to stop the ball from rolling if needed.

      For more information about Sport Wadi products, feel free to get in touch with our sports, fitness and wellness specialists who will assist you in choosing the right gift for Dad.