Other brands say stimulation can help increase strength by training muscles to fire more effectively. “Even the highest performing athletes can’t recruit more than 30 to 40 percent of their muscle fibers,” says Eric Glader, senior director of business development for Compex, which began marketing its muscle-stimulating devices two years ago.
Plus, says Glader, we all have a dominant side that picks up the slack for your weaker side when working out, exacerbating the imbalance. Using a muscle-stim device post-workout sends uniform neuromuscular signals, triggering up to 100 percent of the fibers to contract. And while these contractions along won’t make you stronger, they may help teach your body how to recruit and use more of its muscle fiber, yielding more explosive strength, improved balance, and fewer overuse injuries.
CrossFitters and pro athletes alike use Compex to reduce lactic acid four times faster and boost blood flow by 600 percent, which helps fortify muscle and hasten recovery. From $249 (Edge) to $1,149 (Wireless), shopcompex.com.