Neuromuscular electrical stimulation glove

The market is saturated with wearable technology for rehabilitation. One that interests me is a glove & or forearm sleeve that stimulates nerves in the hand and forearm (with electrodes). But instead of rehabilitation (I.e. Stroke victims gain sense of touch, injured muscles in athletes relearn movement, etc) what about augmentation?

For example, can electric currents stimulate nerves to allow you to "learn" new complex motor movements that would otherwise take longer to learn without the device? Secondly, can the glove/ sleeve be used to prevent muscle dystrophy by wearing during long hours spent sitting (I.e. Coding or driving)? And lastly, can repeated use of such device increase strength (much like a Russian burst alternating current)?


  • As far as the muscle dystrophy aspect of your question...have you ever seen those devices that you strap to your stomach and promise to give you a six pack? Like this 

    They supposedly work on the principle the same you described, sending little shocks to your muscles to make them contract. However, the jury is still out on whether they work or not. Supposedly they are better for "sculpting abs" and not just magically giving you rock hard abs. 

    Seems like a lot of mumbo-jumbo to me, but perhaps such a method would be more effective in other locations.

    Side note: I believe that electrotherapy is also a legitimate practice.. They strength muscles that may have been weaken, injured, or need rehabilitation in some way. So you may be on the right track. 
  • I know some people have used these to exercise more efficiently, Becareful with these devices when you have electodes on the arms and opposite legs and along the chest. (A zap between two fingers will hurt but is less likely to kill then a zap across the hart or head.) I may look into a device like that for training my wrist quicker.
  • I suppose the best way to look at these 'exercises' would be with the same methodology of what they are doing - forcing muscle contraction.

    Just to analog, if I understand the analog could be associated correctly- a bicep, pretty easy muscle to explain, watch, etc.

    I run an electrical current through it. the muscles contract, the same way they would if I had flexed them. I could flex my arms until they hurt from holding as strong of a flex as I could, but the question I would pose would be "Is this a form of exercise that builds muscle?"

    Repetitive lifting of comparatively light capacity is a method of training,(Compared to your maximum lifting capacity. I think this is like 50% capacity.) for developing better muscular endurance, if I remember correctly, rather than expanding sheer strength. Lower than that 50% threshold, it may burn fat and trim.

    Now, if you were forcing your arm to flex and lift a weight, just like you would without the electricity present, or otherwise have that flex exerting force and having your muscles do their tear apart and regrow a little stronger thing, you could use it for some pretty nice strength gain. But I fail to see how it would be different than lifting weights. ^^'

    Application of something that is 'lifting' almost zero load, say maybe 1-5% bracket of 'load capacity' is something that may do nothing to increase either endurance or strength, and I wouldn't be surprised. They may, however, expose muscles to patterns of movement and help them understand desired movement patterns, such as what it looks like a lot of the purpose.

    Please don't quote me on this, I am sure there's at least ONE person here who would be able to understand/know this better, and correct me if I am wrong. but this is what I understand what would be going on.
  • What about a sort of Isometric exercise? If you stimulate both the agonist and antagonist muscle groups, possibly ramping up stimulation in one while dialing it down in the other, you could almost do an internal version of a cable machine. Use your own muscles as the resistance, though. 

    In that form, it would be really good for promoting muscular balance, if it works out properly.
  • My only input I could offer is the building of muscle is from the tearing and rebuild of that muscle not exactly just a flex. The blood flow would have to push the muscle up which is where the term swoll came from. I suppose a solid flex to the point of tear would be possible but It seems like you would either stop before achieving it or you would tear it in a bad way.
  • I would also have to wounder about ligament (is that s speed right please correct me if I am wrong.) getting torn. Ouch....
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