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Holcomb William R. PhD ATC CSCS *D
Strength and Conditioning Journal: June 2005
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This paper discusses the efficacy of using neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) in lieu of resistance training for the development of muscular fitness. Evidence suggests that NMES is not effective in the development of muscular size, power, or coordination relative to voluntary resistance training. Evidence supporting strength gains is limited to single joint training, and improvements in body composition do not occur. Even though NMES is well supported as a tool in the rehabilitation of athletic injuries, it should not be recommended as an effective alternative to traditional resistance training.

Bill Holcomb is an associate professor in the Department of Kinesiology at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

© 2005 National Strength and Conditioning Association