Best Muscle Stimulator
If you’re looking for a device that will help you get back into the gym after a tough workout, or even help you build more muscle while you’re there, then a muscle stimulator can be a good investment.
The device works by sending electrical impulses to the body which contract the muscles, longer than you normally would.
Using such a device can help you maximize the gains you make from your workouts, ensuring all the muscle groups you’re looking to target are engaged throughout.
Here are our top picks…
👑 Our Pick for Best Overall
⭐ Our Other Top Picks for Muscle Stimulator
- Best of the Best: Compex Sport Elite 2.0
- Runner Up: iSTIM EV-805
- Best for Legs: Revitive Circulation Booster
Best Muscle Stimulator Reviews
Compex Sport Elite 2.0 (👑 Best of the Best)
The best muscle stimulator in our view is the Compex Sport Elite 2.0, as it’s a great all-round device with many useful features.
What we like most about this muscle stimulator from Compex is that it’s highly versatile. Rather than just focusing on pain management or muscle recovery, this device has as many as ten different modes each offering a unique benefit. That means it’s the only electronic muscle stimulator you’ll ever need, and you can rotate through the different modes depending on what you need on any given day. Having access to so many functions should help you to become the best athlete you can be, or if you workout recreationally, help keep your body healthy and boost muscle development and recovery speeds.
Of the ten programs offered by this device, four are geared towards strength-building, two are for warming up, three are for recovery, and the last is a TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation) mode for pain relief. There are five levels of progression too, so you’ll be able to build up to greater intensity safely. We’ll follow with a brief overview of each of the ten modes, so you can see if this device offers everything you are looking for.
The first five programs are geared towards building and maintaining muscle as well as improving performance with physical activities. The Endurance program will provide your muscles with an extra boost for strenuous cardio and aerobic activities that are long in duration, while also helping you develop slow-twitch muscle fibers which can heighten the muscle resistance to fatigue. The Resistance program is intended to help you build both strength and endurance, and works on developing slow and fast-twitch muscle fibers. The Strength program is all about generating raw power and helps build strength in the muscles without compromising them and putting the tendons at risk. The Explosive Strength program helps with plyometric movements that require you to give it your all in short bursts.
The other five programs are designed to accelerate muscle recovery and help keep you safe during workouts. The Potentiation program is all about helping you to warm up the muscles sufficiently before a rigorous workout and does so in a healthy way. The Active Recovery program reduces soreness and stiffness in muscles, which is ideal for boosting recovery after a challenging workout. The Recovery Plus program clears out lactic acid from the muscles while also boosting blood flow, which is great for helping you deal with muscle fatigue following exertion. The Pre-Warm Up program will not contract the muscle, but instead provides a frequency that is designed to oxygenate the muscles and improve blood flow before a session of heavy lifting or exercise. The Massage program uses electrostimulation to build up the blood capillary network of muscles that are exposed. Finally, the TENS mode will help you with pain management, and prevent further injury.
Now that you’re familiar with the various modes, let’s take a look at what else is in the box. The device comes with four easy snap performance electrodes that you attach to the muscles you’re looking to target. It also comes with a convenient carrying case which makes it easy to take to the gym or the park with you, or wherever else you plan on using it. Finally, the electrode placement guidebook is useful for walking you through the process of using the muscle stimulator, especially if you haven’t used one before.
- Includes 10 programs
- 5 levels of progression
- Includes a carrying case
- 4 easy snap electrode lead wires
- Electrode placement guidebook
iSTIM EV-805 (🥈 Runner Up)
The iSTIM EV-805 is a similar-looking device to the Compex model, but this one is focused more on TENS pain relief, and does an excellent job with it.
If you find that one of the most frustrating parts of working out or training is being hamstrung by injury and forced to sit out every so often due to irritation in the muscle or lactic acid build-up, then you could benefit from one of these devices. Using TENS, this device from iSTIM is all about providing pain relief, doing so by stimulating nerve fibers and blocking the pain signal from being sent to the brain. But this isn’t all the device does. As well as intercepting the pain signal, it can also help the body to produce natural endorphins, which are nature’s own pain reliever. This two-pronged approach to pain relief should ensure that you no longer have to suffer from debilitating muscle aches and pains after intense workouts and instead can focus on what’s important to you.
What makes this electric muscle stimulator an excellent option for dealing with muscle pain is that it’s a safe, drug-free, and non-invasive method of getting a handle on it. Whereas some will turn to pain-relieving drugs to ease the pain, this can create dependence, or sometimes even addiction. On the other hand, the iSTIM EV-805 helps you to manage muscle pain naturally, so that there will be no nasty side effects or dependency created.
As to what exactly you can do with this device, you’ll have the option of choosing between five different TENS modes and three EMS modes. While TENS is focused on pain relief through releasing natural endorphins and blocking the pain signal, EMS (Electrical Muscle Stimulation) sends electronic pulses to muscles that require treatment and contracts them and relaxes them which helps facilitate faster recovery. There are also as many as 24 preset programs, with 12 of them related to TENS, and the other 12 focusing on EMS. This gives you the ability to alter the intensity of each method to find the perfect level for your needs.
The electrode pads are made from high-grade biocompatible SEKISUI Japanese gel, which makes them effective at conducting the electrical stimulator’s current to the skin. This material is suitable for those with sensitive skin and also includes layers of carbon fiber wire, carbon film, and super soft fabric. One of the best parts about these electrodes is that they can be placed on a number of different muscle groups and parts of the body for outstanding results. You can use them on everything from the deltoids to the thighs and can help treat a range of conditions such as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and Arthritis.
- Rechargeable digital TENS EMS combo stimulator
- 4 channels
- 5 TENS modes
- 3 EMS modes
- High-grade Japanese gel electrode pads
- Includes a carrying case
Revitive Circulation Booster (🦵🏼 Best for Legs)
The Revitive Circulation Booster is a highly effective device that relies on EMS technology to deal specifically with leg aches and pains.
While the other two devices we have looked at provide a number of electrodes to apply to various muscles of the body, neither of them are focused specifically on dealing with leg aches and pains. If you suffer a lot with stiff legs and aches after a long time sitting or rigorous leg day workouts, then this device can help keep the blood moving and ensure your legs are good to go whenever you need them. It can also be used to develop further leg muscle too, so if you’re looking to improve your squat or deadlift, it can be a handy device to have on hand.
This device from Revitive works by using EMS to boost the circulation of blood in the feet and legs while also bringing about muscle contraction. The higher level of oxygenated blood in the lower body is what will reduce the sensation of pain and aching. You don’t even need to plug this device into a wall for it to work, you simply have to use it for 30-60 minutes a day for a period of 6-8 weeks to get the most out of it. You can even adjust the intensity of the device, too, starting at level 30 and going all the way up to 99.
The device also uses an ISORocker system, which means it can rock back and forth along with your feet while you use it. By performing heel-toe raises, you can get more out of the device, but also stretch out the feet and bring movement to the practice. This makes it a fun device to use when you’re sat on the sofa at home watching TV, or even while you’re at the desk getting some work done. Given how detrimental the sedentary lifestyle can be to your health since it turns off the leg muscles almost completely, this device can be a real gamechanger as it forces muscle activation in the legs even as you’re sitting.
- Uses EMS technology
- Includes a remote control
- Cordless operation
- Various intensity levels
- 2-year limited warranty
If you’re new to electronic muscle stimulation and stimulator devices, then it’s worth taking some time to learn more about them and understand the most important factors which differentiate the various models.
There are a few key factors that play a significant role in the effectiveness of a muscle stimulator device, so we’ll dive into what exactly they are.
Perhaps the most important part of any electronic muscle stimulator is the number of features it has since this will tell you a lot about the experience of using it.
For example, if a device has a wide variety of intensity levels and modes, then you will be able to experiment more with it to find the perfect experience for your body.
It’s important that you find a muscle stimulator that has the right modes for your needs.
If you’re looking specifically for a device that will enhance your muscle-building results, then you need to find one that can facilitate that.
Likewise is pain relief is what you’re after, then you need to find a device with a mode for that.
Modes can be divided into the form of treatment, such as EMS and TENS, as well as into categories based on what they do such as ‘Pain Relief’, or ‘Muscle Recovery’.
Levels of Intensity
Levels of intensity are important because they allow you to adjust the output of the device to your specific needs.
If you buy a muscle stimulator that just isn’t strong enough to kick your muscles into action, then you’ll likely be disappointed with the results.
The more levels of intensity it has, the more options you’ll have.
As with just about any electronic device, battery life is an important factor to take into account before you part with your cash.
If you’re looking for a muscle stimulator that you can have with you at all times and use liberally, then you’ll want one with reliably long battery life.
The battery life that’s best for you will also depend on how you intend on using the device.
For example, if you plan on taking the muscle stimulator with you out of town when you’re away on business and want to keep up your muscle-building and recovery rates, then you should prioritize long battery life.
If you just want to use it at home from time to time, then this shouldn’t be as big a consideration.
EMS vs TENS
Another highly important factor when deciding what muscle stimulator device will be best for your strength and fitness goals is what technology you need.
The two most prominent forms of technology in muscle stimulators are EMS and TENS.
While EMS is a proven way of boosting muscle recovery and the development of muscle, TENS is a technology that can help decrease the intensity and longevity of pain from muscles.
It’s important that you find a device with the right technology for your strength goals, as otherwise, you might not see the results you were hoping for.
If you want the best of both worlds, then you should look for a device like the Compex Sport Elite 2.0, which provides a variety of modes that include both EMS and TENS technology.
It’s worth reiterating that what you intend to use the muscle stimulator for should influence your purchase decision.
For example, if you want a device that specifically targets the muscles in the leg and helps boost recovery speeds after leg day workouts, then you’ll be best off with a device like the Revitive Medic.
However, if you need a great all-around device that will help you during the warm-up, workout, and post-workout phases, then you’ll need a more sophisticated model like the Compex Sport Elite 2.0.
Other devices, like the iSTIM EV-805 have a large number of electrode pads, which are suitable for use all over the body and can treat various health-related issues such as pain from arthritis and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
Frequently Asked Questions About Muscle Stimulators
What are the best muscle stimulators?
We believe the best muscle stimulators are the Compex Sport Elite 2.0 and the iSTIM EV-805.
Both are portable devices that utilize TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation) to deliver stable pulses to the body and boost the level of endorphins produced.
The Compex model is best suited for sports, encouraging explosive strength for plyometric movements and speed out of the gate, while the iSTIM device is best for treating muscle injuries and boosting recovery.
Do electronic muscle stimulators really work?
In short, yes, electronic muscle stimulators can be very useful for accelerating muscle recovery and preventing injury.
Touted by some to be the future of fitness, electronic muscle stimulation can be seen as a way to ensure full-body muscle activation throughout a workout.
Given how challenging it can be to keep the abdominal muscles engaged during certain exercises, or whatever muscle group it may be, electronic muscle stimulators can prove to be valuable tools for enhancing the benefits of working out.
Can muscle stimulators build muscle?
Muscle stimulators can indeed be used to develop muscle.
By sending extra muscle contractions to the body with electrical impulses, a muscle stimulator can essentially turn on muscles that aren’t being used in the workout.
Since it’s possible to build muscle by contracting it repeatedly, this can train your body to develop muscle in areas that you don’t specifically target during a workout.
A Final Word from Wellness Nova
Electronic muscle stimulators can be an excellent investment if you’re looking to boost muscle recovery or prevent injury.
They can also help you to build muscle, making them a valuable tool to have access to in the gym or at home.