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Influence of whole-body electrostimulation on human red blood cell deformability

electrostimulation on human red blood cell deformability


The effects of WB-EMS on performance could be very useful not only for athletes, but also for patients with microcirculation disorders such as patients with diabetes mellitus, arteriosclerosis or sickle cell disease, as they could reduce the risk of clinical complications.


15 male soccer players competing in the fourth division of the German Football Federation were divided into two groups: WB-EMS Group (n = 10) and training group (n = 5). The WB-EMS sessions were held on Mondays and Thursdays to obtain a 48-hour rest interval between the 2 sessions and the championship game on Saturdays. The players started with a warm-up of 2 to 3 minutes with easy movement preparations and jumps at a low to moderate stimulation intensity. The players were told to slowly increase the intensity every few impulses. Training began when players reached the defined training intensity.

A biphasic rectangular wave current with a frequency of 80 Hz was used with a pulse width of 350 us. Each pulse of a single jump lasted 4 seconds, followed by 10 seconds of rest. The intensity of the stimulation was determined by the Borg Scale.


A significant increase in maximum strength was observed for the WB-EMS group. However, the training group showed no changes with respect to maximum strength.

The results showed a sharp increase in the maximum deformability of the red blood cells in the WB-EMS group and in the training group no alterations in the deformability of the red blood cells were observed.


WB-EMS seems to offer a suitable training method to improve the deformability of red blood cells and, therefore, positively influence the adaptations of strength in professional football players during the competitive season. It can also be beneficial for patients who are not able to exercise with a large load or volume to improve strength performance and avoid muscular atrophy.


Andre Filipovic., Heinz Kleinöder., Denise Plück., Wildor Hollmann., Wilhelm Bloch and Marijke Grau. Influence of Whole-Body Electrostimulation on Human Red Blood Cell Deformability. (2015). Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. 29(9)/2570–2578.

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