Effectively lose weight or gain muscle in just 20 minutes a week? This is exactly what EMS training promises. In this post, we’ll tell you whether it really works.
EMS training stands for electrical muscle stimulation. With the help of electrical impulses, most of your muscles in the body are stimulated. At the same time you do various body weight exercises. This is why people often speak of highly efficient full-body training in this context. EMS training should help with fat loss and muscle building, tighten the skin and minimize back pain.
How does EMS training work?
When you exercise, your brain is stimulated by electronic impulses so that it tells your muscles to contract. The electrical impulses of the EMS device additionally support this muscle tension from the outside without the need for a signal from your brain. In this way, tighter muscles are tensed. This can strengthen the muscles in the long term and also stress and strengthen your deep muscles.
The electrical impulses during EMS training are conveyed to you through special functional clothing. The electrodes for the transmission of stimuli are often attached to a vest that is placed on you beforehand. In order to improve the conductivity, you will be sprayed with water beforehand. In EMS training, pulse-controlled phases alternate with pulse-free phases.
Electronic muscle stimulation originally comes from physiotherapy. Stimulation currents are used here to specifically train the patient’s muscles when he or she cannot actively train himself. Muscle fibers are strengthened through frequent tension and end tension, regardless of whether through exercise or EMS. As a short-term rehabilitation measure, it has long been proven.
The exact process of an EMS training differs depending on the operator. On the whole, however, the process is always very similar. First you make an appointment for a trial training on site or by phone. In the first training session, a trained trainer records your current physical condition. You set goals together and start with the first training session.
In contrast to normal gyms, you will always be supervised by a personal trainer who will monitor and correct your posture. This way you will always get feedback and make faster progress in training.
Does EMS Training help?
As with every form of training, the experiences are individually different and also depend on your initial state. To get an idea, we therefore always recommend the long-term test. Studies suggest various advantages and disadvantages of EMS training.
Advantages of EMS training
EMS training should primarily strengthen your muscles and as effectively as possible. According to the operators of the EMS studios, this even trains deeper muscle layers more effectively than conventional strength training.
Each muscle group can be specifically controlled via the various electrodes. So you can even train agonist and antagonist at the same time. This is what makes the training so incredibly efficient. No matter if chest, stomach, back, arms, legs or buttocks. You train all of these muscles with static and dynamic exercises.
First and foremost, EMS training promotes muscle building. More muscle also burns more calories. And that helps with weight loss. In addition, the muscles remain active for a long time after the training session. Similar to high-intensity interval training, the afterburn effect is also optimally used here.
Disadvantages of EMS training
EMS training does not stress the joints. This is advertised very often. The problem: the joints are not trained with it. So you remain just as prone to injury as before. This is because tendons, ligaments and cartilage, which are just as important for the joints, only become more resilient with regular exercise.
Another disadvantage: electrical muscle stimulation only trains your strength. Neither your endurance nor your coordination improves. In order to be efficient you also need a good basic endurance. At the same time, better coordination helps to move your body more efficiently overall. That is why it makes more sense to use EMS training as a supplement to your normal strength training, regular HIIT, Tabata, circuit training and running units.
Is EMS training harmful?
If you belong to one of the following risk groups, EMS training is not recommended.
- People with pacemakers
- For cardiovascular diseases
- Increased risk of thrombosis
- Epilepsy patients
- With cancer
- For multiple sclerosis
- People spasticity
- With different implants
- For skin problems
- Sensory disturbances
- For colds with fever
- Women during pregnancy
As a healthy person, nothing stands in the way of EMS training. Nevertheless, we recommend consulting your family doctor before the first training session. Because EMS training can lead to undesirable side effects even in healthy people. These can be:
- Circulatory problems
- increased risk of overload
- severe muscle soreness
- joints more prone to injury
Basic rules for EMS training
Basically, the same applies to EMS training as to any normal workout. Make sure you drink enough because you will sweat while exercising and lose water. EMS training is a very intense load on your body. So that your muscles can regenerate as well as possible, it is important that you keep to the recovery phases.
As with normal strength and endurance training, you shouldn’t train too intensely here either. “A lot helps a lot” is unfortunately not true, it quickly leads to injuries and longer training absences.
Conclusion: EMS training
- Electronic muscle stimulation comes from physiotherapy and has been used successfully there for a long time.
- EMS training strengthens your muscles.
- It also trains the deeper layers of muscles.
- Tendons, ligaments and joints are not trained.
- EMS training is safe for healthy people.
- However, there are many risk groups.