With quarantine the first time around, and now the possibility for a second lockdown, people are constantly searching for new ways to make weight loss or maintenance easier. While dieting and regular exercise are the keys to successful weight loss, there's nothing wrong with wanting that extra "oomph" to get you to the end goal more efficiently. In fact, the latest science supports the use of electrical muscle stimulation (or EMS) as as supplement to diet and exercise. Here's how it works:
Electrical Muscle Stimulation for Weight Loss
The latest science supports the use of electrical muscle stimulation as as supplement to diet and exercise. The EMS unit works best when applied after a workout, and by continuing the muscle contractions that were just taking place, you would theoretically burn more calories at rest. In a recent study by the Journal of Physical Therapy, a group of young women received 30 minutes of high frequency electrical stimulation in the abdomen area 3 times a week for 6 weeks. After 18 sessions, the subjects had a decrease in waist circumference, subcutaneous fat mass, and body fat percentage. This led to the conclusion that using high-frequency currents through an EMS Unit "may be beneficial for reducing the levels of abdominal obesity in young women."
Other studies have backed this up as well as shown how electrical muscle stimulation is also great for pain relief and increasing blood circulation for better blood flow before activity. In regards to weight/fat loss though, there are three main ways to use an EMS Unit to speed up the process.
EMS Unit Applications
1. Workout with EMS Unit
This method allows you to contract more muscle fibers than if you did the workout on its own. Increase the intensity as you gain strength and be aware that this makes the workout significantly more difficult!
2. Isometric Holds with EMS
This is going to be any exercise that calls for you to hold a posiition in which one muscle group is contracted, ie wall sit, planks, lunge holds, etc. The EMS Unit will increase the lactid acid build up, which is that burning feeling we're all familiar with that starts making your muscles shake. This will result in greater calorie burn and therefore more fat loss in the long term.
3. EMS Use at Rest
If you absolutely MUST be sedentary due to an injury or just a really important sports game, then EMS use can still be beneficial. While it's not as powerful as when paired with a workout, it has been proven to still stimulate muscles as rest and can still aid fat loss and improve blood circulation.
Don't have an EMS Unit? We always recommend the Verve Unit by Massage Therapy Concepts. With the dual function of TENS and EMS, the Verve has 20 intensity settings so you can increase as your strength does. Visit massagetherapyconcepts.com for more information on the unit and all its benefits.