There are many scientific studies on electrical muscle stimulation. Even back in 2003, a study by the University of Bayreuth (“Electrical Muscle Stimulation as a Whole-Body Workout – Multicentre Study on the Use of Whole-Body EMS Training in Studios”) tried to find out the positive effects of EMS training on the human body.
Aim of the Study: Effects of EMS Training on the Body
The study was meant to find out if electrical muscle stimulation had effects on our body regarding strength, body dimensions, physical feeling, mood, general health factors, back pain, and incontinence.
Performance of the Study
134 voluntary test persons (102 females, 32 males) at an average age of 42,5 years have been interviewed, tested, and compared to a control group before and after six weeks of EMS training. Maximal strength, strength endurance, body weight, body fat percentage, girth, frequency and intensity of back pain, incontinence as well as general health problems, mood, vitality, stability, and body shape have been determined.
The volunteers had 12 training sessions two times a week. After a warm-up of 10 to 15 minutes they did a 25-minute EMS training with static exercises and finished with a five-minute relaxation programme.
Results of the Study: What Effects Does EMS Training Really Have?
More than 80 percent of the test persons have managed to reduce their back pain, some of them have even become completely painless. 76 percent have been able to improve their incontinence, and general health problems have also been reduced a lot. Strength endurance values have recorded an increase of almost 70 percent, and the maximal strength has increased as well. Women have benefited by the training more than men while the control group had no modifications at all.
There have also been positive results regarding the body fat percentage of the test persons that has decreased by 1.4 percent while the values of the control group have even increased by 6.7 percent.
Body weight and body mass index haven’t changed a lot. Younger test persons lost more weight than older ones. Women have been able to decrease their chest girth and lose fat at their thighs, waist, and hip whereas men have reduced their waist and grown their biceps, chest, and thighs. There haven’t been any improvements for the control group, they have even gained in weight on their hip and waist.
A better physical feeling has been recorded as well: less tension (83 percent), more stability (89 percent) and a higher performance (84 percent). 87 percent have noticed positive effects on their body shape.
90 percent of the test persons perceived the training as positive. High intensities have achieved great improvements, but also have led to sore muscles more often.
Conclusion of the Study – EMS as Convincing Fitness Trend
Whole-body EMS training, which addresses many target groups, is a perfect way to lose weight because it helps to reduce the body fat percentage and girth. Furthermore, it eases back pain as well as incontinence and also has positive effects on the human body regarding factors like mood and vitality. All in all, EMS is a very effective form of exercise.
Read more about EMS training in our magazine!