Is body-contouring technology electro muscle stimulation (EMS) worth the hype?

Electro-muscle stimulation (EMS) has come a long way since its previous heyday in the ’80s and ’90s. Back then, the muscle-building, fat-reduction technology was usually applied to heavy belts fixed with velcro designed to tone the wearer’s abdominal muscles, which claimed to have the same effects as an intense ab workout. 

Now, leading manufacturers of non-invasive body-contouring devices have adopted and enhanced the basic concept of EMS to offer patients impressive results with no downtime and minimal to no discomfort during treatment. 

A 2016 study by Wolfgang Kemmler et al (Effects of Whole-Body Electromyostimulation versus High- Intensity Resistance Exercise on Body Composition and Strength) compared the effects of 16 weeks’ whole-body EMS with high-intensity resistance exercise on body composition and strength, and observed “comparable or at least similar increases of muscle parameters” between the methods. The study’s authors concluded that EMS can be considered a time-efficient and effective option for people seeking to improve body composition. 

Since then, many device manufacturers have had their own studies carried out, deonstrating results for a broader range of indications. A study on the Truesculpt Flex device, for example, recorded an average of 30% increase in muscle mass and a modest reduction in fat thickness 12 weeks after a course of up to six treatments, while a study for BTL’s EMSculpt showed an average 18.6% reduction in abdominal fat thickness and 15.4% increase in abdominal muscle mass two months after four 30-minute sessions. 

3 of the best EMS devices to invest in: 

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EMSlim is a HI-EMT (high-intensity electromagnetic muscle trainer), non-invasive body-contouring device that not only burns fat but also builds muscle by performing up to 30,000 contractions, while at the same time improving strength and endurance levels. The two applicators are placed on the target muscle area, such as the abs, thighs, arms and buttocks, and these generate intense electromagnetic pulses that cause involuntary muscle contractions which trigger the release of free fatty acids, breaking down localised fat deposits, increasing muscular tone and strength.
Price: £37,462.50 + VAT. Rental options are also available
020 3940 4762 (Harley Technologies)

truSculpt flex

Cutera truSculpt flex

Replicate 54,000 crunches in just 45 minutes with the latest advancement in muscle sculpting technology. Only Cutera’s truSculpt flex with multi-directional stimulation (MDS) deploys a unique method of electro muscle stimulation (EMS) to target specific muscle groups using three treatment mode options, covering the largest treatment area in the body sculpting industry. The treatment mode options are designed to simulate different workouts by replicating intensified twisting, squat and crunch actions.
Price: Price on application
01462 419937 (Cutera)

Tesla Former

Tesla Former

Tesla Former has a total body approach to muscle-sculpting, targeting all muscle groups, with more than 50,000 pulses (contractions), a constant change of waveforms, frequencies and muscle contraction types in 30 minutes. It targets abs, biceps, triceps, glutes, back, shoulders, quadriceps, hamstrings and calves, and the device also comes with a chair and four applicators. The Tesla Former also helps those who are suffering from incontinence. This non-invasive treatment helps with the sexual health and wellness of men and women by strengthening the pelvic floor muscles.
Price on application 
03301 220879 (Beautyform Medical)