First of all, what is EMS training?
EMS stands for Electrical Muscle Stimulation and it involves gentle electrical currents hitting your muscles rhythmically. This stimulates the muscles in a way that can help add a little bit of extra stress to them while you exercise. There are lots of benefits of using EMS while you exercise, but the main reason why people all over the UK are choosing EMS training is the time saving benefit. You can spend the same amount of time working out and hit the gym the same number of times per week than you normally do, but adding those electrical pulses while you work out pushes your body that little bit further, without you needing to put the additional effort or hours into your training. So it’s all about using the time you’ve got and really maximising your efforts.
Why do EMS?
Using EMS while you train will help strengthen your muscles, building muscle density and muscle mass. This of course has the obvious aesthetic benefit as you’ll notice your arms, legs or abdomen starting to tone up and your muscles appearing more defined under your skin. But as well as this, building strength will help aid your cardio fitness too, allow to push your body that little bit further when you run or play cardio-focussed sports like football, netball or even in the swimming pool.
Gentle EMS training is also encouraged for new mums as it can help strengthen the abdominal muscles. The birthing process can take a real toll on the body and many post-partum women find that they are left with a weak pelvic floor. Combining pelvic floor exercises with EMS training on the lower abdomen is proven to reduce bladder weakness, so it’s no surprise that new mums all over the UK are choosing to ease their way back into exercising with some gentle EMS training once or twice a week.
3 simple exercises | Full body workout
How you use electrical muscle stimulation depends on your individual goals, and this is where your trainer comes in. They’ll be able to work with you to ensure that you’re targeting the right muscles to see results on the precise areas of your body you want to see them. EMS classes come in all shapes and sizes and they can be focussed around your individual goals. Make sure to speak to the trainer running your class so that they know what it is you’re trying to achieve. They’ll also be able to guide you through just how hard you can take it. But first of all, it’s important to get used to using the equipment.
You can wear an EMS vest or bodysuit with many exercises but we’re keeping it simple – here are 3 very simple exercises that are perfect for pairing with EMS. We recommend starting your EMS training at 20 minutes and keeping to exercises you might already know while you get used to what the EMS can do for your body. After that, you can start to build up resistance and work out for 30 minutes while wearing the EMS suit.
Remember that the electrical currents mightn’t feel like much at the time, but you’ll certainly be feeling it the next day! So, try to take it easy the first couple of times you try training with electro muscle stimulation added, so your body can get used to the additional stress. Here are 3 exercises you can try with your EMS bodysuit or vest on:
Lower body | Exercise: Squats
A squat should be a staple in anyone’s workout routine. And, you can do squats wherever you are – whether that’s the gym floor, a class, the park or in your kitchen. By teaming a squat with some EMS, you’ll intensify the results. Stand with your legs just wider than shoulder width apart and lower your lower half down to the floor as far as you can get it while keeping your back straight and your abdominal muscles engaged. Keep your heels digging into the floor to keep yourself grounded. When you’re in the squatted position, lift your arms so that they’re horizontally out in front of you. You can drop them down by your side when you’re in the standing position. When it comes to breathing properly while you squat, inhale as you slowly move up into your standing position and exhale as you dip down into your squat. This exercise works your glutes, your thighs and your abdominal muscles too.
Upper body | Exercise: Standing Push-Ups
If one of your goals is finally building that 6 pack, push ups or standing push-ups should be a key element of your workout routine. For a standing push-up, all you need is a wall – any wall will do. Your hands should be about shoulder width apart against the wall and at about shoulder height. Bend your arms so that your torso moves slowly towards the wall, then straighten your arms out to push the full weight of your body away from the wall again and back into a standing position. Exhale as you bend your arms and inhale as you do the push up. Be careful not to overextend your elbows when pushing back upright and as always, keep your back straight and your core and glutes engaged. This exercise will be tough on your arms, but it also works your abdominal muscles and glutes too.
Core | Exercise: Crunches
Start by lying flat on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor in front of you. Lift your arms up and put your hands behind your head close together but without clasping them. A crunch is like a sit up without going the whole way. So, simply lift your head and core up a little bit but with the small of your back still on the floor. You should feel the tension as you come up, then hold that position for 5 or 6 seconds Then, slowly lay your back down flat again. Remember to breathe. It’s easy to just hold your breath as you feel the tension in your core, but try to inhale as you lay down and exhale as you crunch. The EMS suit or vest will send gentle pulses to your abdominal muscles while they’re engaged. The closer your feet are to your bum, the easier this one will be. So, if you’re finding your crunches a little too easy, stretch your legs out a little further.
Finally, don’t forget to stretch
Did you know that stretching out your muscles isn’t just about easing pain the next day? It also helps prevent stiffness and immobility later on in life. So, stretching after each and every class or workout you do is incredibly important. Take 5-10 minutes after your EMS training session to stretch out your back, your hip joints, your shoulders, your arms and your legs. This is especially important when you’re new to the world of EMS as you won’t necessarily feel what your muscles have been through until the next day.
EMS at Studio Society
Our studios use choreographed lighting and audio-visual stimulation to suit every class we offer. You can try our EMS classes at our West Hampstead studio with an introductory class that allows you to work out what exactly it is you can get from electro muscle stimulation and how it can help you get to where you want to be. Or, take a look at what becoming a member of Studio Society gets you.