Electro Muscular Stimulation is a proven and popular technology. It is used in physical therapy and in medicine – though the most popular use is to trim a couple of inches from the stomach!
While abs toning belts fly off of the shelves week after week, year after year – I have yet to see a comprehensive list of the different areas of your body that can be toned using commercially available versions of this technology.
You can find out more about how (and indeed whether) abs belts work in this article. As a quick summary; muscles given electrical stimulation contract. If you keep stimulating them and then stopping you are getting a very intensive micro-workout that can tone them up. How much of an effect you see depends on how much fat is on top of the muscle. Fat affects not only what you can see (a hidden 6-pack!), but also negatively affects the ability of the electricity to get to through.
The good news is that the toning belts are great value (even if they do need occasional replacement belts!).
In theory, any muscle close to the skin could benefit, however there are some that benefit a lot more than others.
#1 – Pecs – There are some smaller devices that can help with your pectoral muscles. You will need to move these around, as the pads are not big enough to cover the entire area. Keep in mind that you need to shed any excess fat before you will notice any effect. The best selling model for Peck toning is the Gymform Muscle System.
#2 – Thighs – There are special smaller belts which can be moved up and down your leg to tone those thighs. Again these are not as popular as ab belts, since you have to adjust and stimulate a fairly wide area to get an even effect (rather than just relax with a belt around your stomach).
#3 – Abs – I have to include this in the list, since this is the most popular commercial use of EMS by a long way. One note… if you have a body fat percentage above around 15% (which 99% of us do!) then it will be very hard to see a 6-pack. Ab toning belts work, only you need to burn that fat off to really see an effect.
#4 – Buttocks – Specialist equipment like the Gym Energy Duo will tone your buttocks. These are smaller pads, which will need to be moved around to get that ‘all over’ effect you are after. As an extra benefit, you’ll be able to diminish cellulite at the same time as toning. Update – SlenderTone now have a pair of shorts with their famous EMS technology. This is getting solid results, with a lot of satisfied buyers. See this review for the SlenderTone Women’s Bottom Toner for more.
#5 – Arms / Shoulders – While there are no specialist belts or pads for these areas, you will find kits which have small sticky electric pads which can be moved around the body. The risk with these is that you use them unevenly, stimulating some parts of muscles while ignoring others.
In my experience the discounts, free (and fast) delivery and wide range of options make amazon.co.uk a no-brainer when it comes to buying toning belts (and all fitness equipment). Many items have discounts of 30% or more – so make sure you keep an eyes open for a deal. Check out the toning belt listing at amazon.co.uk for more.
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