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For whom doesn't know, EMS definition:

Electrical Muscle Stimulation, also known as neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) or electromyostimulation, is the elicitation of muscle contraction using electric impulses.

Recently I bought one belly EMS belt(like this one) that works very well(it really contracts my abdomen muscles with shocks).

My main objective is to loosing weight and reduce my waist circunference. On internet refferences it is kind of obscure(some people says it works and some don't). So, anyone have a experience about it?? Does this EMS's equipments really works for what it intended to?

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Love your avatar, btw. –  Robert Kaucher May 2 '12 at 20:02
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It contracts your abdomen, but doesn't really do any work. Muscles need resistance to truly do some work, as in the kind of resistance you get when you try to lift your body against gravity in sit-ups. I have my doubts about whether it'll work just sitting down –  Ivo Flipse May 2 '12 at 20:18

3 Answers 3

up vote 2 down vote accepted

NEMS work to stimulate muscles that are weak and that are not able to attain a full contraction without additional stimulus. Once you can achieve a full active muscle contracttion, as @Ivo says, you want to actively exercise the muscle and add resistance to achieve further strengthening.

The NEMS does produce a muscle contraction, so in that respect, your abdominal muscles are "working" when you wear a unit. If you actively contract along with it, you will get a better contraction. It can remind you to contract your abs. But according to the FDA

While an EMS device may be able to temporarily strengthen, tone or firm a muscle, no EMS devices have been cleared at this time for weight loss, girth reduction, or for obtaining "rock hard" abs.

Also, electrical stimulation units can also be contraindicated for people with pacemakers, metal implants or medical conditions such as cancer.

If your primary goal is to lose weight and reduce your waist circumference, focus on your diet, exercise (cardio with HIIT and resistance training), and avoid prolonged sitting - get up and move frequently. Track your percentage of body fat in addition to your waist circumference to assess your progress.

The following q/a's should help you with your goals to start losing weight and reducing your waist circumference:

  1. Best exercise to lose belly fat fast
  2. How can an overweight engineer get back in shape?
  3. Optimal exercises for an abdominal workout
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Weight loss is a simple formula calories consumes < calories used. I would seriously doubt that these things could generate sufficient muscular contraction to assist in actual weight loss. I've used these before and I can honestly say that they may assist creating "muscle tone" in the same way dynamic tension type exercises do, but none of those compare to the calorie burning provided by a combination of both cardiovascular and resistance exercise.

If you consider the amount of force produced by running on a tread mill for one hour (burning only about 200 calories) and the amount of contraction these devices generate you can clearly deduce that they will not be able to significantly help you in losing weight and losing weight is certainly 80% of having a firm, defined abdomen.

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No pain, no gain.

If these machines really work, it should cost thousand of dollars, and there were no fat people anymore.

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Can you explain why and provide references and facts to back up your claim? –  Matt Chan May 3 '12 at 3:40
    
I think you misunderstand him. I believe he is saying "If they really worked..." but is not a native speaker of English and used the improper form for the subjunctive. –  Robert Kaucher May 4 '12 at 1:30

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