Is it possible to reduce a 2-hour workout to just 20 minutes? While it’s a claim that sounds almost too good to be true, devotees of Electro Muscle Stimulation (EMS) believe in its benefits. Just ask the Usain Bolts and Victoria Secret models of the world who swear by the technology for keeping tight, taut, and toned.
So what exactly is EMS and how does it work? The idea is to trigger muscle contractions using electrical signals. These “shocks” are sent through a special workout suit equipped with electrodes.
The theory behind EMS is that the more muscles you have, the more calories you burn (muscles are responsible for 80% of our caloric consumption). And because EMS builds muscles, it also increases metabolic rates and burns more calories — even when the body is at rest.
The original Body Express flagship franchise was established in Brno in 2015 by Tomáš Krmíček, a multiple world champion in aerobics and a firm believer in the ground-breaking benefits of EMS fitness technology.
Here in Prague, Body Express Studio in Vinohrady counts ordinary people among its clientele. Many of them are time-crunched office workers combatting the physical burdens of sitting at a desk all day, parents who can’t find the time to get to the gym, and just about anyone seeking a better beach body in just one 20-minute session a week.
Body Express also attracts those recovering from injuries, many of them with chronic back pain and stiff muscles who can’t handle the stress traditional workouts can place on the joints. It’s also a place for active people and sports professionals (martial arts pros, yoga and pilates trainers, dancers) looking to enhance their performance.
“We target a larger group of potential customers,” says Flor Lopez, owner of the Body Express Studio in Vinohrady. “Anyone can do the movements so people who don’t usually work out feel very comfortable with us.”
She adds that “People who usually don’t work out for whatever reason are sometimes discouraged when they try EMS at our competitors because they find it too difficult.”
Overall, scientific studies have found EMS to be an effective way to train as well as rehabilitate.
“It’s the same principle as physiotherapy, which treats a loss of muscle mass; the main difference is that physiotherapy is locally focused and in EMS the electrodes are placed all over the body, so the workout stimulates over 95% of the muscles to reach even the lower layers,” Lopez explains.
If the idea of being jolted with electricity — even if it is in the name of smaller thighs — sounds a little scary, Lopez says that EMS is safe, generating the same kind of impulses the brain sends to the muscles to contract. With EMS the muscles simply receive the signal from an external source.
Beyond its health benefits, the best part of the Body Express experience, at least from the stressed-out consumer standpoint, is that you don’t even need to pack your gym clothes: special workout gear, as well as suits equipped with the electrodes, is provided.
“People feel very comfortable in our studio. It’s a private, friendly, clean environment and only two clients do the treatment at once. A trainer is with you at all times demonstrating the workout and setting the right intensity according to the client’s needs.”
To book an appointment at the Body Express Studio in Vinohrady, visit the Body Express website (mention this article and receive a special gift). You can also follow Body Express on Facebook and Instagram.