Background: Researchers studied the effects of Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation on changes in strength, endurance, selected anthropometric measures and subject’s perceived shape and satisfaction of the abdominal wall.
Method: Experimental group consisting of 24 adults stimulated their abdominals 5 days per week (20-40 minutes per session) for 8 weeks and refrained from engaging in any additional exercise during the study. Control group consisting of 16 refrained rom exercising the abdominals or engaging in any other exercise training during the study. Isometric strength of abdominal muscles was tested, endurance was measured, abdominal circumference was measured using a steel tape measure and body shape and satisfaction were assessed via questionnaire.
Finding: Stimulation group had 58% increase in abdominal strength, whereas the control group did not change. The stimulation group had 100% increase in abdominal endurance vs. 28% increase in control group. Waist circumference decreased by 3.5cm vs. no significant change in control group. All 24 Experimental group adults felt their midsections were more “toned” and “firmed” and 54% felt their posture had improved. None of the control group subjects reported changes in these parameters.
Conclusion: EMS, used in the current study, resulted in significant improvements in muscular strength and endurance of the abdominal region, as well as the adults’ perceived shape and satisfaction of the midsection.
Research Paper: Porcari, John P. (2005) “The effects of neuromuscular electrical stimulation training on abdominal strength, endurance, and selected anthropometric measures.” Journal of Sports Science and Medicine 4. pp. 66-75