ELLE (Canada) - - Body -

No­body wants to spend more time work­ing out than they have to (un­less the guy on the el­lip­ti­cal be­side them looks like Gar­rett Hed­lund). En­ter Elec­tronic Mus­cle Stim­u­la­tion (EMS). The work­out, a fave in pro­fes­sional-ath­lete cir­cles and gain­ing pop­u­lar­ity with celebs (Ash­ley Gra­ham, Alessandra Am­bro­sio and Han­nah Bronf­man can all be found on In­sta­gram get­ting suited up in the equip­ment), is said to de­liver the equiv­a­lent of a 90-minute work­out in 20 min­utes. It works by puls­ing cur­rents—yes, real elec­tri­cal cur­rents—into mus­cles via a Lara Croft-look­ing jump­suit that con­tains elec­trodes on the arms, abs and back, butt and up­per thighs. (The sen­sa­tion is akin to 1,000 cell­phones vi­brat­ing on your body.) How does that trans­late into ripped abs and arms? When you do a tra­di­tional bi­cep curl, for ex­am­ple, your brain sends a sig­nal to your mus­cle to con­tract. The EMS ma­chine mim­ics the same sig­nal but to all parts of the body linked with the elec­trodes, ex­plains Mani Kha­jehnouri from GoGo Mus­cle Train­ing (from $50, gogo­mus­cle­train­ing. com) in Toronto. So that one curl be­comes (a) a full body move­ment, which we know is more ef­fec­tive than iso­lat­ing mus­cles, and (b) way more in­tense be­cause the pulse tar­gets more of the mus­cle, in­clud­ing the slow-twitch mus­cle fi­bres (i.e., tis­sues that usu­ally aren’t ac­ti­vated un­til about two or three hours into a work­out, when you’re prop­erly fa­tigued). Stud­ies are mixed over its ef­fi­cacy, but we tried a HIIT work­out wear­ing the suit and def­i­nitely felt the burn the next morn­ing. CARLI WHITWELL

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