The Most Effective Exercises

Initially, EMS training was mainly used in therapy, but has long since found its way into the fitness sector. If you as a trainer are looking after this time-saving and effective way of training, you should pay attention to a few points. Using four examples, the authors of the EMS manual present the basics of effective training “under power”.

Muscular strength plays a special role as the basis for performance. Since conditional training starts with the muscle as the basis for movement, special attention is paid to strengthening the skeletal muscles, especially in sports. High performance is only possible with sufficiently strong muscular support. The compensatory stabilization of the body against one-sided stress is of particular importance. Therefore, an increase in power output is essential for a sensibly structured basic performance training.

In order to specifically improve strength through EMS, several factors must fit together: First of all, the program parameters must be selected correctly; then it should be determined which exercises are most suitable for the customer and whether they should be performed statically or dynamically.

The following exercises and positions are examples of basic strength building training. Depending on the training objective and the individual requirements, the training should of course be adapted and supplemented to the course of the training. In order to achieve long-term success, regular training should be carried out one to three times a week over a longer period, depending on the objective. At least one to a maximum of four days break between the training units should be absolutely kept for regeneration and for a healthy muscle structure.

Wide Knee Bends
Focus on:

  • back
  • buttocks
  • Front thigh
  • thigh back side
  • calf

Instructions for the exercise:

The starting position is the home position.
Distribute load to heel, ball and outer edge of foot.
Bend knees while lowering buttocks backwards until thighs are parallel to floor.
Keep arms flexed forward as counterweight during knee bend.
Keep back straight and head in extension of spine.

Focus on:

  • back
  • buttocks
  • thigh back

Instructions for the exercise:

Bend the knees slightly from the basic position.
Bend hips, lower upper body stretched forward.
Keep hands flat and taut with slightly flexed elbows next to hips (similar to a ski jumper just before the jump).
Push the buttocks and hands up backwards to build up good pre-tension.
With the idea of loading a heavy piece of furniture flat on the back like a table top and putting it up with a straight back.

Compress Knees
Focus on:

  • arms
  • back
  • thighs
  • calves

Instructions for the exercise:

  • The starting position is the final position of the knee bend (see exercise knee bend).
  • Bend your arms and press your palms against your knees from the outside with your fingers apart.
  • Knees press statically outwards against the hand resistance.
  • Distribute the weight over the entire foot in the same way as for the “knee bend” exercise and consciously push the buttocks backwards.

Double Bicep Pose
Focus on:

  • bicep

Instructions for the exercise:

The starting position is the basic position with arms raised to shoulder height, bent at right angles, forearms pointing upwards, fists pointing with palms to each other.
During the impulse, consciously tighten the front of the upper arm (“inflate”).
Pull the fists slightly towards the shoulders with the knuckles of your fingers.
Emphasis on maximum tension of the upper arms and firm tension of the fists and forearms.

Hints for training:

“Form follows Function”: The movements must first be mastered with the correct technique before the speed is increased and the full range of movement (ROM) is performed. The exercises are exemplary for a strength-effective load training with whole-body EMS and must be individually adapted to the training status or (e.g. with certain symptoms) to the load capacity of the trainee.

“Safety first”: Safety takes priority during training. Always position yourself so that the connecting cable does not get in the way or hang and you cannot get caught or trip over it. Make sure you have non-slip soles and a non-slip surface during training. The electrode straps must be of the correct size and non-slip to prevent slipping during high static tensions or during dynamic training.

“Slowly increase”: First divide exercises statically, then into different angular positions or movement sections and carry them out statically or – depending on the training objective – increasingly dynamically. The intensity must always be chosen in such a way that the execution is still technically cleanly possible. In some exercises, the intensity at the electrodes of individual muscle groups may have to be temporarily raised or lowered in order to perform the exercise cleanly.

“Readjust”: Due to the habituation effect during training (accommodation), it may be necessary to readjust the intensity in the course of a training session – adapted to the respective resilience and training status of the user.

“Keep control”: Never allow passive stretching or bending of the joints by the electrical impulses: The trainee must be able to actively control and “master” the electrical impulses through pre-tension and voluntary muscle activation over the entire duration of the impulse.


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