The basics of electrical muscle stimulation at a glance

How does EMS training work?

EMS is in vogue, but what exactly is it?

Many people who want to get fit are now turning to EMS training. They visit a special EMS studio in their city or buy a mobile EMS suit. You may be wondering now: What is EMS actually? What happens in the body during the workout? And does it really help? We'll answer all your questions. And first of all: Yes, EMS works! But that doesn't mean that you can lie down on the sofa and the EMS equipment will do all the work for you.

A young woman stretches in the mobile EMS suit from Antelope. She sits on a purple-coloured sports mat on a wooden floor next to a house and looks to her left with a smile. Her hair is brown and curly.

What does EMS mean?

EMS stands for electro-muscle stimulation or electro-myo stimulation. "Myo" is ancient Greek and means "muscle". The basics of EMS are special electrical impulses that are transmitted with the help of electrodes. The impulses to your muscles support the body's own processes and thus intensify muscle contractions. The result: the muscle is effectively stressed by the additional stimulation and you train efficiently. Even short units of 20 minutes per week are sufficient. Incidentally, EMS not only helps you gain strength and endurance and lose weight: The stimulation promotes blood flow to the muscles and thus promotes regeneration after training.

The beginnings of electric muscle stimulation

EMS is not as new as you might think.

The origins go back a good 200 years! As early as the beginning of the 19th century, scientists were curious about what happens when they electrify muscle areas locally. It was during this time that the foundations of later electrotherapy were laid. Athletes have been using electrical muscle stimulation to improve performance since the 1950s. In the 1970s, it found its way into competitive sport - the first publication on the subject appeared in 1974. Sports scientists have been researching how EMS can improve training success for over 50 years. The first full-body EMS devices came onto the market in 2003. Today, almost anyone can train with EMS in the gym or at home with their own Antelope suit.

With the launch of Antelope Evolution in 2023, we have once again raised the bar for EMS training in sports, at home, strength building and regeneration. Comfortable high-tech suits with variable and simple operation that is really fun. EMS is now available to (almost) everyone and we look forward to the developments to come.

A man performs a fitness exercise on the floor in the mobile EMS suit from Antelope. "Bioelectric impulse from the central nervous system" is written in pink, and "Additional stimulation provides a more intensive training effect" is written in turquoise. The man has short brown hair and a brown beard.

What happens in your body during EMS?

The principle of EMS is pretty easy to explain - because it imitates your body's natural processes. Whenever you activate a muscle, your brain sends out bioelectric impulses. Only then does the muscle move. The harder the muscle has to work, the more muscle fibres it needs to do so. EMS training supplements this process from the outside: the muscles experience a higher level of stimulation than when training without EMS.

What are the benefits of EMS training? A lot, if you do it right!

Does EMS really help to achieve training goals? Various studies prove that this training method successful, for example in popular and competitive sports. The big advantage of EMS: Whether you are doing HIIT or running, climbing or practicing yoga - with the Antelope suit you always have an effective full-body workout. Depending on which product you train with, the silicone electrodes in your textile stimulate your arms, abdomen, back, buttocks and legs up to the calves at the same time. This makes your workout extra efficient - and your own weight is completely sufficient.

Interview with Dr Lutz Graumann about EMS

Overview of important EMS terms

Find out what the most important EMS terms mean

Muscle groups used

The muscle groups used during training with the mobile EMS suit from Antelope are highlighted in turquoise in a digital graphic. The chest, arms, abdomen, thighs, buttocks, back, neck and calves are worked.

What is creatine kinase and what does it have to do with EMS?

Muscles need energy, especially when they are under heavy strain. In order for the body to provide this energy, it releases the enzyme creatine kinase. This increases the so-called CK value in the blood. Anyone who abuses extremely intensive EMS stimulation runs the risk of this value soaring to critical levels. This can lead to so-called rhabdomyolysis. In this diagnosis, the muscle fibers break down due to the previous damage and enter the bloodstream, including the large protein myoglobin. If the protein migrates into the kidneys, they can become blocked and there is a risk of kidney failure, among other things.


This is how you recognise rhabdomyolysis:

  • Your urine is brown in colour.
  • Your muscles are very sore.
  • Your muscles are extremely swollen.


If you recognize any signs, please see a doctor or the nearest hospital immediately and get help promptly. In order to get rhabdomyolysis, you have to be grossly negligent and deliberately abusive. So if you stick to our training recommendations, which have been tried and tested over many years, you are on the right track.


Find out what you should bear in mind during EMS training:

When am I not allowed to train?

Contraindications

Absolute contraindiciations

In case of absolute contraindications, EMS full-body training must not be performed

  • In the case of implanted electrical devices (such as pacemakers).
  • In the presence of metal implants.For insulin pump users.
  • In case of fever.
  • In case of known or acute cardiac arrhythmias and other excitation and conduction disorders of the heart.
  • In case of neuronal diseases, seizure disorders (e.g. epilepsy) and severe sensitivity disorders.
  • In case of an existing pregnancy.In case of existing cancer or tumor diseases.
  • After recent operations, especially if increased muscle contractions could interfere with the healing process.
  • In the event of simultaneous connection to a high-frequency surgical unit.
  • In case of a simultaneous connection and/or simultaneous use of other electrical devices that may have an influence on the current supply or the musculature.
  • In case of acute or chronic diseases of the gastrointestinal tract.
  • In case of acute muscle pain, muscle soreness or muscle cramps.
  • In acute diseases, bacterial infections and inflammatory processes.
  • In diabetes mellitus type 1.
  • In arteriosclerosis and arterial circulatory disorders.
  • On acutely or chronically diseased (injured or inflamed) skin (e.g. painful and painless inflammations, redness, rashes (e.g. allergies), burns, bruises, swellings, open wounds as well as healing wounds, surgical scars in the process of healing).
  • In case of stents and bypasses active for less than 6 months.
  • In case of untreated hypertension, bleeding disorder or bleeding tendency (hemophilia).
  • In abdominal wall and inguinal hernias.
  • In case of acute influence of alcohol, drugs or intoxicants.
  • In persons under 18 years of age

Relative contraindiciations

In case of relative contraindications, EMS full-body training may only be performed after written medical clearance or self-declaration.

  • In case of acute back pain without diagnoses.
  • In case of  acute neuralgia and herniated discs.
  • In case of implants older than 6 months.
  • In diseases of internal organs, especially in kidney diseases.In cardiovascular diseases.
  • In case of tendency to thromboembolic diseaes.
  • In chronic pain conditions that have not been clarified regardless of the body region.
  • In all sensitivity disorders with reduced pain sensation (such as metabolic disorders).
  • In case of medical complaints occuring with the stimulation treatment.
  • In case of persistent skin irritation due to long-term stimulation at the same electrode site.
  • In case of a tendency to bleed due to injury.In case of motion kinetosis.
  • In case of major fluid accumulation in the body and edema.
  • When taking certain medications.
  • In case of open skin injuries, wounds, eczema or burns

We are happy to help you

Do you have any questions or suggestions? Then call us at +49 69 25786744 - We are there for you Mon - Fri from 10 am to 3 pm. Or send us an e-mail to info@antelope.de and we will get back to you as soon as possible!

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