Does EMS Really Build Your Abs

If you’ve landed on this page, you’re probably interested in finding out if electrical muscle stimulation (EMS) can build your abs, and give you the six-pack you’ve always craved!

EMS builds abdominal strength by giving you an intense workout with precise targeting of your abdominal muscles, plus it activates a high number of your abdominal muscle fibers and reduces the risk of injury.

Do you remember the late-night TV ads back in the late 1990s which advertised EMS as the magical way to lose all your belly fat? Those types of ads gave EMS a bad rap for a few years, but thankfully technology has progressed a lot since those early days! 

Now you have 3 distinct options of how to incorporate EMS into your training routine:

Wireless EMS Suitfully wireless and battery powered with up to 20 electrodes giving you a full-body workout
EMS Machineslocated in fitness centres, you’re hooked up to a machine under the guidance of a personal trainer
Portable EMS Devices1-2 electrodes allowing you to focus on one specific muscle group at a time. 

So, if you want to know more about the benefits of using EMS to strengthen your abs, and specifically a wireless EMS suit, then read on!

What Are Your “Abs”?

Before we dive into specifics, let’s clarify exactly what the abdominal muscles are and why they are important. 

There are 4 main abdominal muscles: 

Where Are They?What Are They Used For?
Rectus AbdominisThese are the “six-pack” muscles that are front and centre!maintaining good posture, and is primarily responsible for flexing the lumbar spine 
External ObliquesThese are on the outside of the rectus abdominisallows the trunk of your body to twist 
Internal ObliquesThese are below the external obliquesalso responsible for twisting and turning
Transverse AbdominisThe deepest abdominal muscles, located below your rectus abdominis and obliquesacts as a stabilizer for the entire low back and core muscles

You have probably heard references to “upper” and “lower” abs, in reality there is no such thing as they are all part of the rectus abdominis.

It is possible to isolate the upper and lower portions of this muscle with different exercises. More on that later!

How Does EMS Build Abs

Let’s look at 3 benefits of using EMS for ab workouts compared to doing traditional ab exercises.

  1. More intense workout
  2. Better targeting of abdominal muscles
  3. Reduced risk of injury

More Intense Workout

While it’s still inconclusive if using EMS on it’s own is more effective than traditional exercises, performing those exercises in conjunction with a 20-minute EMS session will give you double the benefits. 

Not only are your muscles being contracted by the exercise you’re performing, but also by the electrical impulses from the EMS suit.

One of the major benefits of EMS (LINK TO BENEFITS HERE) is the number of muscle fibers which are being activated. This is even more relevant when working on your abs.

With the EMS suit, a larger number of deeper muscle fibers are being worked, meaning you’ll also be burning more calories. 

Exercise Effectiveness

Two things can influence the effectiveness of any exercise you perform in the gym. 

  1. Bad form 
  2. Doing it too quickly

Doing an exercise with poor form not only means that you don’t get the maximum benefit from that exercise, but it can also lead to injury.

And you can often fall into the trap of setting a target number of reps, and then try and race through them to hit your target before you get too tired. 

In reality, performing fewer reps at higher-quality is going to give you more long-term benefit.

There is one other problem, Fatigue!

When you’re pushing yourself to the limit, no matter how hard you try to keep good form it can almost be impossible.

With a wireless EMS suit this problem is negated. And if the impulses are becoming too easy and you feel they’re not effective enough, just crank up the intensity at the touch of a button on the app. 

Have a think about a time when you were doing some crunches. I bet when you got towards the end of your set, you were lifting your body more with your neck and spine than your abs. 

This leads us on to the third benefit.

Reduced Risk of Injury

With bad form comes the risk of injuring yourself – which is the complete opposite of the result you started out looking for. 

Performing exercises such as crunches and planks incorrectly can lead to lower back and neck injuries. Not good!

What “Ab” Exercises Should I Do? 

There are literally hundreds of exercises that you can do to build your abs – and we can’t get them all on here, but here are a few for starters… 

The best way to work your abs overall is by doing exercises that engage both the top and bottom sections.

For the upper section of your abs, try:

  • crunch variations
  • wood choppers
  • medicine ball slams.

For the lower abs section, try:

  • reverse crunches
  • mountain climbers
  • leg lifts (both lying and hanging)

For a full ab workout, try these:

  • Deadbugs
  • Jackknives
  • ab-wheel rollouts
  • boat pose variations

Remember, you’ll be doing these exercises and getting hit with the electrical impulses – so there exercises are sure to get you burning and sore the next day!

If you are feeling sore after a workout, take a look at our post here to see how EMS can help you recover after workouts. 

Anything Else?


Working out is just one factor that will help you lose weight and feel great.

Nutrition is another huge topic which is beyond the scope of this article, but we can suggest that you take some to plan out your nutrition and create a balanced meal plan so that all your hard work in the gym doesn’t go to waste! 

As the saying goes, you can’t out train a bad diet! 

Final Thoughts

Unfortunately, EMS isn’t the magical solution that will give you a six-pack in 6 weeks. And just doing 100 crunches every day isn’t going to get you that six-pack either. 

EMS will however give you a more effective abs workout that you can do anywhere thanks to the portability of modern EMS technology. 

Wireless EMS suits, like the AWI Powersuit, allow you to get an intense abs workout anywhere, anytime. 

Visit our website for more information on how the AWI Powersuit and learn more about why EMS is one of the fastest growing technologies being used in fitness. 


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