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Check out a no-sweat fitness trend that's taking over Europe

health and fitness Updated: Mar 23, 2015 17:20 IST
AFP
Highlight Story

Combining-dynamic-movements-with-an-age-old-rehabilitation-method-commonly-used-in-physical-therapy-Wav-e-proclaims-users-can-get-fit-in-just-15-minutes-per-week-AFP

A new fitness trend is sweeping Europe that promises to keep you fit by spending just 15 minutes of your time per week.

A Parisian debut at Salon Mondial Body Fitness (March 21-23) rounds out European presence for the Wav-e machine: It's part of a quasi-passive fitness trend that's taken the world by storm with the exception of North America.

Combining dynamic movements with an age-old rehabilitation method -- commonly used in physical therapy -- Wav-e proclaims users can get fit in just 15 minutes per week.

Wearing a specialised suit that optimises electro muscle stimulation (EMS), the user programmes the accompanying 22-inch monitor to design a workout based on what muscle groups he wants to focus on and the desired intensity level, then follows 3D-animated instructions on the screen.

Wav-e workouts alternate between rest and intensive EMS every four seconds and the company says the benefits are similar to those of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), but with even less of a time and effort commitment.

The machines will soon be arriving in gyms and specialized Wav-e centres at which users can pay a small fee to use the machines, which offer not only exercise, but also recuperation and massage.

A portable version of Wav-e can be purchased for €9,945 (Rs 6,73,257) + VAT and a full-sized unit costs €18,950 (Rs 12,81,834) + VAT.

Miha bodytec is a machine that works similarly to wav-e, and promises that it can turn the necessary gym hours into minutes.

In 2014, it won Special Mention at the German Design Awards, Best Product of the Year and Most Innovative Brand at the Plus X Awards.

Miha bodytec is already well-established in France and all over Europe as well as Colombia and Mexico.

Clients pay fees that average around €45 (Rs 3044.55) to use the machine which, like wav-e, combines isometric and dynamic moves with EMS.

For an affordable, portable EMS machine, the Compex line of products resemble the original electrode packs used in physical therapy, starting at €199 (Rs 13465.40) and costing up to €1,199 (Rs 81120.31) for the most inclusive unit.

The electrodes attach to the desired muscle set by means of adhesive and attach to a handheld machine that controls the intensity of the electro stimulation, which adds to any workout from cardio to strength training by making the muscles work even harder.

All these products -- Compex included -- have the added benefit of being usable for massage, pain relief and self-administered rehabilitation.

EMS devices first emerged from the physical therapy sphere in the 1980s as passive exercise methods promising a trim, toned silhouette as you kick back and watch TV.

Promising weight loss turned out to be one step too far to go in the marketing of EMS devices, and products such as the Slendertone abdominal belt came under fire.

Since then, it's become increasingly well known that exercise alone doesn't lead to weight loss -- it must be accompanied by diet.

Studies on EMS devices -- including Slendertone -- say they actually do increase strength, indicating that while a quasi-passive exercise programme won't lead you to your dream body without effort, it could make you stronger.