2015 Muscle Stimulator Reviews

Update: 10.25.2015

Each year we take the top muscle stimulation products in the industry and our reviewers put them through their paces to see how they stack up against one another. Our group of anonymous reviewers tries out each stimulator and then gives us their feed back about which ones are a good buy and which ones you should say goodbye to. This year in addition to our anonymous reviewers  we also  conducted  a standardized scientific analysis of  the top 20 Muscle Stimulators and Tens devices in the market. The result is are  no-nonsense conclusions and comparisons that hopefully make it easy for you to find the best value.  We  did an extensive 22-point analysis that considers the stimulator's contraction quality, handling, portability, control, ease of use, and other key areas.  Musclestimreview.com   uses the same EMS and TENS  analysis software that the manufacturers use to scientifically test the performance of each muscle stimulator. All of the units that we tested are FDA 510K OTC CLEARED. This also means that these units are available to the public "Over the Counter"  without a prescription.  The FDA has established specific Guidance Documents and Recognized Consensus Standards for certain devices such as EMS and TENS Units.  When the FDA has established specific guidance for a particular device, and a manufacturer submits a 510(k) for their device under that Product Code; it’s the responsibility of the manufacturer to make sure that they address all of the relevant sections in that document that apply to their device. We collaborated with one the top testing labs in the United States to verify all of the necessary safety standards. The bottom line for you is a simple review that cuts through manufacturing hype to tell users what level of  quality,comfort,saftey and value  they can really get out of each muscle stimulator reviewed. Check back each month as we will update our reviews. Next month we will rate Marc Pro and Icy Hot Smart Relief

#1  RX8000 by StimRX  1-800-573-8171   A favorite and  winner for the top position for the past 3 years is the Rx-8000 by StimRx.com.  The company has just launched a 2016 model that is aesthetically stunning. They still offer the 60 Day Money Back Guarantee, Free Ab Belt and other goodies. Did we mention POWERFUL? The Rx-8000  is one of the most powerful units tested with 8 ports powering  up to 16 electrodes.  You probably wont ever use  all 16 unless your a doctor. This unit ranks high for its use in muscle toning, strengthening, and muscle building. The built in tens mode is great for rehab and pain management.  The 9 pre-programmed modes gets high marks for ease of use. Portability is a must these days and this unit comes with an ac adapter and built in rechargeable battery to use the unit on the go. One 30 minute charge lasted  us for 2 weeks of daily use!  It's light weight and includes a handy nylon carrying  case for storing or traveling. They give you a ton of free electrodes We found the instruction manual helpful and informative. . This is a great deal with a Lifetime warranty nobody beats! Also, the AB BELT system that comes with this unit was voted #1 in the world in 2014 by industry peers.  This was a review favorite for it's power, ease of use, price and quality. We give it a 5 star rating

 

#2 Mettler Sys*Stim 208A at Braceshop.com (866) 325-8045 Mettler-8.62nd-place-rating-star We found this unit easy to operate with knobs to control stimulation intensity and frequency.  It is small and portable and includes a digital timer.  The negatives are it doesn't have a battery alternative to use untethered to an ac cord.  This unit only offers 2 channels connecting to 4 electrodes.  Other units in this price range and lower offer 4 – 8 channels.  More channels allow you to stim more muscles at the same time. There are no additional items included with this purchase such as electrodes or an ab belt.  Overall this a solid unit that gets high marks for ease of use.  However it is a distant 2nd due to price, warranty and lack of additional items. 

 

#3 Premium Sport Electrostimulator by Globus Globus Premium Sport

One of the first units I saw heavily advertised was by a company called GLOBUS. These were very clean looking units that seemed to be a little expensive but good. At $769 the price far out weighed the benefits. You can find the same features on other units at a much lower price. They had two units that were capable of 4 channels at the same time, which was important for me so I could maximize my time and work multiple parts at once. They had plenty of programs to choose from but no independent knobs to control things on the fly. 

 

#4 FLEX GO by Slendertone –  800-551-2443  The Slendertone parent company spends the most on advertising and marketing. The brand recognition was strong among our reviewers. Check out our comparison to see how you think the quality and features compare to that of the other electronic muscle stimulator systems.The Slendertone Ab belt is available for $199.80, but doesn’t offer nearly the quality of construction and performance or ease of operation of the other muscle stimulator systems.  We also found the Slendertone stimulator to be limited to the abdominal area only. Another area of concern is that Slendertone uses only 3 AAA batteries as a power source. For this reason Slendertone was tested as the weakest muscle stimulator in our review.  Very easy to use (but limited in power) good customer support, easy to find in big box stores like Walmart and Target.

 

#5 CONTOUR ABS – by Contour –  866-666-5614

The contour ab belt is a well known product in the EMS industry. It uses 4 AAA batteries as opposed to 3 AAA batteries as in the Slendertone belt but if you are looking for true power and effectiveness the ab belts that connect directly to a muscle stimulator provides the most power and results.  They offer a 1 year warranty and 30 day money back guarantee. As for the sizing it claims to fit most. This may be a problem for those who are not of average size. At the time of this review Contour Abs was sold out of product.  We called their 800 number and we were told they were unable to fill orders.

FYI

Electronic Muscle Stimulation (EMS) is a revolutionary muscle exercise concept for use in your own home. Muscle Stimulators cause your muscles to contract and relax on their own. You don't have to do anything except hook up the electrodes to your body and turn it on. A series of electrical signals will be sent to your muscles causing them to contract and relax. The best Electronic Muscle Stimulator systems are portable, lightweight electronic units that have been scientifically designed and proven to exercise body muscles fast, efficiently & effectively through a series of stimulated contraction & relaxation phases. For years Soviet and Eastern block Olympic contenders have used muscle stimulators to build the same rippling muscles that steroids promised.

Precautions

Contraindication, warnings, precautions and adverse reactions, include: no use for wearer of pacemaker; no use on vital parts, such as carotid sinus nerves, across the brain; caution in the use during pregnancy, menstruation, and other particular conditions that may be affected by muscle contractions; potential adverse effects include skin irritations

Applications

  • Strength training tool for healthy subjects and athletes
  • Rehabilitation and preventive tool for partially or totally immobilized patients
  • Testing tool for evaluation the neural and/or muscular function
  • Post-Exercise recovery tool for athletes

What is Electronic Muscle Stimulation?

Electrical Muscle Stimulation (EMS), also know as Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation (NMES) or Electromyostimulation, is the elicitation of muscle contraction using electric impulses. EMS has received increasing attention in the last few years because it has the potential to serve as the following:

  • Strength training tool for healthy subjects and athletes
  • Rehabilitation and preventive tool for partially or totally immobilized patients
  • Testing tool for evaluation the neural and/or muscular function
  • Post-Exercise recovery tool for athletes

The impulses are generated by a device and delivered through electrodes on the skin in direct proximity to the muscles to be stimulated. The impulses mimic the action coming from the central nervous system, causing the muscles to contract. The electrodes are generally pads that adhere to the skin.

EMS is cited by renown sport scientists as a complementary technique for sport training, and published research is available on the results obtained.  In the United States, EMS devices are regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Pain Relief

Did you know that medical professionals have been using muscle stimulation for many years to relive pain?   Its true.  Common equipment in a physical therapy or chiropractors office is often an electronic muscle stimulation systems.   You may have also heard them referred to as TENS Units (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation).  Users of this therapy technique have found that is does wonders for back pain recovery time by helping to strengthen back muscles.  Many doctors are also beginning to prescribe muscle stimulation as a preventative measure for those in at risk groups for back pain such as those who sit for multiple hours a day or have generally sedentary lifestyles.  The units are also used for other chronic pain conditions such as fibromyalgia, arthritis, and tendinitis and post surgical pain.