December 2004 study: THE EFFECTS OF NEUROMUSCULAR ELECTRICAL STIMULATION TRAINING ON ABDOMINAL STRENGTH, ENDURANCE, AND SELECTED ANTHROPOMETRIC MEASURES -- John P. Porcari , Jennifer Miller, Kelly Cornwell, Carl Foster, Mark Gibson, Karen McLean and Tom Kernozek

Abstract, full text, PDF. News releases in the La Crosse Tribune and the Minneapolis Business Wire (none of which link to the study, of course). Study findings summary:

  • experimental group: 24 adults, 25-50, BMI between 18-30; control group: 16 adults
  • stimulated their abdominals 5 days per week (20-40 minutes per session)
  • for 8 weeks
  • no additional exercise during the study
  • stimulation group had a 58% increase in abdominal strength
  • stimulation group also had a 100% increase in abdominal endurance
  • Waist circumference "decreased by of 3.5 cm"
  • All 24 subjects in the stimulation group felt that their midsections were more "toned" and "firmed"
  • 13/24 (54%) felt that their posture had improved
  • no significant differences in body weight, BMI, or skinfold thickness
  • "neuromuscular electrical stimulation, as used in the current study, resulted in significant improvements in the muscular strength and endurance of the abdominal region, as well as subject's perceived shape and satisfaction of the mid-section."
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