By Zoe Bradbury
From fitness influencers, to celebrities, to personal trainers – almost everyone is looking to increase the size of their glutes. In fact, the hashtag glutes on Instagram has over 5 million posts alone.
Even workout leggings are starting to be designed to maximised the shape of the bottom with “scrunch bum” styles becoming increasingly popular.
But what if a Kim Kardashian-esque behind could be achieved without squatting and deadlifting every day?
Non-invasive butt lifts, or body contouring, are on the rise, with many flocking to these new procedures in the hopes of improving the look and shape of their butt without excessive hard work.
These “butt lifts” are like plastic surgery with none of the invasive techniques or long rest periods. But do they actually work, and are they worth it? Are our days in the gym over?
Bondi Beauty investigates one of the most popular companies offering the treatment, Emsculpt.
Emsculpt uses high-intensity focused electromagnetic energy, delivered by paddles that are strapped to the body. This stimulates supramaximal contractions that are normally only achieved by voluntary muscle action, such as when a sit up or lunge is performed.
The company claims that in a 30 minute session, up to 20,000 muscle contractions occur – which would be the equivalent of doing 20,000 sit ups in half an hour.
Emsculpt burns fat and builds muscle simultaneously due to the intense pulses produced by the paddles. This causes fat cells in the area to break down and be excreted by the body, releasing them as free fatty acids.
Muscle is built as they undergo cellular changes that thickens and strengthens the tissue.
In regards to the “butt lift”, Emsculpt aims to lift and build the glutes while maintaining the fat in the area that gives the bottom it’s shape.
Additionally, Emsculpt is the only “body contouring” practice that has been cleared by the US’ Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the “improvement of abdominal tone, strengthening of the abdominal muscles, development of firmer abdomen…and strengthening, toning, firming of the buttocks.”
Dr Howard Sobel, a certified dermatologic surgeon, offers the practice at his clinic SobelSkin in New York City. He says the treatment is best for people who are already relatively active, but are looking for that extra bit of definition or tightness that many find hard to achieve with exercise alone.
Before beginning the treatment, the administrating doctor will gauge the amount of fat on the abdomen or buttocks. If it’s well over an inch, Sobel says he usually recommends liposuction first. If patients have less body fat than an inch, then they are ideal candidates for Emsculpt.
“This will help you keep those muscles really tight if you happen to miss a week or two of the gym,” Sobel told Men’s Health. “This is not supposed to take place of going to the gym. But if you just wanted a tight abdomen, you could probably just do this.”
The website recommends 30 minute treatments with a minimum of 4 sessions, scheduled 2-3 days a part, however this can be increased depending on individual goals.
While Emsculpt is not designed to be used in replace of exercise, it can be used in conjunction to achieve further results.
Emscuplt can be effective because the muscle contractions produced are “greater than any sort of psychological norm,” says board-certified dermatologist Arash Akhavan, who administers the procedure in his New York City clinic, Dermatology & Laser Group.
This means that fat loss can be directly targeted to a specific muscle group, such as the abdomen, which isn’t generally possible while working out.
The procedure isn’t cheap – with one treatment costing between $750 to $1000 – and up to four treatments are needed for the best results.
But if one is considering plastic surgery to enhance areas of their body, Emsculpt could be a good option. Unlike other invasive cosmetic treatments that require months of recovery, Emsculpt is non-invasive, meaning there’s little to no downtime needed to recover.
Ultimately however, nothing can truly
replace exercise for fat burning or muscle building results, and it certainly
is a lot cheaper to join a gym – it just may take a bit more hard work to get
that perky behind.
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