A Cool Way to Jumpstart Your Exercise Routine

Kick B*tt By Not Doing Much of Anything

I did that quarantine thing where you barely exercise and you survive on the nutrients in shelf-stable carbs. So when quarantine lightened up I was left with all of that magic. You know how it is: snug waistbands, jiggling stuff, “bloat” that turns out to be fat. 

The idea of exercise became Sisyphean, like shoveling water out of Saugatuck River or cutting the Longshore greens with cuticle scissors. I’d have to exercise for weeks, months, before seeing any changes!

I needed a jumpstart, an incentive to leap back into my exercise routine. So I visited board-certified dermatologist Dr. Rhonda Klein MD, MPH, FAAD at Modern Dermatology on Post Road (in their beautiful new office) for six 30-minute sessions of Emsculpt. 

Emsculpt is the procedure that tones and tightens stomachs and booties while the patient lies down and reads a book. The results are purportedly equivalent to 20,000 squats or 20,000 crunches without soreness. In my case, I received the equivalent of 20,000 squats.

How does Emsculpt work? Dr. Klein or an assistant places two large paddles attached to a freestanding machine on your tummy or posterior then straps them into place with a large velcro band. She turns on the machine and slowly increases the strength from around 40% to 100% depending on your comfort level. 

According to, “Emsculpt uses non-invasive HIFEM® (High-Intensity Focused Electromagnetic) technology (to induce) powerful muscle contractions not achievable through voluntary contractions, these are called supramaximal contractions. These contractions activate deep remodeling of the muscle’s inner structure resulting in an average increase of 16% in muscle mass.”

I felt a series of hard-ish taps, then vibration, then an involuntary muscle clench which made me laugh out loud. At 40% it almost tickles, at 100% it’s like a deep tissue massage. Never painful, but kind of odd. Granted, I’ve had two C-sections and ACL surgery so I scoff at pain from cosmetic treatments. But I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t hurt most people.

I started on a Friday afternoon and felt a difference as early as the next day. Then I did Tuesday and Thursday sessions for two weeks and then a final touch-up session two months later.

I write this at the “peak” of my results and I’m SO glad I did it. My clothes fit better and my you-know-what is as toned as it was during my boot-camp days. I’m back to exercising and patiently waiting for the technology in which it tones one’s entire body. 

It’s not cheap, but if you factor in the number of boutique exercise classes one would have to sweat through to achieve the same results, it’s not so bad. Plus, you can comfortably wear your Covid mask the entire time.

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