As ridiculous as those vintage vibrating belt machines look, there is something to be said about an athlete’s need for static muscle stimulation. Think about how important that eight minute warm up is for your muscles, easing them into the shock of high cardio action, or how good that post-workout massage feels, rejuvenating and relaxing tense muscle groups after lifting grueling lbs. Those TCB moments allow you to push further, which is exactly what SmartMio wants to help you do, whether you’re moving in the gym, typing at the office or sleeping in your bed.
SmartMio is an active wearable muscle stimulator that uses electronic muscle stimulation (EMS) to train your muscle groups in total isolation. The lightweight gadget consists of two self-sticking electrode pads that you place on your skin above the muscle group you want to work out Shake Weight-style, and a Bluetooth-embedded pod that adheres nearby. The device is about the size of a bike light, and at just over a half an inch wide, is easily concealable under relaxed-fit workout gear or a flowy dress shirt. Because with just a push of a button on its yet-to-be-developed companion app (for iOS and Android), you will be able to start zapping your muscles with short electrical pulses whether you’re in workout mode or straight up work mode. Just don’t think that pumping up your pecks on your morning commute makes up for ditching your 6AM run. SmartMio isn’t a workout replacement — it’s a workout enhancer.
So while this may seem like a nice-to-have for those who hit the smoothie bar at the gym more often than the treadmill, SmartMio is a must-have gadget for performance-driven athletes — at least that’s what its creators are saying, many of whom are or were nationally competing athletes themselves, so we’re willing to trust their opinion here. The ability to integrate this type of complimentary training into your daily routine is near priceless, especially since it’s so easily customizable.
The app allows you to control the intensity of the stimulation, ranging from massage-like pressure to hurts-so-good pumps. Plus, it offers a slew of “training protocols and programs” that give you personal trainer-level knowledge of which muscles are the RIGHT muscles to target in order to reach your goals. Sound stimulating? For a pledge of $89, you can pre-order your device on Indiegogo, where SmartMio is just about to reach its $50K fundraising goal with over a month to spare. The wearable is expected to start shipping in August, just in time to amp up the last of your beach bod.