We’ve all seen the ads on tv promising miracle abs and weight loss in 30 days.
Don’t worry, I’m not going make any of these claims.
So the question is, how good are ab belts? And which ones are actually effective?
In this article, I’ll cover everything you need to know about ab belts, and tell you which ones get results.
I’ll also mention which brands to avoid, some safety precautions, and give you a realistic idea of what results you can achieve.
My Favorite Ab Belt
- Tones your abs with an app-controlled belt you can use anytime and
- Uses a mobile app to track your toning session history, you also get reminders and personalized
- Lightweight design, perfect to use under your clothes without
- Made with nylon
Using the Slendertone Connect Abs for at least 30 minutes a day and 5 times a week is an excellent way to tone your abdominal muscles without excessive strain.
The mobile app tracks your progress and provides motivation and reminders to keep your engagement and improve your results.
Its sleek lightweight design allows for discreet use under your clothes, so you can complete your daily session wherever you are.
How does it feel using it?
When the device is on, you will feel some tingling followed by muscle contractions as the intensity increases. It’s not uncomfortable, and it will allow you to keep performing any other activity you want, in your house or at work while it targets your abs and obliques.
There was initially only an iOS app to track your progress, but since 2017 there’s also an Android app you can use. The manufacturers make it clear that this belt is not meant for weight loss, but it is very long in length, allowing for large users to wear.
It is also a rechargeable device and only takes an hour and a half for a full charge. You get it with a 30-day return policy and a 2-year manufacturer warranty.
What customers are saying
The majority of issues reported by users have to do with the app, and more commonly the Android app. Thus, we recommend you to download the app before buying, so you can check out its compatibility and functions first.
Also, keep in mind that this belt won’t do much without an exercise regime and a good diet.
It’s only meant to tone your abs, not lose belly fat. After a few weeks, you will need to replace the gel pads to keep it working properly, and according to some users, sometimes customer support is not as responsive as you would like.
What we like:
- It is lightweight and
- The mobile app makes exercising and tracking more comfortable and fun.
- It works especially well if you combine with exercise and
What we dislike:
- Android compatibility has many reported
- Customer support is not very
Second Best Ab Belt
- Cleared by the FDA for toning of the abdominal muscles.
- In a clinical trial, over 90% reported more firm abdominal muscles after a few weeks.
- Gel pads are included, and should be replaced after 20 to 30
- Includes a user guide to help you figure out the device and its proper
The Flex Belt is a convenient option for anyone looking to strengthen and tone their abdominal muscles. It works great for people who don’t have much time for crunches.
Where should you use it?
You can use the belt and tone your abs while working, relaxing on your couch, or walking at the park. The belt targets your central abdominal muscles, the internal and external obliques, and the transversus abdominis.
This model provides more intense exercise programs than other Ab belts, as it comes with up to 150 levels of intensity.
You will have a set of 3 pads that you can use for replacement every 20 to 30 sessions. After that, you will need to buy new pads or find a bulk sale if you want a better price.
The belt is made of fabric and is very difficult to break. With 30-minute sessions every day, you will be sure to have good results, as long as you combine with exercise and a good diet.
What results can you expect?
This belt is not magical, and you won’t see results until you lose some weight and cut off your belly fat. However, it does the trick if you want to build your core and tighten up your abdominal muscles.
It is very useful, durable, and easy to use, but some users have complained about the price, and a few reported that their device did not last very long.
What we like:
- It provides a high-intensity workout and tightens your
- It does not depend on a mobile app which prevents unexpected compatibility
What we dislike:
- You need to replace gel pads
- Without an exercise routine and diet, it won’t work for an average user.
- Provides a complete abdominal exercise for all the muscle
- FDA cleared and used by physical therapists and sports
The Slendertone Abs toning belt is made to improve the abdominal muscle tone and strengthen the core. It works with an Electrical Muscle Stimulation (EMS) technology, similar to other devices, and mimics crunches and other abdominal exercises.
How does it feel using it?
After a tingling sensation, you will actually feel abdominal muscle contractions as the device increases its intensity. It is not uncomfortable and comes with 7 toning programs and 99 adjustable intensity levels.
With 30 minutes, 5 days a week, and combined with regular exercise and a healthy diet, it is very likely to provide good results.
This device includes a controller, its charger, and a travel pouch. It requires gel pads to function and includes a set of 3 that you need to replace after a 20-30 sessions.
It strengthens the core and may also improve back pain issues. You will have a 2-year limited warranty and the usual return policy by Amazon.
What customer are saying
Users have commented that this device is not made for large users, but works as advertised, and it is truly recommended to strengthen the core.
One of the greatest downsides, it’s the battery life, which lasts around one hour if you’re using the maximum intensity workout. Still, even the maximum level is not as intense as in other models.
What we like:
- It is very useful to strengthen the core, especially when combined with exercise and a healthy
- It does not depend on a mobile app to
What we dislike:
- You need to replace gel pads
- Without an exercise routine and diet, it won’t work for an average
- The maximum intensity level might not be enough for athletes and highly trained users.
How Do Ab Belts Work?
Ab belts use an EMS technology, which stands for “Electrical Muscle Stimulation”. This technology delivers an electrical impulse to stimulate contraction of the abdominal muscles, and it is scientifically tested to use for core-strengthening purposes.
The technology is actually one of the most useful tools in the field of rehabilitation for patients who can’t move their muscles.
Since EMS contractions use electrical currents, it may feel a little prickly, but not painful, and usually not uncomfortable.
As such, it’s an alternative way to activate your abdominal muscles without doing uncomfortable crunches.
Do They Give You Abs?
The main purpose of the EMS technology is to stimulate muscle activity in rehabilitation patients. But is it really effective to give you abs or rip off the abdominal region in athletes?
The truth is, your body activates the muscles and does not differentiate whether the activation comes from electrical impulses or actual commands by your brain.
By using an Ab belt, trained and untrained individuals will get their muscles activated, and enhance their muscle tone and performance.
However, Ab belts are not a weight-loss technology, and your Ab muscles will never show if you have significant belly fat.
That’s why most brands recommend combining their Ab belts with a careful diet and an exercise routine.
Can You Burn Fat?
The main purpose of an Ab belt is not to burn fat. However, it does increase your calorie expenses, and might serve for this purpose, too.
A study published in 2015, in the Journal of Physical Therapy Science evaluated high-frequency EMS in the abdominal area delivered 3 times a week for 6 weeks.
They reported a significant reduction in body fat percentage and subcutaneous fat mass. In other words, they did burn fat.
However, remember, if you want to burn fat effectively, it is better to combine these Ab belt technologies with an actual exercise plan and a healthy diet.
As always, there are pros and cons in every decision you make. The same goes for exercise machines and devices, Ab belts included.
These are the most important problems and dangers you can encounter:
- Some people use Ab belts to get fit without living an active life, which is totally counterproductive and increases their cardiovascular
- Burns, bruises, and skin irritation can be common among atopic users and people with skin
- Patients using pacemakers and defibrillators should not use EMS technology to avoid interference with these
Are They A Scam?
Ab Belt companies want to sell, and sometimes they use false or biased claims to engage users. For example, some of them mention clinical studies to back up the weight-loss potential of their product.
However, these tests were not performed in obese people (Body Max Index over 30) but slightly overweight individuals instead.
Ironically, these belts work much better in leaner individuals, which is something manufacturers are careful not to mention.
Also, be very careful with false claims around Ab Belts. Back in 2003, the Federal Trade Commission charged AbTronic, Fast Abs, and AB Energizer for false claims.
These brands said that their product will give users six-pack abs without exercise. AB Energizer also mentioned that the product causes weight loss, which is a highly misleading claim.
Naturally, we did not include these brands in our recommended listings in an effort to mention only high-quality products.
Slendertone Vs Flex Belt
If you went through my reviews above, you may have noticed the Slendertone and Flex Belt products were quite similar.
This is why I consider it very important to give you a bullet point section with the similarities and differences between them.
- Both of them work with the EMS technology mentioned
- They are both FDA cleared medical
- Both of them work with a range of intensity levels and have customizable toning
- They both come with rechargeable batteries and their
- Both come with a 2-year
- Strength training intensity in the Flex Belt goes up to 150 levels against 99 levels in
- Slendertone fits a waist size of up to 47’’ but the flex belt can fit in larger individuals, up to 56’’.
- The Flex Belt has a higher price and almost doubles the price compared to the cheapest Slendertone model
- The rechargeable battery in the Flex Belt is external and not built into the belt.
Which Is Best?
The Flex Belt is by far more expensive than the Slendertone, and I would recommend it if you actually need the extra benefits it offers, including the extra levels and the additional waist size.
Either way, they are both very good products and offer a high-quality EMS technology to build your core.
Other Recommended Belts
This is another model from the Slendertone brand, offering the same technology discussed above with 100 adjustable intensity levels.
It is lightweight and ergonomic, and tones all 4 abdominal muscle groups. It is very similar to the other Slendertone models, but much cheaper.
This model is quite different from the others mentioned in the article. Strictly speaking, it is not a belt, but has the same function and can be used to tone your legs and glutes as well.
It works perfectly for those interested in using the EMS technology on your abs plus other parts of the body.
This particular Ab belt offers 18 intensity levels and 6 modes of operation, but one of the most interesting features is that you can use it to get a comfortable massage after a high-intensity session.
It is an actual belt, but you will also be able to train your arm and leg muscles with this piece of equipment.
Should You Buy One?
Ab belts and Electrical Muscle Stimulation (EMS) technology are the real deal, but should be used appropriately for the best results.
Having one of these does not mean you can forget about everything else and get your spartan abs in one month. But if you’re willing to combine them with your exercise routine and a healthy diet, don’t hesitate to give it a try.