You’ve probably already done your own research on ab belts and are wondering- does it actually work?
I already addressed this concern in my ab belt review, but the bottom line is- yes but it depends what your goals are.
I’ll go into detail below about what results you can expect.
So the Flex Belt is the second most popular ab belt on the market, just behind Slendertone.
In this article, I will go through everything you need to know about the product- including results, the technology, how to use it, other options, and more.
Should you buy the Flex Tone belt? I’ll let you be the judge.
- It’s an FDA cleared device, meant for toning of the abdominal muscles.
- It is unisex.
- The manufacturers have demonstrated the use and effectivity of the device through clinical trials.
- More than 90% of users in the clinical trials evidenced more firmness in the abdomen.
- Gel pads are included and need to be replaced after 20-30 sessions.
Strengthens the core
The Flex Belt is an excellent brand and offers more features than others, but it is generally a bit more expensive. As with other ab belts, it works with electrical muscle stimulation (EMS).
It is thought to strengthen the abdominal area and increase the tone and firmness of the rectus abdominis, the internal obliques, external obliques, and transversus abdominis.
Combine with a healthy lifestyle
The manufacturers are careful to state in the description of the product that it is not meant for weight loss.
To achieve the best results, they recommend you combine wearing this belt for 30 minutes a day with a healthy lifestyle, exercise, and diet.
This belt comes with an extension for larger users, and one set of gel pads.
You can clean the gel pads after use, and even though electrode gel is not required, some users have tried using it to increase the life of the original gel pads.
It has an external battery and a charger, and every full charge usually stands 5 sessions, 30 minutes each. However, keep in mind that it all depends on the intensity level.
What we like
- It does the job and gets your abdominal muscles strengthened if used every day.
- It does not require an external app or anything that causes compatibility issues.
- It has more intensity levels compared to other models and brands.
What we dislike
- It’s more expensive, sometimes almost doubling the price of competitor brands.
- FDA cleared to increase maximum strength and muscle tone of biceps and triceps muscles.
- Uses EMS technology, which is equally effective for the abdomen and the arm muscles.
- It has 3 training programs and up to 99 levels of intensity.
- It does not include the Flex Belt controller, which is sold separately.
Strengthens your biceps
This one is for anyone who thought the EMS technology could also strengthen their biceps. Yes, it is possible!
The Flex Arms Accessory Pack is made to be used along with your Flex Belt for a daily 30-minute session of muscle toning.
It contains 4 gel pads, which should be replaced when they don’t stick anymore.
What customers are saying
This bicep and tricep toning device comes with a 2-year limited warranty, but the majority of users are satisfied and don’t need to use it.
Some users have mentioned that using this device in combination with regular workouts increases their gains and that their muscles do feel sore after sessions.
Moreover, some levels of intensity can be too much for some users, which is why we recommend you start with very low levels and see how it goes.
What we like
- The arm muscles are bigger than the abs, so the muscle contraction feels more evident.
- The quality of the product is great, and most users are leaving very good reviews.
What we dislike
- It is thought to be a companion of the Flex Belt and doesn’t have a controller of its own.
How It Works
The Flex Belt works with Electric Muscle Stimulation (EMS) technology. Like many other ab belts, it can be wrapped around your waist and has 3 gel pads or electrodes that should be positioned in your ab muscles.
When the device is activated, it starts sending electrical impulses to the gel pads.
Since they are in direct contact with the muscles, you will feel some tingling at first, and then muscle contractions.
This EMS technology is very useful in the field of physiotherapy, sports medicine, and is used by many athletes to tone their muscles.
It is made to help work out your muscles with less stress and physical strains in the tendons and joints.
How To Use It
Using the Flex Belt is pretty easy. When you have it in your hands, one of the first things you will notice is 3 gel pads.
They are pre-positioned in the belt structure and made to fit the abdominal and oblique muscles.
When you wrap the belt, these pads will stick to the skin over these muscles and direct the EMS technology from the belt to your muscles.
After wrapping on the Flex Belt, locate the intensity controller and start with the minimum intensity level, which is 1.
You can gradually work your way up, and you will feel a progressive muscle activation.
The maximum level is 150, and the recommended use is 30 minutes a day after which you are free to do anything else.
The gel pads need to be replaced when they don’t stick anymore, which usually happens after 30 uses or so.
Can you use the Flex Belt every day?
Absolutely, you are meant to use the Flex Belt every day for at least 30 minutes a day. If you do, you will probably start seeing results within 4 to 8 weeks.
After you see evident firmness in your abdomen, you can continue using the Flex Belt 2 or 3 times a week to maintain your muscle tone.
Does It Really Work?
Whether or not the Flex Belt works has less to do with the product and more to do with your own expectations around the product.
The majority of bad reviews are from people who had unrealistic expectations and they did not come true.
So, let’s review the research behind Flex Belt’s claims, and some important questions people usually ask.
Research Behind Flex Belt’s claims
The Flex Belt technology is widely used in the field of medicine, it is accepted by many as a therapy for people with nerve disfunction.
The technology is meant to stimulate muscle activity and prevent muscle loss in these patients. So, it does work, it does stimulate the muscles, and there is sufficient scientific evidence.
But you’re probably not buying the Flex Belt due to a nerve disfunction. So, is it going to work for you?
According to some scientific evidence, it does work. It will increase your core strength and endurance.
A study published by the Journal of Sports Science and Medicine evaluated the effects of this belt when used 20 to 40 minutes, 5 times a week, for 8 weeks.
According to the report, these people had the following results:
- An increase in core strength and endurance.
- A reduction in waist circumference.
- More firmness and muscle tone in the abdominal muscles.
- More than half of the participants reported improvements in their posture, too.
Other Ab Belt Scientific Studies
The above is not the only research worth mentioning. There was also a study published in the International Journal of Kinesiology and Sports Science Study published in 2018.
This particular study evaluated EMS without using any particular brand and reported that using these devices 5 days a week for 6 weeks can cause a strength increase of 29%.
It preserves and increases muscle function, which can be of much benefit for patients with muscle weakness, musculoskeletal disorders, and chronic heart failure.
Does the Flex Belt reduce belly fat?
The Flex Belt, and EMS technology, in general, is not thought of as a weight-loss device.
The manufacturers are careful to include that statement because some ab belts have been thrown out of the market due to false claims of weight loss.
The best way to lose weight is through aerobic exercise combined with a low-calorie diet.
Is it safe?
The Flex Belt and EMS technology, in general, is considered safe. The FDA ensures that the wiring and manufacturing processes guarantee the wellbeing of its users.
However, they do warn users that some might experience skin burns, electric shocks or pain symptoms when using ab belts in general.
Is it FDA approved?
The Flex Belt and other ab belts are FDA cleared, which is not the same as FDA approved.
An FDA cleared device is one that has an equivalent result to other marketed devices.
An FDA approval works more like a direct recommendation because they are telling you that the benefits far outweigh any possible risk.
While it is true that the device has been cleared by the FDA and it is considered safe, we will not say its FDA approved when it’s clearly not.
Flex Belt Results
One of the best ways to know whether or not these ab belts work is by examining testimonials made by real users in the past.
What customers are saying
Many customers have mentioned that after a few weeks or up to 3 months, they see significant results in their abdominal firmness and tone.
A lot of them were skeptical at first but then got really excited when their abdomen felt firm and tight for the first time their lives.
Before & After
The majority of before and after photos are honestly stunning.
You will see that the most notable results are seen in users who were already lean when they started using the device.
But you will also see other users who actually lost weight in the process.
Flex Belt Vs Slendertone
Flex Belt is not the only ab belt around, and one of their most acclaimed competitors is called Slendertone.
They are similar in a few things and different in others. For example, they are both FDA cleared, use EMS technology, come with a 2-year warranty and come controllers with various intensity levels.
But there are differences, these are the most important differences:
- Slendertone is much cheaper than the Flex Belt.
- Slendertone batteries are built into the belt. They are not external.
- Slendertone fits into a 47’’ waist while Flex Belt fits a waist size of up to 56’’.
- Slendertone has 99 intensity levels against 150 levels in the Flex Belt.
If you want some examples of Slendertone models, we recommend the following:
A revolutionary ab belt model that is controlled wirelessly by a mobile app. This gives the concept of ab belts a whole new approach.
It also features reminders and personalized coaching programs.
This is the regular Slendertone model, and much cheaper compared to the Flex Belt. It delivers the same EMS technology and has 10 programs and 100 intensity levels.
This one is controlled by a wired controller, which is good because it saves us from any compatibility issues with our mobile.
Alternatives To Ab Belts
As you may have noticed, ab belts work better when combined with other exercises and diet. Here are some alternatives to building your core that should be considered, even if you decide to buy a Flex Belt.
Sometimes ab crunches can be painful or hard on your back and articulations.
Ab machines are made to reduce stress in the joints and help with your technique for stronger core muscles.
These balance boards will make you remember sports like surf and snowboarding, and they are actually fantastic if you practice them.
They are made to challenge your ability to maintain your balance, which is mainly governed by your core muscles.
Sit-up benches are one of the most versatile pieces of equipment you can have.
The majority of them feature core and upper-body exercises as well as dumbbell routines.
A must-have if you want to make ab crunches more challenging and comfortable.
Power Tower Machines
If your main focus is your upper body, consider buying a Power Tower.
They are pretty versatile and useful, supporting knee-ups, triceps dips, chin-ups, and much more.
Should You Buy One?
As a quick summary and recommendation, we can say that the Flex Belt works exactly as it should.
With regular use, you will definitely achieve some firmness and tone in your core muscles.
However, if you decide to buy them, do not neglect physical activity and a healthy diet, because they are essential to see results.
So, only buy one if you have realistic expectations and if you’re willing to do your part.