- How to Find the Best Ab Toning Belt - December 2, 2021
I struggle to get and keep abs. The challenge is frustrating. So, I get it. Sticking to a proper diet, going to the gym regularly, and maintaining motivation are difficult things to do. It probably leaves you wondering if it is even worth all the stress. Then you see pictures of beautiful abs and bodies, and you think – I got to have them.
Before continuing, let me make this clear – everyone has abs. The problem is that for many of us, we can’t see them. They are not well-defined. But with hard work, they become visible.
Luckily for you, this is 2021 and not 1921; you don’t have to spend hours doing crunches and sit-ups on the floor. We now have advanced technology to help you save time and effort and get the abs you want.
One of the most effective tools on the fitness market for sculpting beach-ready abs is the ab toning belt. This device is loaded with big promises, but does it work? Also, which ones are the best?
Ab toning belts are not a magic bullet to dreamy abs, but they can be a practical part of your fitness tool kit.
What is an Ab Toning Belt?
Before getting into if they work and which are the best ones, let me tell you how these crafty devices work. Knowing this will help you decide if ab toning belt’s promises are based on real science or just a bunch of talk.
The ab toning belt uses electrical muscle stimulation (EMS) to pass electrical current through the body. This process causes your abdominal muscles to contract.
The ab toning belt has small electrodes that touch your bare skin, sending electrical pulses through your skin. You don’t have to do a single crunch or sit up. Just slap on the belt, and eventually, your abdominal muscles will start to get firmer and more toned.
Muscle contractions happen when we work out. In this way, the ab toning machine makes sense.
Do Ab Toning Belts Work?
I am not entirely convinced by what I just wrote. We all know that you need to be below a certain body fat percentage for abs to appear. If the above mechanism is correct, can anyone attain those coveted and sexy abs? Let me dig deeper.
Most ab toning belt manufacturers recommend that you use it for at least 10 minutes to an hour each day to see results.
What Does the Research Say?
In a 2005 research, scientists had twenty-four adults use an ab toning belt five days a week for 20 to 40 minutes each session. They did not add any additional ab exercises. They compared the ab toning belt using participants to another group who did not do any ab exercises over the same duration.
After the experiment, the twenty-four adults who used the ab toning belt had a 58% increase in abdominal strength and a 100% increase in abdominal endurance. As you may expect, the non-training group showed little to no increase.
Moreover, the experiment group reported that they felt their abs more “toned” and “firmed.” The research also reported that the experimental group lost 3.5 cm (1.3 inches) on their waist circumference.
I admit that I was also very skeptical until I read this study. Also, the Journal of Sports Science & Medicine published it. As a science nerd, I trust this journal. Not all research is equal; some are bad, so the quality of the publishing journal matters a lot.
But there was a drawback to the experiment’s results – none of the participants lost body fat. There were no differences in body weight, BMI, or skinfold thickness.
What does an Ab Toning Belt do For You?
With the above results in mind, both positive and negative, here is what you should expect from using an ab toning belt correctly and regularly:
- You may gain abdominal strength
- You may gain abdominal endurance
- You will probably not lose belly fat without changes in diet and increased exercise
- Your abs probably will not look defined without changes in diet and increased exercise
You will still need to shed body fat, or else your abs will not show. You need to be below 15% body fat or ideally 12%. This mechanism is just the pure and undeniable science; abs don’t show when covered in fat. As you already know, that means cutting calories and working out more.
But you shouldn’t feel discouraged by reading this. An ab toning belt definitely can help you get the abs of your dreams faster. I recommend maintaining a healthy diet to lose body fat, get some exercise, and use an ab toning belt to help you attain your goals more quickly.
How to Get the Most from Your Ab Toning Belt
Plan and Stick to a Healthy Diet
I got to be direct with you – the ab toning belt will be a total waste of money if you don’t have a plan to lose body fat. You will have fantastic and toned abs hidden by layers of fat.
In my experience, diet is the most essential part of the struggle for beach-ready abs. To get rid of body fat, you cannot run away from a healthy diet. Of course, there are dozens if not hundreds of diets out there.
The best one is the one that you can stick to over the long term! I want my readers to be healthy and happy, so make sure you pick one that doesn’t mess with your physical or mental health.
Move Your Body More
You and I know that exercise is good for your mind and body. Exercise is the sure-fire way to cut the fat off your belly so that the efforts of the ab toning belt can be visible.
Everyone has their own opinions on what is the best exercise. However, as long as you are moving and burning calories, you will lose body fat. If you don’t know where to start, I recommend some cardio.
Cardio is one of the best ways to lose body fat. That means include some walking, jogging, running, or sprinting into your life. It will feet crappy at first, but stick with it because it will deliver results.
Have a Positive Mindset
A positive mindset makes all the difference from my experience working on my body and helping others.
Keeping a positive attitude is one of the most overlooked aspects of getting the body of your dreams. But you got to know that you won’t have the motivation and determination to push yourself through the diet and the exercise without a positive mindset. No matter how cheesy or corny that may sound to you. It works.
You got to believe in yourself and stay positive through the difficulties. Work on your mindset, and you will get those abs you want.
Best Ab Toning Belts
You got your diet, exercise, and a healthy dose of motivation; now it is time to choose the best ab toning belt.
Based on my experience and credible reviews, I put together a list of popular ab toning belts. Make sure to read closely to see if the pros, cons, and specs suit what you want out of an ab toning belt.
What Matters When Buying an Ab Toning Belt (Selection Criteria)?
Here are some key points that you should keep in mind when searching for an abs toning belt. Further down, I present a few ab toning belts that I recommend for each price range and my overall favorite.
A good ab toning belt focuses on all four of the main abdominal muscles. Your abs are much more than a six-pack. There is a network of four muscles that come together to give you that visually pleasing look.
- External obliques – These muscles are on the sides of your upper stomach. They help you to twist your torso from side to side.
- Internal obliques – These obliques are located on the lower outer part of your stomach. They work with the external obliques to help you twist and turn your torso.
- Rectus abdominis – These are two bands of muscles that run down and around your sternum. These are the six or eight packs you see! Your body uses them to maintain a good posture and to help you breathe.
- Transverse abdominis – These are the deep muscles that go side to side on your abdomen. It is not easy to see them. They help to give your torso strength.
A healthy and good-looking core consists of more than just six or eight packs.
Fit is important because you don’t want your ab toning belt to be tight or too loose. Luckily most straps cater to a range of waist sizes, anywhere from 24 inches to 48 inches. Some models have extensions that offer a bit more than 48 inches.
FDA (United States Food and Drug Administration) Clearance
There are too many products on the market with too many promises. An FDA clearance helps to build a bit of trust and credibility. After all, it is a federal agency. I am not saying that FDA clearance means that the product will work and is trustworthy. However, when I see that the FDA clears a product, I feel more confident about spending money on it.
I am a bit more comforted when a brand has a reputation and history behind it. Also, a long history means they have had time to fix bugs and innovate in quality. Innovation does not happen overnight; it takes time. It doesn’t mean that other brands are not as good, but it is a competitive market; reputation goes long.
Number of Programs
Overall, there are two main categories of programs – active and passive. Passive programs help you to make the most out of the ab toning belt when you are relaxing. Active programs require that you use them while undertaking some physical activity.
I don’t like devices that are too complex. When they are too complicated, I feel I am missing out on something, and I experience decision fatigue. But I know some of you love to have many options.
More is better than less here. The more intensity levels your ab toning belt has, the more gradually you can transition from a beginner to an advanced user.
Quality of Pads
The pads touching your skin help the belt to do its work. More pads mean more coverage over the four major abdominal muscles.
A high-quality belt should come with high-quality pads and should last.
You should consider the need to replace pads when selecting an ab toning belt. The reason for this is that you want a brand that will stick around for the long term. If the brand goes bust, then it may be challenging to find compatible pads.
Type of Controller
There are three main types of controllers: buttons directly on the belt, remote control, or a controller with a cord attaching the strap to a smartphone app. Buttons directly on the ab toning belt, to me, seem like a simple way to go.
You can lose the remote, and it may be a hassle to connect it to your phone every time. With buttons on the belt, you can slap it on and go. But the choice here is up to your personal preference.
A lot of ab toning belt models now come with a smartphone app. Such apps are helpful for you to check your progress, training data and review training programs.
Ease of Use
Nothing is worse than an expensive device that I cannot figure out how to operate. Ease of use is a very subjective category, as everyone has a different technology competence level. You should read as many reviews as possible here.
Comfort is also a relative category. By nature, ab toning belts are uncomfortable when using them. The worst that could happen is that you find it mildly painful. But, the belt should be comfortable on your body in terms of fit and touch.
Warranties are good. Many people overlook this, but it matters because manufacturing defects happen more often than you think.
Type of Battery
Type of battery matters because it is a good indication of how long your abs belt will last between charges. Also, it helps to know what kind of charger you will need. A USB charger offers lots of versatility, and you will probably have a USB charger already.
Best Budget Pick: Beurer EM37 Abdominal Muscle Toning Belt
The Beurer EM37 does not come with any big marketing and promises. It just does the job. Also, it is a high-quality German-made product.
The significant difference is that it has fewer intensity levels than the more premium brands. Nevertheless, with its low price, this belt is an excellent choice. It is a high-quality product with just enough programs and intensity levels for most users.
- Pads do not need replacing
- No need for contact gel
- An easy-to-use controller on the belt
- A modest amount of intensity levels (40)
- Wide range of waist sizes
- It does not have as many intensity levels as more expensive models
- A limited number of training programs
- Not FDA approved
- Five training programs
- 40 intensity levels
- Four pads
- Controller on belt
- Fits waist sizes of 28 to 55 inches
- It uses three regular AAA batteries
- One-year warranty
Buy on Amazon.com for $41.98. Not too bad, right?
Best Mid-Range Pick: OWAYS Slimming Belt
This ab toning belt stands out because it is not just for abs. You can use it on other body parts. Also, they claim that it helps to burn fat and promotes digestion.
I don’t believe the fat-burning claim because I am a calories-in calories-out guy. But it is still worth a try because it is a high-quality belt with lots of good reviews. Overall, what I like about this model is its versatility – you can use it on other body parts.
- You can use it on your thighs, shoulders, and various other body parts
- Thin belt
- Claims to promote digestion and healthy bowel movements
- Claims to promote blood circulation
- Easy to use and intuitive controller
- Soft and comfortable body-touching surface
- The maximum waist size is only 42 inches
- Not enough intensity levels compared to other models on this list
- Bulky design, not slim like the other models on this list
- Fits waists between 24 to 42 inches
- 32 different motion effects
- Four speeds/intensity levels
- The controller located on the belt itself
Get the OWAYS Sliminng Belt on Amazon.com for $92.99.
Most Popular Pick: The Flex Belt
The Flex Belt is a popular pick for many. This ab toning belt stands out for its FDA (Food and Drug Administration) approval. That’s good because very few supplements and fitness products on the market can boast this. Also, in a six-week clinical trial, 100% of users reported abs felt more toned and firmed.
- It targets all four main abdominal muscles
- Reputable brand with a long history on the market
- FDA-cleared, medical-grade product
- Supported by medical research
- Easy-to-use controller
- Slim design which allows you to wear it under your clothing
- It fits a wide range of waist sizes
- It has an impressive 150 intensity level which allows gradual progression
- You will need replacement gel pads after every 20 to 30 sessions
- No USB charging
- Two-year limited warranty
- Fits waist size from 24 to 47 inches
- Rechargeable external controller
- AC Charging
- Ten toning programs for each fitness level from beginner to expert
- 150 intensity levels
Available for $199.99 on Amazon.com.
Best Overall Pick: Slendertone Connect Abs Toning Belt
First of all, the Slendertone brand is well-known in the industry. This belt stands out because it is lighter than other belts on this list. It has a modern and attractive ab toning belt.
Also, you can’t go wrong with its FDA clearance, given the number of products on the market with big promises and little delivery. In addition, the intensity levels and quality of programs make this an excellent pick.
- FDA clearance
- Reputable brand
- Good reviews, most users report more toned and firmed abs from four weeks
- Uses clinically tested and proven electronic muscle technology which helps to promote natural muscle performance
- Multiple program settings
- It fits many waist sizes
- Easy to use with clear and legible controller display on the belt
- Made of biocompatible material, which makes it comfortable to wear
- Light & sleek design
- Rechargeable controller with USB charging
- It comes with a training program for women who have just given birth
- Generally positive reviews from users
- Many programs may be confusing for some users
- For waist sizes between 24 inches to 42 inches
- 5 programs
- 100 intensity levels
- Number of pads: 3 pads
- Controller buttons on belt itself
- Recharges via USB in 3 hours
- According to reviews it is very easy to use
- Made of “biocompatible material” to support comfort
- Offers two-year warranty
The Slendertone Connect Abs toning belt will cost you $199.00, and you can order it directly on their website.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Question: Do Ab Toning Belts Really Work?
Answer: “Work” is a loaded word. Ab toning belts are not going to help you burn calories and lose body fat. They will strengthen your ab muscles, though. However, do not expect them to be visible if you don’t shed body fat through diet and exercise. Consider ab toning belts as a complement to your healthy routine rather than a substitute.
Question: Do Ab Toning Belts Work on Flat Stomachs?
Answer: Ab toning belts definitely work on flat stomachs.
Question: Can You Lose Belly Fat from an Ab Toning Belt?
Answer: No, you cannot lose belly fat from an ab toning belt. You will still have to watch your diet and do some exercise to burn fat so that your abs can show.
Question: How Long Do Toning Belts Take to Work?
Answer: According to the marketing material from most brands, you should see an average waistline reduction of 3.5 centimeters (about an inch) after four weeks of use. But this will happen only if you are consistent and follow the product’s instructions.
Let me make this very clear to you. No ab toning belt will give you sexy and desirable abs on their own. No matter how great the marketing is on any of the products I present in this article. You will still need to watch your diet and maybe do some exercise. But this reality does not reject the fact that an ab toning belt definitely can get you there faster.
When buying an ab toning belt, there are many factors that you should consider, such as target muscles, reputation, FDA clearance, number of programs, intensity levels, pad quality, controllers, batteries, among others.
My favorite ab toning belt is the Slendertone Connect Abs Toning Belt because of its product quality, range of intensity levels, program quality, sleek design, simple controller, and general ease of use. The biggest drawback of this model is its $199.99 price tag.
You cannot go wrong with the Beurer EM37 Abdominal Muscle Toning Belt if you are on a budget. Despite its low price of $41.98, it is a well-made and high-quality product with enough intensity levels. You should start with this one if you are skeptical about ab toning belts and would rather not spend the money.