We are completely winding back the clock with this post, as Ab toning belts are nothing new to the health & fitness market. In fact, years ago they were more popular than a full-scale home gym as they were marketed to be the complete solution for achieving a 6 pack.
They received its fair share of bad press back then, much similar to how squatting on a smith machine will get you trending on Twitter in 2021 and beyond. I understand that this post may split opinion, as some people are still sitting on the fence. That's fine by me though, as not everyone has to have the same equipment!
The truth is, an ab toning belt is an effective piece of equipment for your home gym. It's a lightweight bit of kit that activates your abdominal muscles, providing the muscle stimulation that it needs. Whilst I'm mentioning this, it's also worth adding that I can't expect to get abs if I demolish a Pepperoni Passion pizza, then just have 30 minutes on the Ab toner.
I'll explain everything about ab toning belts on this article, as I understand these do cause confusion. They're often referred to as ab stimulators, ab belts, ab toner, or even a flex belt. So let's take a look into the 5 best ab toning belts currently available.
Specification / Technical Information
- 0-100 Power Level Increments
- 80mA Power Intensity
- Supplied with Medical Grade Gel Pads
- App Driven, with Wireless Bluetooth Technology
- Notice results from 4 weeks
- Goal Orientated programs
Slendertone Connect Abs Review
The Connect Abs belt is certainly the most impressive ab toning belt that we've tested. I must stress that this won't be the shortcut to some serious abdominals, you'll need to put the work in with your nutrition and exercise too.
This belt features a small control unit at the front which is attached. On the inside of the belt you find the conductive gel pads, which are going to stick across your abdominal area.
Before you can start the toning process, you need to pair your device to it via bluetooth. If you've got an Android or iOS device you'll find their app on the correct store.
Once paired, it's time to select the intensity of your workout. There are 100 levels of adjustment, which is definitely enough to put you through a vigorous workout. Most ab toning belts have around 20 levels, which means that the Connect Abs device is certainly one for the long-term. I tested another one below with just 15 levels, and after one week I had ‘maxed' out the intensity and it wasn't effective.
When using this ab toning belt, I initially planned to wear it whilst exercising. This was possible on the lower levels, but when I hit 65+ intensity, it was physically exerting. I decided I would then use this after my workout, so I could concentrate properly.
Overall it's a great ab toning belt, but it's also one of the most expensive on the market.
- Pain Free EMS technology
- Battery needs charging after around a week
- Slendertone Abs8 unisex toning belt
- Rechargeable Controller
- One pack of 3 gel pads
- USB charging cable
- Quick-start guide
- Instruction manual
Slendertone Abs8 Review
The new replacement for the previous Slendertone Abs7 toning belt, Slendertone have looked to improve on what was a best-seller. One thing that you will learn about the Irish company, is that they never settle… even when they produce a fantastic product.
There's no quantum mechanics to this toning belt, it's really simple to strap it on. There are three gel pads which you must apply to the inside of the belt and ensure that you put it over those abs of yours, or abs to be.
Once it's fitted securely, just hit the power button and select the intensity level. If it's your first time, I'd definitely advise starting on the lowest setting before gradually finding your comfort zone. The pulses arrive around every five to seven seconds, but the intensity can be changed throughout your workout.
You're supposed to wear these for around twenty minutes, gradually building the intensity just like you would a traditional workout. If you aren't sure how long you've been working out, the LCD display will be a welcome addition on this model as it tells you.
I haven't tested the Abs7 belt, but this one it touted to have an improved ergonomic design, laser cut to fit a stomach with perfect accuracy. This will provide more compression & you should see more benefits.
Some people decide to wear this belt whilst they're working out, but you really aren't limited due to the comfort of it. It's quite small, so you'd get away with wearing this in an office, too. I must admit that I've had a few games of Fifa whilst testing this out, but it didn't lead to me reviewing the belt in depth… so I stopped!
There are 100 levels of intensity to choose from with this belt, with 10 pre-set programs to guide you on your quest for abs. The LCD display is also a great addition, as most belts just have a ‘+' or a ‘-‘ symbol on a button.
The Abs8 Toning Belt has been made to accomodate waist sizes between 24 inches and 42 inches. Although it's quite a low cut off at 42″, most people with a 42″+ waist wouldn't see the benefits from wearing an ab toning belt. The previous model, the Abs7 does accomodate for 42″+, so that could be a great alternative.
As I mentioned above, you can wear this Ab toning belt to the office, or whilst you're doing jobs around the house. This is because you don't have to be connected to power, thanks to the rechargeable battery-powered remote control.
My findings on the Abs8 were positive, but unconclusive. During a four week test, my waist dropped from 34″, to just under 33″. I stuck to the pre-set programs, using it for 25 minutes every week day. So that's almost one inch dropped, in just twenty sessions. However, I must also add that I decided to change my workout regime, adding in boxing. I can't be conclusive and state that the Ab Toning Belt is the reason for my success. I did also review this Abs8 Toning Belt individually here.
Beurer EM39 Ab Toner Belt
- Cheap Ab Toning Belt
- Also Tones the Lower Back
- Easy to get confused with their huge range of Pre Workouts
- Four electrodes (2 x stomach and 2 x back)
- Adjustable Fit from 75 to 130 cm
- Wear-free contact electrodes
- Water contact electrodes (no contact gel or replacement electrodes necessary)
- LCD display
- Five training programs (22-31 minutes)
- Intensity adjustable from 0 to 40
- Program countdown timer
Beurer EM39 Review
Third on our list is the Beurer EM39, which is a budget abs toning belt. It's a bit of a wildcard, as there's a few things that this belt does different to it's competitors. For starters, this belt has been designed to work your lower back in addition to your abs.
Most abs belts will only work for the abs, so it's quite rare to see a model like the EM39 working other body parts.
Included is a remote control for making adjustments and there are five in-built training programs. All of these training programs have varying intensity which will give you a challenge whilst you're wearing this.
The training programs range from 22 to 31 minutes in length, which will offer variable intensity throughout your workout to provide an ever-challenging workout.
It's a solid design, which looks like it costs £100+ instead of the £50 that it's available for. It's one of the most flexible ab toning belts we've seen, with a range from 70cm to 140cm.
Overall, it's an impressive little workhorse and you can expect very similar results to the above toning belts, just without having paid close to £100.
Which Belt is Best?
|Ab Toning Belt||My Rating||Pre-Set Programs?||Do Pads Wear?||LCD Display?||Adjustable Intensity?|
|Slendertone Connect Abs – The Best Overall||5||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Slendertone Abs8 – The Best Value||4.7||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Beurer EM39 – A Cheaper Alternative||4.6||Yes||No||Yes||Yes|
Behind the Scenes
An ab toning belts main focus is to stimulate muscles around your abdomnen. They work by sending electrical currents through the belt, which send mini shock-type signals to make your muscles contract. The ab belt will then focus the signals it sends all over your abdomen, which offers a mini workout for your abs.
The toning belts continually contract and relax your ab muscles, over a period of time. Typical workouts last from 5 minutes to around 30 minutes on some ab belts. It's quite an effective workout.
The science behind Ab Belts
We now understand that ab belts provide muscle stimulation, but the real question we need to know is whether these are going to give the results that we need to see. Will they give popping abs, ready for the Summer Holidays?
The good news is that electrical stimulation has been proven to have a positive effect on contracting muscles. This is why other devices such as tens machines exist. It also paved way for the ab toners to be produced.
The best ab toner belts will undoubtedly firm up your muscles, but that's not going to be enough for you to get defined abs. You need to ensure that your diet is on point & you'll also have to be on the lower end of the body fat percentage spectrum, to see any effects.
An ab toning belt isn't the solution to losing weight, but it's something that you can start to use once you've lost weight.
How to use an Ab Toning belt
As I've briefly mentioned above, the best thing to do before using Ab belts, is to ensure that your general lifestyle is in good condition. That means ensuring that you're hitting your fitness requirements of exercising at least three times per week. In addition to this & arguably more importantly, you need a balanced diet. These will not work if you're not dieting, so ensure that you've got yourself a solid meal plan that you can stick to.
If you aren't seeing any results with your ab toning belt, it's important that you understand this, as they can't make up for lack of exercise or a poor diet. No pun intended, but they are literally the cherry, on the icing, on the cake. They will give you the killer edge, but they won't make up for too many cheat meals to skipped exercise.
I've been training now for over 10 years & it's no secret that abs are the hardest muscle to obtain. In most scenarios they won't show at all, unless you're around the 10% body fat mark.
SlenderTone Connect the Dots
In the last 20 years, Slendertone have become the household name for ab toner belts. Their equipment isn't cheap, but they are consistently finding new technology to add to their toning belts. This may be an advanced muscle toner technology breakthrough, or something simple like an lcd display integrated onto the belt.
They certainly know their field, with the sales figures to back this up. They put a lot of their energy into renewing their product lines, so don't be shocked to potentially see a Slendertone abs belt included.