Best Abdominal Muscle Belt 2019 • 0 Abdominal Muscle Belts Reviews
The abdominal muscle belt as a fitness assistant
The abdominal muscle belt is a practical aid with which you can train your abdominal muscles. It stimulates the muscles in the middle of the body with weak electrical impulses. The muscle fibres react to the electrical stimulation in the same way as they would react to a natural signal from the nerves. By using the abdominal muscle belt you therefore achieve similar results as with more intensive training – with same expenditure of time. However, the flat stomach does not come to you without any effort: While sport decides on firm tissue and additional calorie consumption, nutrition and other factors must also be right. It is particularly important, for example, that you do not disregard the rest of your body and all muscle groups if possible exercise evenly. This is the only way to achieve optimal results.
In terms of weight reduction, nutrition accounts for about 80% of success. For the remaining 20% due to movement, the abdominal muscle belt can support you. But don't let these numbers fool you: A minimum of muscle mass is indispensable for the outer appearance. Training not only tightens tissue, but can even reduce visibility of stretch marks caused by rapid weight gain and loss or pregnancy.
How does an abdominal muscle belt work?
The abdominal muscle belt is basically a wide cuff that you simply put around your abdomen. Make sure that the belt is correctly adjusted and has the correct size and width. If the abdominal muscle belt is correctly positioned, the stimulation can start. The effect of the abdominal muscle belt is based on electrical muscle stimulation, in short EMS.
The most important part of the abdominal muscle belt are the electrodes. They are in the belt and make contact with the body. The electrodes generate a weak electrical stimulus, which the skin transmits to the muscles under the abdominal wall. The electrical signal causes the muscles to contract – just as if the impulse came from the body's own nerves.
When the muscle contracts, its filaments are pushed into each other. This makes the muscle thicker during contraction. During relaxation, the filaments separate again from each other and slide apart – back to their original position. Regular use of the abdominal muscle signals the increasing strain to the body. As a result, protein molecules strengthen the existing muscle fibers to prepare them for stress. You can easily recognize this muscle build-up externally by the fact that your abdominal wall becomes firmer and the muscles stand out more clearly.
For EMS to achieve good effects, the belt should be worn four to five times per week (unless otherwise indicated by the manufacturer). The training duration with the abdominal muscle belt can vary. Approximately 30 minutes per activity unit is ideal for most users; however, even ten-minute workouts can make a difference in the long run if you are regularly active.
Use the abdominal muscle belt correctly
The abdominal muscle belt supports the achievement of fitness goals, but can alone no miracles effect. The belt can be worn during training so that it produces the desired effects. Users can count on clearly visible effects after only four to six weeks.
Trained abdominal muscles not only help to visibly tighten the tissue around the body center; they also help to achieve a thinner waist. Together with the back muscles, the abdominal muscles are an essential component of the supporting apparatus. Healthy muscles therefore contribute significantly to the prevention of back problems and help you to a better posture.
Also the Rehabilitationssport uses helpers like the abdominal muscle belt occasionally. Electrical stimulation can be particularly beneficial if you are unable to do your usual workout for physical reasons. It is also possible to use after very long bed rest or partial immobility. Here too, however, the following applies: without a balanced diet, the abdominal muscle belt cannot work miracles. In addition to vitamins and minerals, the body needs sufficient protein to build muscle mass. If you have recently recovered from an illness, are recovering from surgery or are still suffering from the consequences of an injury, you should always talk to your doctor and physiotherapist before using the abdominal muscle belt.
Electrical stimulation of the abdominal muscles does not simulate muscle movement, but actually causes it. The additional activity of the muscles consumes energy as you eat it in the form of calories. The abdominal muscle belt can therefore also support you during slimming. However, we recommend that you maintain a balanced diet. The higher energy consumption results in a calorie deficit, which leads to weight loss – but only if you do not compensate the deficit by eating more. Additional training of other body areas significantly improves the results of assisted abdominal muscle training.
Various belts for different purposes
Besides the abdominal muscle belt, which functions by electrical stimulation of the muscles, there are other belts, which also target the abdominal area and function by mechanical movement. Such belts are often referred to as belly path belts to distinguish them from EMS devices. In the abdominal belt, a number of sensors artificially move the muscle to simulate its movement. The disadvantage of these belts, however, is that they do not come so close to natural movement. In contrast, electrical stimulation of the abdominal muscle belt triggers actual contraction of the muscle.
Also among the EMS belts different types exist. Some models with an intelligent program design were also included in various product tests. The training programs range from lighter and shorter activity sessions to advanced training programs. A training program consists of a certain operating time and intensity, which are preset in the device. In this way, users can simply start a program and then no longer need to pay attention to the abdominal muscle belt until the end of the training session.
Some devices, which have been tested more extensively by test persons, have a reminder function for the programs: Users who have successfully completed a program can continue with the next application without having to select it. With good machines, the training programs build on each other and thus enable you to continuously increase your performance.
- The advantage of this gradual increase consists in the optimal promotion and demand of muscle building. In order for the abdominal muscles to be able to withstand stronger loads and to stand out more prominently, they must be continuously stressed. If the training requirements remain the same, the muscle does not change once it has reached this level. Therefore, constant intensity and duration are particularly suitable if you want to maintain muscle mass. However, for muscle building and fat reduction a gradual increase is more sensible.
- The disadvantage of such automatic programs is, of course, their low customizability. In our product comparison, we found that most abdominal muscle belts with training programs also allow you to start with an advanced training program right away. However, the training programs as a whole have a low bandwidth for some devices. Some products have only a few programs or have no training programs for well advanced users who want to maintain a high level of training with the abdominal muscle belt. Even people who have very few abdominal muscles due to illness or surgery, for example, cannot always benefit from the automatic training programs. In rare cases, even the lowest program is unsuitable for certain people, but for most devices we found a balanced mix.
test criteria: This was taken into account in tests
- Operating mode
- Battery life
- Usage time
- Training Programs
- Intensity level
- Size and Scope
- Switch and display
However, abdominal muscle belts that weigh slightly more do not necessarily have to be worse. Different preferences play just as important a role here as the individual fitness level. In the product test, the test subjects were exposed to some devices weighing more than one kilogram; from this weight on, potential buyers should critically question why the belt weighs so much. Does the model have additional features that explain the extra weight? If not, the abdominal muscle belt could also be an older model that may no longer be state of the art.
What to look out for when buying an abdominal muscle belt?
These are the professionals: Leading manufacturers of abdominal muscle belts
power supply and operating mode
Electrical muscle stimulation requires – of course – current. Abdominal muscle belts can basically be operated in three different ways: with batteries, batteries or directly connected to an outlet. As a rule, the devices allow both mobile operation with rechargeable battery or battery and stationary operation. Keep your eyes open, though – battery and battery life vary considerably depending on the manufacturer and model. Especially with rechargeable batteries, the quality of the built-in power suppliers determines how durable the device is and when you replace a tired battery.
The right size
We recommend that you measure your belly measurement before purchasing. You can use a simple tape measure for this purpose. The abdominal girth is important for you to acquire a suitable abdominal muscle belt – most belts have a girth of 60 to 150 cm, but can deviate from this width in individual cases. Therefore, pay attention to the information of the manufacturer; only if the abdominal muscle belt fits correctly, it can do its services.
The abdominal muscle belt usually allows you to choose between different intensities. Depending on how high the test subjects set the regulator in a test, the muscles were stimulated more or less in the practical test. The stronger the test subjects demanded your body, the greater were the effects. However, the application should never be too painful. Especially for beginners a slow increase is important, starting with the lowest level. This allows the muscles to get used to the unusual stimulation and you can better control the device.
In our product comparison, we took a close look at various manufacturers in order to obtain as representative a picture as possible. However, there is no harm in informing yourself independently about the individual manufacturers. Although basically any manufacturer can potentially provide a good device, some companies are known for their reliability and have been in business for years. However, inexperience does not have to mean a knockout criterion.
The place of manufacture tells a lot about the conditions under which the production company manufactures your device. Working conditions, safety standards and environmental behaviour of the manufacturer can be significantly influenced by local conditions. EU producing countries perform relatively well in this respect. In contrast, in non-EU countries, it depends to some extent on which ethical standards the respective manufacturer implements itself.
Individual requirements and preferences
Before you buy an abdominal muscle belt, you should also consider the requirements you place on the device. For our product comparison, we put together several central criteria that users can easily orient themselves to. The best list shows you at a glance how the 10 best abdominal muscle belts performed in our product comparison 2019.
Internet or specialized trade – who has the nose ahead?
The unequalled ideal of a competent contact person on site
At first glance, the purchase in the stationary specialized trade seems to offer numerous advantages: You can view displayed devices not only from all sides, but also try. In the ideal case, well-trained sales staff can give you initial tips on how to carry out the work and give you advice on how to care for the device.
However, this ideal is often not fulfilled by reality. A major disadvantage of buying locally is the restriction to certain models, which the dealer selects in advance. This selection gives you only a limited overview of the abdominal muscle belt market. Depending on which target group the respective specialist retailer focuses on, he may under certain circumstances mainly offer equipment for specially trained persons with previous sporting experience or vice versa: abdominal muscle belts that are more suitable for absolute beginners or rehabilitation sports. Of course, such specialisation brings with it numerous advantages, but also the disadvantage that your own wishes may not be fulfilled by the local staff.
Great choice on the Internet, without restrictions
When buying on the Internet, on the other hand, the choice between different training devices is many times greater. The agony of choice often makes it difficult to make the right decision – numerous possibilities for numerous types and application areas. Our product comparison 2019 therefore allows you a quick but nevertheless fathomable orientation. Just a few clicks bring the dream of a healthy and tightened body within reach.
test abdominal muscle belt before purchase
The stationary specialized trade cannot always make it possible to try out a training device beforehand. Because of the limited space, never all available abdominal muscle belts are exhibited, only a selection. In the local shop you will therefore often find yourself in a similar situation to buying on the Internet: They rely on second-hand information and can only view product images. If you buy from a specialist dealer, however, you are limited to the product images of the manufacturer, while you can search the Internet independently for images and experience reports.
Freely available Videos often also show the abdominal muscle belt in use. In addition, other users offer a peer review without necessarily wanting to sell you anything. When comparing products on the Internet, you also have unlimited time to choose from. You can easily collect information about several devices, compare possibilities and prices and sleep a night before you buy.
facts and tips about the abdominal muscle belt
The historical origins of EMS
Although abdominal muscle belts are modern technical devices, the roots of EMS go back astonishingly far. The beginnings of EMS are hidden in the medical use. Ancient cultures used electrically charged objects or certain fish that emit natural electrical impulses when touched. People believed they could use it to cure or alleviate a wide variety of diseases, including headaches and bleeding.
In the 19th century, when science took a leap forward through research into electricity and newer technologies, EMS also gained momentum. Leading scientists and inventors designed mechanical devices that they called power generators for isolated electrification. The idea behind these devices already comes very close to modern EMS: the scientists placed the device above certain muscle areas so that the electrical voltage could penetrate the body tissue.
Although the early developers used anatomical diagrams to align the electrical voltage as accurately as possible, the mechanical generators of this epoch were still very inaccurate. Neurological ailments and potency problems could allegedly be cured in this way, as could poisoning. Today, however, there are justified doubts about the results of this work; many promises of salvation are completely unfounded.
Using EMS as an assisted muscle building tool is a relatively recent idea. It was not until the second half of the 20th century that EMS received a boost in competitive and hobby sports. The increasing lack of exercise in the population, but also the enthusiasm for fitness of the 80s contributed to this development. Even today, health problems that could be avoided by sufficient exercise are still a major burden on the health system. In addition, more people than ever before suffer from chronic back pain and musculoskeletal disorders. EMS is often used for prevention and as a supplement to treatment.
Researchers now assume that EMS still has a lot of unused potential even in professional sports. They expect an increasing use of EMS in the coming years and decades. Some scientific authors even see EMS as a possibility to prevent doping: By optimizing training through assistance systems such as the abdominal muscle belt and other EMS devices, chemical doping could lose its appeal in the future.
Facts and Facts about the Abdominal Muscle Belt
Magic away belly fat exactly – unfortunately a dream
The distribution of body fat is genetic; you cannot reprogram your body to store fat only in places where it would be more visually appropriate. Even the abdominal muscle belt cannot therefore reduce the fat on the abdomen precisely. Who tends to the apple form and carries its energy reserve around the body center, can achieve two goals with abdominal muscle training, however: On the one hand, the additional muscle activity helps to burn calories and thus reduce the overall body mass. On the other hand, the straight and oblique abdominal muscles slim down the body because they support the abdomen and push the organs slightly inwards.
The right combination
In practical tests, abdominal muscle belts prove to be almost ineffective if there is no healthy diet and additional training. However, they can support the effects and are therefore intended primarily as help. The electrical signals coming from the electrodes in the belt and stimulating the abdominal muscles increase the activity of the muscles, while the wearer, for example, does strength exercises with his own body weight. Simple but effective exercises such as push-ups, lunges, planking and many others have great advantages especially for people who want to use the abdominal belt at home. Above all, exercises such as push-ups activate different muscle groups and thus contribute to a balanced workout.
The myth of health risk
Even today there are persistent rumours that electrical muscle stimulation (EMS) is harmful to the human body. However, there is no truth to these concerns. EMS uses weak electrical impulses which are completely safe for nerves, muscles and other body tissue. The electrodes in the abdominal muscle belt are also arranged in such a way that the electrical signals arrive exactly where they can have the desired effect.
Our Safety Tips
Especially during the first application it makes sense to take sufficient time. Reading the Manual is an absolute must. Only then should you put on the belt for the first time. This order is also recommended for previous experience with other devices or belts from other manufacturers. To get started, it is best to start with the lowest intensity that can be set on the belt. Only slowly and after a certain adjustment time you should increase the intensity. A quick look at the device's display or the manual switch gives you a clear indication of whether the abdominal muscle belt is correctly adjusted. Check the settings before each use.
- A continuously adjustable belt can therefore have some advantages. Devices that offer many small gradations are also ideal. If, on the other hand, the abdominal muscle belt has only a few intensity levels, it should be clarified before purchase: How strong is the current flow at the respective stages? Is the belt suitable for beginners and does it also benefit advanced users? What application time does the manufacturer recommend?
- Since the abdominal muscle belt is electrically operated, it should be kept away from moisture. Many devices from various tests can be cleaned with a moist cloth. We also recommend removing coarser dirt immediately so that it does not damage the electrodes and cables in the belt.
- In addition, it was crucial for safe use in a test that the device had the correct size. It should be possible to close the belt without stretching it excessively. Avoid pulling or tearing the device: Jerky movements could damage the electrical inner workings of the abdominal muscle belt. Conversely, the belt should not be too loose so that the electrodes do not slip and the electrical stimulation finds a wrong target.
replacement battery and second charging cable
Who already buys a replacement battery with the purchase of the abdominal muscle belt will save a lot of trouble afterwards. Normal wear and tear causes the power of the battery to decrease over time. The battery tires particularly quickly if you do not charge it properly or if it discharges irregularly and/or with frequent interruptions.
Especially when the abdominal muscle belt needs special batteries that only fit a few other devices, precaution is advisable. Not every model is available for longer periods of several years; economic changes of the individual manufacturer can limit the availability of replacement batteries as well as technical advancements. New devices displace their predecessors from the market at more or less regular intervals. Spare parts are then hard to come by – it often takes a good portion of luck. However, this annoyance can be avoided if the replacement batteries are taken into account early enough.
Batteries were in various abdominal muscle belt tests 2019 a weak point of many devices. Even abdominal muscle belts from the upper price range were not protected against this in a test. Damage to the charger cable, on the other hand, was less frequent in tests; in many tests, when used correctly, the cable showed only weak wear even over longer periods of time. If you want to be on the safe side, you can also include a replacement cable as a precaution, if it is available separately. In particular, users who want to use the abdominal muscle belt in cable operation should consider this small purchase. When operated on the power cable, it is more likely to be exposed to the risk of damage.
Bag or case
A matching bag to store the abdominal muscle belt makes sense especially for occasional users. The bag should not only have the right size, but also be good against dust, moisture, dirt and bleaching by UV light protect. In addition, a bag or even a small suitcase helps to stow the belt correctly and securely. More stable bags or cases also protect the device against mechanical pressure, shocks and falls.
The care of an abdominal muscle belt can have a positive effect on its lifespan. Depending on the material of the cuff of the device, you can wipe the surface with a mist damp microfiber or cotton cloth. Even mild cleaning agents should only be used if this is expressly permitted in the operating instructions. Furthermore, several users sharing an abdominal muscle belt should think about suitable disinfectants.
Sports activities have the best effect when they are strenuous enough. The body heats up in this train and produces sweat to cool itself and maintain its optimum operating temperature. Even when the abdominal muscle belt is worn over clothing, it comes into contact with sweat. Residues of body secretion form a breeding ground for bacteria, which can cause odours to develop.
The abdominal muscle belt should therefore be cleaned regularly. Unless otherwise specified in the operating instructions, the belt should be wiped off immediately after use. If the material permits more thorough cleaning, users can do this at greater intervals, for example once a month – or before the device is passed on to another person. When renting equipment in rehabilitation centres or specialised gyms, users should ask their staff about the local hygiene rules.
Alternatives and Supplements to the Abdominal Muscle Belt
In addition to the abdominal muscle belt, to which we have dedicated this product test, there are other training devices that are also based on the principle of electrical muscle stimulation (EMS). Corresponding belts and cuffs are available for example also for arms or thighs. However, it is important that you use each device only as intended by the manufacturer. Since electrodes are located in the belt or cuff, the correct placement of the device plays an important role. The abdominal muscle belt should therefore only be used for the abdomen and not for the thighs.
In addition to abdominal muscle belts, the market offers other helpers who can support the right training. The Crunch Help acts as an assistant for correct execution of crunches. Crunches are simple exercises which, in addition to gravity, make use of the body's own weight. During training, the performer lies on his back and lifts his upper body away from the floor until he can clearly feel the tension of the abdominal muscles. Afterwards, only straighten up as far as the voltage will last before returning to the (still tense!) starting position. The Tension to hold is of great importance during the entire training session – because only then the abdominal muscle is sufficiently challenged and you achieve good training effects. The Crunch Aid is a metal frame that helps users not to move too far forward or too far away to maintain optimal muscle tension.
Subsequent links and sources
Hohmann & Fehr (2009). Optimization of isokinetic strength training in endurance sports using electromyostimulation as an example rowing
Core (2013). Electrostimulation in sports and rehabilitation
Spring, Pirlet, Tritschler & van de Veide (2001). Physiotherapy in sports injuries
Seidl, Nahrstaedt & Schauer (2009). Electrical Stimulation in Dysphagia Therapy – An Overview (PDF)
Hummelsheim (1998). Practice of treatment of central pareses
Bringezu, Ilbeygui, Carpenter & Carpenter (2014). Treatment and decongestion concept for typical traumatic swellings