Abdominal toners like the Flex Belt seem to be an excellent method for toning, strengthening, and firming your abs. The midsection tends to be the absolute hardest part of your body to control. I know it definitely is for me! Ab toners can come in the form of a belt or machine. Which one is best for you?
Ab Toning Belts in General
From what I can tell, the abdominal belts are extremely popular for shaping your abs. They use a special technique that can target all areas of your abdominal area. Most people really like them because they not only produce amazing results without exercise, but they are very discreet and can be used while doing just about any activity.
However, the ab toning belts do have some limitations. If you have any fat around your abs, you will need to take some steps to eliminate it. This is because the belt toning systems do not burn fat and the muscle electronic stimulation cannot reach your abdominal muscles.
Ab Machines in General
These are a great tool for building strong stomach muscles. Building muscle will help to burn calories; however, they are not the best if you need to lose a lot of weight. You will need to use these in conjunction with an intense cardio workout and healthy diet plan if your weight is a big issue.
I decided to take a look at the Flex Belt after reading about it on shockjocks.org. As they did I wanted to do my own comparison to a few other ab toning belts and machines on the market today. Is there a difference between the different ones available? This Flex Belt comparison review will help you decide which one will work best for you.
Comparison Chart at a Glance
|Features||Flex Belt||Slendertone||Flex Enervive||Contour Ab Belt||Ab Rocket Twister||ProForm Ab Glider Platinum
|Levels of Intensity||0 to 150||0 to 100||?||0 to 99||3||?|
|Tones other Areas||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Guarantee||60 Days||60 Days||60 Days||30 Days||30 Day Trial – $14.95||30 Day Trial – $14.95|
Flex Belt Details
At first, I thought these abdominal toning belts were just another gimmick for people to spend their hard earned money on. I thought people were just being lazy and that a traditional workout would be more effective.
That was until I saw an infomercial for the Flex Belt. This infomercial actually had a device that could show you where the muscle was worked. Through thermal photography, they could compare it to a person who did sit-ups. I thought the results were shocking! The standard sit-up simply could not reach near the amount of muscles as the Flex Belt.
The special technology used is called Electric Muscle Stimulation (EMS). This method sends signals to the nerves in the surrounding area through medical grade GelPads making your muscles relax and contract. Because the surrounding nerves branch out, signals can be reached past where the belt is positioned.
This infomercial did spark my interest. Could I actually get perfectly defined abs while I was sitting at my desk or watching my favorite TV show? You have to admit, that would be awesome!
Flex Belt vs. Slendertone and Contour Ab Belts
These three abdominal belt toning systems are very similar. They have all been approved by the FDA as safe. They all use EMS technology to tone, strengthen, and firm the abdominal muscles. They all have GelPads that will eventually need to be replaced.
The difference seems to lie in the quality. There are great reviews for all three; however, it appears the Flex Belt is stronger than either the Slendertone or Contour since its intensity levels go up to 150. The intensity is important. You want the belt to last a long time. As your muscles strengthen, you will need to increase the intensity. Lower intensity levels mean weaker ab contractions, which basically boils down to little or no results.
The Flex Belt can support the highest waist size at 52”. The Contour Ab Belt and Slendertone can support up to a 47” waist. Remember that these ab belts are not designed to burn fat. If you need to lose weight, you may want to wait until you have lost it before buying one.
Also see electrical muscle stimulation
If you are looking for something that is a little more discreet, I would recommend the Flex Belt or Slendertone. They both seem to have a more compact, lighter weight remote than the Contour Ab Belt making it easier to hide under clothing. The Contour Ab Belt has a bulkier remote making it more difficult to hide and less comfortable.
Flex Belt vs. Flex Enervive
As it turns out, both of these are made by the same company, and they also work by EMS technology. The main difference between these two is that the Flex Enervive is designed specifically to target a lot of different areas on your body, while the Flex Belt mainly focuses on your abdominal area. The Flex Enervive can tone the following areas:
- Lower Back
- Upper Back
- Front and Back Thighs
- Calf Muscles
The Flex Belt can tone other areas; however, you would have to purchase additional toning units that are designed and fitted for other parts of your body.
Flex Enervive has also been clinically proven to not only tone, tighten, and strengthen muscles, but also gently repairs, rejuvenates, and relaxes muscles. It can actually work out knots in your back.
I am not clear as to the intensity of the Flex Enervive. This is something I would need to know before I purchased it. I would think it would a higher quality product considering it is sold by the same company as the Flex Belt, but this does not mean it will have the same intensity levels.
Flex Belt vs. Ab Rocket Twister and ProForm Ab Glider Platinum
Basically, the only similarity between these ab toners is the fact that they tone your abs. With the Ab Rocket and ProForm machines, you will actually have to do some work if you want to define your midsection. However, they do help to burn calories.
The Ab Rocket Twister provides light resistance as you are going back and forth, which is not something you can accomplish with normal sit-ups. The twisting motion enhances the ab workout by targeting your obliques. The ProForm Ab Glider works by combining two motions called the Circular Burn and the Arc Crunch creating an ab and cardio workout.
The Ab Rocket Twister comes with a meal plan and five workout DVDs. Both offer some type of meal plan. The ProForm Ab Glider comes with three workout DVDs. Both machines appear to be sturdy. The Ab Rocket Twister does have adjustable head support to reduce straining your neck. I think the ProForm Ab Glider looks fun, but it would be hard on my knees.
I chose these two ab machines to compare to the Flex Belt because they seemed like they would make your workout interesting! They will both likely produce similar results to the Flex Belt. However, it will be a lot harder to get those results by using the machines. The up-side to the ab toner machines is the fact that they can help you burn fat.
I think that all of these products are excellent ab toner tools. They all have fairly high reviews with some type of money back guarantee. Before you can decide on whether to purchase an EMS ab belt or an ab toner machine, you will have to take into consideration whether you have any fat surrounding those abdominal muscles or not.
If you do not have any fat, then my recommendation is the Flex Belt. While the other belts seem to work, the Flex Belt simply has the highest levels of intensity. You will eventually strengthen your abs. You will need those stronger contractions to continue the process of finally achieving a six pack.
The Flex Enervive is interesting; however, I am concerned that I could not find any information about its intensity levels. What happens when your muscles start to strengthen, but are not quite as strong as you would like?
If you do have some weight to lose, consider purchasing one of the ab machines that burns fat and follow their diet plan. Later on down the line, you could purchase an ab belt. After all, you will not always want to have to work so hard to get those rock hard abs. You could lose weight, burn fat, and condition your abs with the ab machine.
Once you are satisfied your body is ready, treat yourself with the Flex Belt so you can work on your abs while watching TV, cleaning the house, or reading a book. You will most definitely deserve it after all of that hard work!