If you are looking for a way to supplement your core exercises, an ab stimulator can help you strengthen your abdominals -- even if you're just sitting at your desk at work. These devices work by sending electrical pulses to your muscles to tell them to contract.
The power source, controls, and modes of ab stimulators can vary. To learn more about the types of ab stimulators available, continue reading our buying guide. We also include a few product recommendations at the end of this article, including our FDA-approved top pick by Slendertone, which offers seven workout programs and nearly a hundred intensity levels.
What are ab stimulators and how are they used?
An ab stimulator is a type of muscle stimulator that focuses on your core. By attaching several gel pads to your stomach, you can manage to squeeze in a workout without even moving. Electrical signals are sent to your muscles that tell them to contract and relax, giving you a mild workout that can yield results within a few months.
Most ab stimulators include intensity settings and different modes, so you can customize your workout. Some designs are slim enough that you can use them almost anywhere, eliminating the need to go to the gym for a light workout.
Considerations when choosing ab stimulators
When choosing an ab stimulator to meet your needs, you should consider the size, number of electrode pads, and power source:
Knowing your waist size can help you find an ab stimulator that fits perfectly. Almost any ab stimulator is easily adjustable to accommodate different waist sizes; however, some may be able to fit waists as big as 52 inches.
Ab stimulators may have anywhere from two to 10 gel electrode pads. These may be small pads that can be placed anywhere for maximum comfort, or they may be built into a belt. If you want flexibility, separate gel electrode pads are your best option.
Ab stimulators may have rechargeable batteries or may use disposable batteries. Rechargeable designs are generally more convenient, while the additional cost of disposable-battery-powered models can add up over time.
The controls, programs, and settings of ab stimulators can vary from one model to the next. The more options a stimulator comes with, the more likely you are to find a workout that works for your specific needs.
Many ab stimulators come with a handful of different programs and workouts that can be selected with the built-in controls, which may be located on the belt itself or on a remote control. Some models also have intensity settings that allow you to adjust the pulses to find your comfort zone.
Ab stimulator prices
Low-priced ab stimulators cost about $50 and feature simple controls and a handful of programmed workouts. For $100 to $200, ab stimulators are available with a wide range of intensity settings and several programs for faster results.
Q. How safe are ab stimulators?
A. While the idea of deliberately sending electrical pulses into your stomach can be unsettling, unless you have certain medical conditions, ab stimulators pose little risk to your health.
Q. Can I use an ab stimulator as my only core workout?
A. Yes, you could, but you are unlikely to earn satisfactory results. An ab stimulator works best when it is used regularly in addition to your normal workouts.
Ab stimulators we recommend
Best of the best: Slendertone Abs Abdominal Muscle Toner
Our take: This popular stimulator is designed to engage all of your abdominal muscles.
What we like: The seven included workout programs and 99 intensity levels give you plenty of ways to use this ab stimulator in a way that is comfortable and meets your fitness needs.
What we dislike: Some customers were unsatisfied with their results.
Best bang for your buck: Antmona Abs Stimulating Belt
Our take: This low-priced belt is a great option for those wary of muscle stimulators.
What we like: It only takes a few weeks of using the various included programs to see results with this compact and portable ab stimulator.
What we dislike: You will likely go through several batteries fairly quickly, which can become expensive.
Choice 3: Yucen Ab Stimulator and Muscle Toner
Our take: For its price, this ab stimulator offers more options than comparable models.
What we like: The 15 intensity levels and 10 modes allow for a range of workouts to meet your needs. Includes a one-year warranty.
What we dislike: The gel pads can be difficult to remove, though they are fairly long-lasting.
Peter McPherson is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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