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Having abs of steel is something that almost every person wants and some even obsess over it. With all the fitness routines and diet programs available today it’s sometimes difficult to choose the right solution especially when they all look so promising.
Healthy lifestyles have become a challenge in our modern society and it’s something that many people struggle with - constantly looking for an easy way out. There are a lot of products on the market today and many of them work wonders with your body, but not all of them deliver what they promise. When it comes to abdominals, many people have turned to abs belts to help them get that attractive six-pack that they so desire.

They are easy to use, affordable, and claim to help you get a six-pack by simply using the belt for a short period of time every day. Millions of these abdominal belts have been sold worldwide so you might think that they are very effective, but everything might not be as good as they would want you to think.

Massaging Abs Belts

Abs belts are flexible belts that you put around your midsection, and they can reportedly train your abdominal muscles without doing any manual exercises. They send out signals to your nerves, which in turn causes your stomach muscles to contract and relax – working or “training” your abdominals repeatedly. Abs belts have become increasingly popular over the last decade and they have been endorsed by many fitness enthusiasts and even TV celebrities.

Abs belts can help to improve abdominal muscle tone since it causes the muscles to contract, but it is a far cry from being able to help you trim down. They often sell the idea that you can have a gorgeous six pack with just 30 minutes a day. Does that sound achievable? Not necessarily. That is why all of these manufacturers will include an encouragement towards a healthy diet and exercise program – even though it might not be their main point of advertisement.

In 2002, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has brought charges of false advertising against some of the big names in the industry, including the Ab Energizer and the AbTronic. The FTC was quoted as saying: “You cannot get rock-hard abs with no sweat", and ordered the various manufacturers to pay more than $12 million in fines. "The only winning combination is changing your diet and exercise," said FTC Chairman Timothy Muris in a statement.

The fact is that by simply adding an abs belt to your current lifestyle, you will not cause your body to shed fat and bring out a flat stomach. This can only be accomplished by healthy diet and an effective exercise program.

Medical Abs Belts

Medical abdominal belts have been used as a rehabilitation tool for years - and with great results. Many physicians have used these belts to help prevent muscle degeneration in patients that have been inactive for long periods of time. These belts can be applied on various muscle groups of the body, such as the arms, thighs and mid-section. Although these medical abdominal belts can help to contract muscles and improve mobility, it is not an effective replacement for strength training. 

Abs belts work by using electrical stimulations that contract the muscles, which causes them to exercise without needing a total body workout. These belts contain electrodes that, when pressed against the skin, send out electrical pulses to the abdominal muscles. Similar electrical stimulations have been used by doctors for ages to rehabilitate muscles that have been injured in accidents or illnesses and claims that they have an impact on abdominals are true – but they cannot lead to weight loss within the body.

The best way of achieving this would be a combination of cardiovascular training and toning exercises, since your aim would be to reduce the overall percentage of body fat that you currently have. You should not discount your diet either. Eating healthy meals and reducing your total calorie intake per day will also allow your body to lose unwanted fat. This is essential to weight loss and you should try to stick to an eating program that works for you, something that will be sustainable in the long term. If you can permanently trade in your current lifestyle for a healthy one, your body will quickly follow suit.

Spot Reduction vs. Targeted Training

Many people confuse spot reduction with targeted training. Targeted training can refer to an athlete or individual that wants to strengthen a certain muscle group, for e.g. a bodybuilder that trains his calves, or an athlete training his quadriceps to improve his speed on the track. Targeting a specific muscle group can be very effective if you are looking to build and tone your entire body and you have a specific area that is lacking behind. But as far as fat loss go, you cannot lose fat in a single area only, your body will gradually lose fat all over – so spot reduction is a complete myth.

It is normally used by companies wanting to sell a specific product that claims to help you lose fat, very similar to abs belts. There simply is no substantial research to support it. Although abs belts may help to tone the abdominal muscles themselves, they simply cannot cause your body to lose fat in one specific area only; and many of these companies know it. 

It’s a well-known fact that exercise causes your body to sweat but how effective is this in terms of weight loss?

Quite a lot, actually. By sweating, your body flushes out toxins and excess water, which can definitely lead to weight loss. It’s a very healthy, natural process and it is also one of the reasons why physical exercise is much better than using a single piece of equipment such as a heated abs belt. Physical exercise improves your blood circulation and lowers your body temperature, whereas an abs belt focuses only on one single area.  As for weight loss, you will not lose weight in one area only - so the idea that an abs belt can help you lose your belly fat is totally inaccurate.

If you are really looking to get a well-toned body and superb abdominal muscles, your best bet would be to stick to the proven methods – healthy eating habits, regular toning exercises and cardiovascular activity. It’s the natural, effective and healthy way to go. You will be improving your overall health and well being, while constantly training your muscles and improving your fitness levels - something that no single piece of equipment can ever accomplish.

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