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How to use the Abdominal Stimulator

Activate muscles

The benefits of using an ab stimulator are a result of the electrical currents that pass through the body, which is why these are also known as electrical muscle stimulation (EMS) devices.

An ab stimulator belt contains small electrodes that send electrical pulses through your skin when you secure the device around your midsection.

How long to use for?

Allow the muscle stimulator to work your abs for 25 minutes per day, five times per week, if you are a beginner. Follow the 25-minute time frame for the first four weeks. Once you are a seasoned EMS user, 40-minute sessions should suffice.

Turn the device off once you are through with your ab muscle stimulating session. 

Record your daily workout in a notebook or on a calendar so that you will know when it is time to move up to the next level.

Tips 

Always allow at least six hours of rest between ab stimulating sessions.

Tone existing muscles

Dr. Manish Shah, MD, a board-certified plastic surgeon, says ab stimulators can help tone muscles in the midsection by helping contract the muscles and activating blood flow with vibration.

However, he points out that there’s a misconception that ab stimulators will burn fat or be a primary tool for losing weight, and this isn’t the case.

“A regimen consisting of no significant nutritional and fitness goals other than the use of an ab stimulator will not help you achieve chiseled abs,” he explains.

Help in physical therapy

Since electrical muscle stimulators (EMS) are considered devices under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, the FDA is required to regulate themTrusted Source.

With that in mind, the FDA states that most EMS devices they review are intended for use in physical therapy and rehab environments, not for aiding in fat loss.

While a Google search can produce countless consumer reviews and anecdotal stories about inches lost using an ab stimulator, according to the FDA, no EMS device is currently cleared for weight loss, girth reduction, or chiseling a six-pack.

Determining whether or not ab belts work depends on your overall goals for using the product.

If you’re after continuous muscle activation and stimulation while you go about your day, then there’s a good chance you’ll be happy with the results.

If you’re hoping to drop inches off your midsection, you might be left feeling a little disappointed.

“What you will not get with just the abs stimulator is the holistic benefits of doing a crunch the old fashion way,” explains Shah. “When you exercise, though you may be doing a crunch on the floor to target the abdominals, your whole body is cooperating in your workout. This is why you sweat and burn more calories with regular exercise,” he adds.

Plus, there’s no significant body of research that validates the marketing claims of these products.

Beyond what we know about muscle stimuli, contractions, and this equipment’s ability to engage individual sections of muscles, Shah says there isn’t much proof to substantiate claims of rock-hard abs and body mass reduction.

Ab stimulators can

  • stimulate muscles in your midsection to contract
  • help tone muscles

Ab stimulators can’t

  • aid in weight loss when used alone
  • work off a large amount of fat tissue