Equipped with 10 modes and 25 intensity levels. Uses skin-friendly hydrogel. Excellent customer service. Packaged well, so it arrives damage-free.
Users felt you had to use it on the highest settings to see any results.
Offers six different training modes so you can choose the perfect intensity for your needs. Only requires two 15-minute sessions a day to see results. Lightweight design makes it easy to take the belt with you to the gym or on trips.
Gel pads sometimes have trouble sticking to the skin. Can run through batteries quickly.
Popular among travelers since it doesn't require batteries to charge. Belt is lightweight and anatomically contoured. Backed by a 100% guarantee for a replacement or refund.
Occasional operational issues when trying to change settings while it's running.
Offers 8 training programs and 10 intensity levels. LCD remote has a detailed display that is easy to read and operate. Backed by a money-back guarantee for a year.
AAA batteries required but not included.
Features 20 intensity levels, so it works well for everyone from beginners to body builders. Has six exercise modes for different workout needs. Approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Comes with a money-back guarantee.
Priciest option on our shortlist.
We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.
If washboard abs are your goal, committing to the right diet and exercise program is key. In many cases, though, it isn’t enough to spend time in the gym doing sit-ups, crunches, and other abdominal exercises. If you’re not seeing the results you want from diet and exercise alone, it may be time to invest in an ab stimulator.
An ab stimulator is a wearable device that uses electrical stimulation to contract the abdominal muscles. In turn, this helps strengthen and tone the abs. The electrical pulses that target the muscles are produced by electrodes placed on bare abdominal skin. Most ab stimulators have a belt design, which holds the electrodes in place and can compress your abs for additional benefit.
If you want to see results, it’s important to choose the right ab stimulator. That means figuring out the best belt size, the number of electrode pads you prefer, the type of battery that would be most convenient, and any other features that would make your journey toward washboard abs as effective as possible.
In terms of length, an ab stimulator belt should be long enough to fit comfortably around your waist. Many belts are one-size-fits-all styles that fit waists of 40 inches or less. However, some ab stimulators have adjustable belts that can accommodate waistlines of up to 52 inches.
In terms of width, a wider belt can target a larger portion of your abdomen. This is desirable for most people, as the larger surface area provides greater tightening and toning.
Ab stimulators may have up to 10 gel electrode pads. The pads are important because they send the electrical impulses that tighten your muscles. In general, pads that are approximately two inches in size are the most comfortable and effective.
Ab stimulators require batteries. Some take AA or AAA batteries, which are easy to find when you need replacements. However, the cost of replacement batteries can add up over time. If this bothers you, consider investing in an ab stimulator with lithium batteries that can be recharged via a USB cable.
For the most versatility — and the best results — choose an ab stimulator with a variety of intensity settings. You can start at the lowest intensity and gradually build your strength up to the highest intensity.
Some ab stimulators have as few as 10 intensity settings, while others offer up to 150 different levels. Choose the model with the highest number of intensity settings that fits your budget to see the best results.
Some ab stimulators have built-in programs that affect the way the electrical pulses target your abs. An effective program sends pulses of a certain intensity for a given period of time and then stops to give your muscles a rest. A built-in program does the stopping and starting so you don’t have to do it manually.
Ab stimulators typically have anywhere from three to ten built-in programs. The more programs there are, the better. Why? Variety guarantees that your muscles won’t become accustomed to any one particular program.
Ab stimulators have controls that allow you to turn the electrical pulses on and off, set the intensity, set the time for a workout, and choose between built-in programs. Some ab stimulators have a remote control; others have buttons located on the belt.
A remote control may be more convenient because it’s easier to see the buttons. What’s more, an ab stimulator with controls on the belt can be fairly bulky, so you may not be able to wear it under clothing.
Ab stimulators vary in price based on the number of intensity levels and built-in programs offered. You could pay as little as $10 or as much as $200 for one.
If you’re a beginner and want something inexpensive, be prepared to pay $10 to $50 for an ab stimulator that has 15 to 20 intensity levels and three to four built-in programs.
For greater customization, consider a mid-range ab stimulator in the $50 to $100 zone. Mid-range ab stimulators usually offer up to 50 intensity levels and five to six built-in programs. A person who has been using an entry-level ab stimulator and wants to upgrade could do well with one of these.
The most expensive ab stimulators, in the $100 to $200 range, offer up to 150 different intensity levels, which is why they often provide the most obvious results. They usually have six or more built-in programs and are ideal for individuals who are committed to a comprehensive diet and ab-sculpting exercise program.
Q. Are ab stimulators safe?
A. If used properly, an ab stimulator is perfectly safe. However, if you have certain medical conditions, it could pose a hazard. Individuals with a heart condition or an electronic implant such as a pacemaker should not use an ab stimulator. You shouldn’t use one if you have cancer, epilepsy, or diabetes that requires insulin, either. Pregnant women also shouldn’t use an ab stimulator.
Q. Does it hurt to use an ab stimulator?
A. No, but you’ll likely experience a tingling sensation when you first start using it. It’s also normal to feel your muscles tighten or contract as the electric impulses target them.
Q. Can I use an ab stimulator to tone my stomach after I’ve had a baby?
A. An ab stimulator can help you tighten and tone your stomach postpartum, but you should only use it when it’s safe to do so. If you gave birth vaginally, wait at least six weeks after the baby is born before using the stimulator. If you had a Caesarean section, wait at least three months. In both cases, you should consult your doctor first to make sure they’re on board with your plan.