The Flex Belt Abdominal Muscle Toner is a belt designed to strengthen and tone your abdominals. The belt works by stimulating all your major abdominal muscles at the same time: upper abs, lower abs, and obliques.
As with other abdominal toning belts, this product operates using electrical pulses. In the Flex Belt, these are distributed through gel pads inside the belt. The muscles in your abdomen contract repeatedly while the belt is on, as they would if you were exercising.
The gel pads should cover your central abdominal area as well as the obliques, to the side. If placed correctly, the pads will provoke contractions throughout your entire abdomen.
This is a handy feature, as certain abdominal belts only focus on one or two areas. Ideally, you want visible results on your whole abdomen—not just one part.
The belt comes with a Velcro adjustable strap. This allows it to fit people with waists measuring up to almost 50 inches in diameter. Once you strap it on, the belt is not bulky and weighs in at a little under one and a half pounds.
A rechargeable battery-operated controller allows you to change the intensity of the pulses. You can select from the lowest intensity (one) to the highest (150).
You can also choose to pause sessions if you want to take the belt off for any reason. There’s no need to restart your session from the very beginning, which can be frustrating.
Product guidelines recommend starting with low intensities and moving up from there. You should use the belt for four to eight weeks on a daily basis to begin with. Afterward, two to three times per week will be enough to sustain your results.
Wearing the Belt
You’ll find convenient markers on the belt itself to guide you with placement. Small is for waist sizes 24 to 31 inches, medium for 31 to 40 inches, and large for 41 to 47 inches.
The gel pads are crafted to stick to your skin while the Flex Belt is on. This is useful, as you might want to move around while wearing it.
Now, these pads are not built to last indefinitely. After 20 to 30 sessions with your Flex Belt, you’ll have to replace them. You can order a replacement set of three through the manufacturer (Slendertone) or from Amazon.
You can extend the lifespan of the gel pads by cleaning them after each session. Wipe them with water to remove residue (oil, sweat, etc.) from your skin. Don’t use harsh products, or you’ll remove the adhesive from the pads.
As for the belt itself, you’ll have to wash it by hand to keep it clean. As it’s made primarily of polyester, machine washing or tumble drying could damage the material.
The Flex Belt comes with a comprehensive instruction manual. Everything from initial setup to how to attain the best results is detailed inside. This manual also includes suggested programs of different intensities, classed as either passive or active.
Safety-wise, the Flex Belt is a step ahead of competitor belts. You won’t have to worry about burns, shocks, or other injuries as a consequence of trying to attain toned abs. All you should feel is a mild pulsing as the belt does its job.
This product is certified by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This also means that the Flex Belt has been shown to have positive effects on toning and strengthening abdominal muscles.
A study demonstrated that the Flex Belt reduced abdominal girth and increased abdominal muscle strength. Users also reported greater satisfaction with the tone and appearance of their abdomens.
Note that the Flex Belt isn’t to be worn during intense workouts. A little movement is fine, but too much will shift the belt around and reduce its efficacy.
The instructions outline three different types of low-impact abdominal exercises you can try while wearing the belt.
Who Is the Flex Belt Abdominal Muscle Toner Best For?
Anyone can take advantage of the Flex Belt, with a few exceptions. You should not use it under any circumstances if you are pregnant. If you have recently given birth, you’ll have to wait at least six weeks before it’s safe to use or three months after a C-section.
Individuals with heart conditions, diabetes, or cancer should avoid using the Flex Belt. The same goes for people with back injuries or muscle and joint problems. If you feel any adverse effects after using the Flex Belt, refrain from using it again.
This belt is suitable for people of all fitness and activity levels. You can supplement your abdominal exercise regimen with the Flex Belt for extra toning. Or if you’re not a fan of physical activity, use it while you watch your favorite shows.
The Flex Belt can also help you jump-start your abdominal fitness routine. If you haven’t been active for a while, this belt can give you a boost with strength and tone.
Flex Belt Pros
The Flex Belt is in line with FDA standards, which is comforting for several reasons. First, you know that the product you’re using is legal and reliable. Next, you can enjoy knowing that there is some hard evidence supporting the product’s ability.
Most importantly, you don’t have to wonder if you’ll be injured using it. Abdominal belts not certified by the FDA aren’t illegal, but they could be more likely to malfunction.
Adjusting this belt to fit your shape isn’t a challenge, as it can be with other belts. Thanks to the Velcro attachment, you can tone your abdominals in comfort. Feeling like you’re being squeezed isn’t pleasant, and a loose belt is pointless.
In addition, the Flex Belt is discreet enough to be worn under most clothing. Unless you’re wearing a particularly tight top or transparent shirt, no one will know you’re wearing it.
Since the battery is rechargeable, the only part you have to maintain is the gel pads. Wiping them down after using them isn’t much of a chore, and replacements are available.
You also have options when it comes to issues with the controller. You can replace the battery, or the entire controller if needed, through Slendertone if it fails.
This belt is quite straightforward to use in terms of adjusting the intensity and placing the gel pads. The only effort you’ll have to put in is putting the belt around your waist.
An added bonus is that the controller is compatible with other Slendertone belts. If you decide to get the arm toning system, for example, you won’t have to buy an extra controller.
You’ll find that if you need to contact the manufacturer, the information is readily available. The manual lists an email and phone numbers where you can resolve issues or ask questions.
Flex Belt Cons
The Flex Belt does have its limits. If you have a lot of subcutaneous (under-the-skin) fat on your stomach, you may not see visible toning results.
On the same note, the Flex Belt does not work to tone loose skin. This means if you have a lot of excess skin on your abdomen, you likely won’t reap many benefits.
Sensitive individuals may find the higher intensity settings can cause some soreness. On the other hand, those of you who are accustomed to high-intensity workouts may find the belt’s pulses are lacking.
The Flex Belt comes with a two-year warranty. If your Flex Belt malfunctions or fails due to manufacturer error, you can return it for a refund or replacement.
Should your Flex Belt have issues straight out of the box, shipping will be covered by the manufacturer. If not, you’ll be responsible for any shipping fees that may occur.
Note the warranty does not cover misuse or damage on your behalf. This includes electrical surges due to inappropriate power supplies, exposure to water, modification, etc.
The Flex Belt
If you’re looking for an abdominal toning belt with a quality guarantee, the Flex Belt is right for you. The controller and gel pads are designed to be safe, efficient, and user-friendly.
Maintenance (e.g., cleaning the gel pads and belt) is a breeze. Replacement gel pads, batteries, or even controllers aren’t difficult to find.
As long as you take good care of it, your Flex Belt will last you a long time.
You can expect to spend more than you would for some other brands of electrical abdominal belts. Still, this is to be expected considering the belt has FDA certification.
Slendertone advocates using the Flex Belt alongside a healthy diet and exercise. As with any pulse-based toning device, the Flex Belt will not promote actual weight loss.
So long as you keep your expectations reasonable, the Flex Belt will be a good investment.