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The best ab belt

Ab belts are designed to wrap around your skin, but they're easy to hide if you want and should fit underneath workout attire. Just be sure your outfit doesn't absorb too much moisture.
Ab belts are designed to wrap around your skin, but they're easy to hide if you want and should fit underneath workout attire. Just be sure your outfit doesn't absorb too much moisture. (BestReviews)

The prospect of a strong core and toned abs is a motivating factor for many fitness enthusiasts. While it takes dedication and determination, there are useful tools to help you achieve your goals more efficiently and potentially more easily.

Ab belts are an increasingly popular tool in the pursuit of sculpted abs. These devices wrap tightly around your core in order to increase heat when you work out, which in turn helps you burn fat and lose water more quickly.

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While our top choice is this high-quality option from Reformer Athletics, there is much to take note of when considering using an ab belt to achieve your fitness dreams. Keep reading our guide to learn more.

Considerations when choosing ab belts

How ab belts work

Ab belts hug your waist, trapping heat to create a sauna effect in which you more quickly lose water and burn fat. As they’re worn directly against your skin, most ab belts are made from comfortable neoprene, so they don’t irritate your body. Similarly, most are designed to wick away moisture, allowing you to sweat more easily and lose water weight.

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Usage

Ab belts are useful accessories to most exercises, particularly cardio workouts where your heart rate is increased. Working out on a treadmill or elliptical or taking part in a fitness class or routine can be supplemented by an ab belt. Core exercises such as planks, pushups, and leg raises can be performed in conjunction with a belt, though certain movements such as bending over may be limited depending on the size of the belt.

Size

Most ab belts accommodate a range of waist sizes. They’re typically adjustable and secured with Velcro. They should be tightly wrapped around your core but also comfortable against the skin. Most companies include a sizing chart — don’t use your pants size, however. Instead, measure the widest part of your stomach for proper sizing.

Effectiveness

Ab belts can be a useful addition to your workout, but they don’t substitute hard work and regularly exercising. How effective they are depends on how often you use the belt, your fitness plan, and your lifestyle. While an ab belt may help lose water weight, it’s likely temporary, and diet and exercise determine how long you can actually keep the weight off. Ab belts also may potentially help with circulation and enhance posture while exercising.

Features

Width

Some belts may be particularly wide, covering a larger area of your core than most. These are useful for larger individuals or more serious trainers. They also increase perspiration and water loss.

Accessories

Some purchases may include a smartphone holster that can be affixed to the belt or strapped to your arm. Your phone size may determine how effective the holster is, but this convenient feature is useful for those who enjoy music while exercising and want to stay connected. Other accessories may include a handy travel bag.

Electric stimulation

An offshoot of ab belts are ab stimulators, which use electrical muscle stimulation to enhance ab toning. Gel pads send electrical pulses to your core and activate muscles. They’re more expensive and their effectiveness, like traditional ab belts, depends on a variety of factors.

Price

Most ab belts cost between $15 and $30, with options of varying sizes and widths and some convenient features.

FAQ

Q. How often should I use an ab belt?

A. While ab belts can be used in conjunction with a variety of exercises, it's advised to avoid using it for more than a couple hours at a time. Rest, recovery, and rehydration is especially important when using a belt, as you lose water more quickly. Regularly drink water when using an ab belt.

Q. How do I wash my ab belt?

A. Your ab belt should avoid absorbing sweat, but it still needs to be cleaned immediately after use. Gently wiping it down with warm water and sanitizer or soap helps prevent bacteria buildup and keeps it long-lasting. Be sure it's completely dry before storing.

Ab belts we recommend

Our take: Comfortable, quality ab belt that provides support and compression during workouts.

What we like: Increases heat during workout to promote water loss. High-quality neoprene and innovative design allows for ventilation while creating a sauna effect. Adheres to the body without slipping.

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What we dislike: Takes time to affix and take off.

Best bang for your buck: KEEPTO Waist Trainer

Our take: Simple, adjustable ab belt that comfortably and effectively builds up heat during workouts.

What we like: Durable, adjustable design provides comfort to most users. Anti-slip surface. Offered in a variety of colors. Includes travel bag. Low price.

What we dislike: Material is thin; not ideal for serious trainers.

Our take: Budget-friendly ab belt designed with longevity and results in mind.

What we like: Provides impressive insulation and coverage. Easy to put on and take off. Enough support to improve posture. Good value.

What we dislike: Some users reported discomfort and slippage.

Anthony Marcusa 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 spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. BestReviews and its newspaper partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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