The Contour Ab Belt is a device that wraps around your middle and delivers tiny electric shocks to your abdominal muscles. Contour Technology, the maker, claims that the stimulation of the muscles will allow you to build six-pack abs without doing any sit-ups. While it is possible to tone your abs without doing sit-ups, the probability of the Ab Belt causing the change is slim. Even though the product may not live up to the company's claims, there are a couple of good points to it.
Diet and Exercise Plan
The Contour Ab Belt comes with a diet and exercise plan that is most likely the cause of any anecdotal success with the product. According to Ab Belt Info, the diet consists of six small meals totaling 1,400 calories for women and 1,800 calories for men, which is very low. Even without exercise, many people would likely drop weight with such a restriction. The exercise portion consists of cardio, weight training and stability ball exercises that change weekly. This muscle-confusion method is an effective way to tone up, but the equipment needed does not come with the Ab Belt. Contour notes that you won't get results unless you follow the diet and exercise plan.
Reviewers at Diet Spotlight note that some people have effectively used the Contour Ab Belt as a back massager. Electro stimulation has been used as a part of acupuncture and massage therapy for decades, albeit only in the hands of a skilled practitioner. The same way that the electrodes stimulate your ab muscles, they can also stimulate tense back muscles to encourage the tension to release. The Contour Ab Belt is not designed or marketed for this purpose, so using it in this manner would be considered "off-label."
The Contour Ab Belt is not approved as a medical device by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, so there is no guarantee of its safety. The FDA has received complaints of injury from consumers with a variety of similar devices. Injuries range from shocks, bruises and irritation to pain, burns and interference with medical devices like pacemakers.
Won't Build Muscle
The technology used in the Contour Ab Belt simply won't build six-pack abs. A mild electric shock will make your muscles contract, and they will appear tighter and firmer, but the effect is very temporary. Over time, repeated shocks to the same muscle group may cause them to be slightly more toned, but not enough to make a difference in your appearance. The FDA has not approved any electronic stimulation device for weight reduction, girth reduction or muscle building.