Ab stimulator products are marketed as a way to avoid having to do the exercise at the gym required to get a tight stomach. Do they really work?
The short answer is no. Not according to most reputable fitness and exercise experts, anyway. Though the idea may seem compelling—you exercise your abs by running small electric currents through them rather than by doing work—there are some things that make it a far-fetched notion.
Exercise builds muscles by challenging them to do more work. Nutrition gives them the building blocks to make them more defined and tighter. The ab stimulator products introduce a small electric current that causes muscle contractions. These contractions don’t amount to much and they don’t burn a lot of calories like exercise.
The ab stimulator devices are based on devices used to keep people’s muscles from atrophying when they’re undergoing a long convalescence. They may keep your muscles from being completely damaged by disuse, but they’re not going to make you into a lean athlete with abs you could bounce a quarter off like exercise will.
Exercise needs to be strenuous to be effective, which is why most people avoid it. If you want rock-hard abs, you already have everything you need to get them, provided you have a comfortable floor and a way to keep your feet from rising up when you do stomach crunches.
Exercise also doesn’t require you to run electric currents through your body, which may not be a good idea anyway if you suffer from certain conditions. If you’re determined to replace your exercise regime with an ab stimulator, ask your doctor before you spend the money.