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slendertone etc - do they work?

(26 Posts)
Cl Thu 14-Jun-01 17:48:24

Anyone ever tried those slendertone thangs that they advertise all over the place? Am thinking of going halves on one with my sis - she's on a diet and works out but can't do sit ups - says they hurt her back. I won't be needing one for a few months - not till the baby's well out - but quite like idea of getting tummy muscles back while I lie down watching Tv/ type on mumsnet, rather than trying to arrange childcare for two and hit the gym. But they cost about £190 so don't want to fork out if it's all a con. Any experiences out there?

Debster Fri 15-Jun-01 08:03:50

I haven't actually got one myself but an acquaintance of mine did and she said that you could really feel the muscles being contracted and that it really hurt. Well I suppose it's got to hurt to work as the old saying goes! I've also thought what a great way to get toned up but I just can't believe they actually work. I would also be very interested to hear if they do. (By the way the woman who had one didn't have a particularly toned body but that could be because she didn't use it enough).

Aims Fri 15-Jun-01 12:43:56

By Aims on Friday 15th June 1.30pm

I have a Slendertone Flex Abdominal Toner and I
think they are really worth the money if you are
prepared to use them enough, When I had my eldest daughter she came out so fast my stomach muscles seperated and I looked terrible, I have two girls with not a very big gap between so I am only just getting down to toning up my figure, I've joined weight watchers which is really working, I've lost 12.5ld allready and I've only been going since Febuary, I know I'ts not as much as some, but to me it's brilliant, and I have the flex which is really helping my stomach muscles to knit back into place nicely, I recommend them to anyone, though you have to have the willpower to use them at least once a day, twice if possible.
Go for it

Joe Fri 15-Jun-01 13:38:31

I cant do sit ups because they hurt my back and neck but I can use one of those rocking sit up things (not sure what they are called). They tone your whole stomach area and you can do loads after a build up, I had a lovely flat toned tummy before I had my son. They dont cost much, you can get them from Argos I think. Im going to start with mine this weekend and a diet, I wont to get my tummy pierced again.

Sml Fri 15-Jun-01 13:50:29

After I had one of my babies, the exercise specialist at the hosp told me that situps should only ever be attempted by the super fit as they are NO GOOD!! Joe, that rocking situp thing sounds tempting, would be nice to have a flat tummy again - think I'll give piercing a miss though...ouch...

Lizzer Fri 15-Jun-01 15:30:29

Oh definitely those rocking things Joe's on about, I got mine about a year a go and it cost a tenner (from any catalogue). They do work and keep you correctly in-line and don't put any presure on your back or neck. I'm a bit dubious about those slendertone things - like you say Cl, it's such a lot of money if it doesn't work. I bet they would be one of those things you buy, use religiously for a month or two then leave in the back of the wardrobe gathering dust!

AliH Wed 19-Dec-01 16:36:17

I was reading this thread, and wondered if anyone else has had success with the Slendertone machine?

I bought one but lost it in a house move. How's that for and excuse!!

honeybunny Wed 19-Dec-01 21:50:41

For all those wondering about slendertone, just remember, if you used one for labour that is, what the TENS machine felt like. An electric current zaps the "motor-point" in your muscle, ie where the nerve that switches your muscle on and off is, with enough whack to get it to contract. This is what happened if any of you turned up your TNS machine too high. It is quite an uncomfortable sensation and completely involuntary. If you want any long term muscle toning to work, you've got to know how to switch your own muscles on and off yourself, not machine led all the time.
Sit ups aren't ideal as they cause the main rectus abdominis to contract. That's what most people refer to as the 6pack, (Brad Pitt has an excellent 6pack) without utilising the lower and oblique muscles. Besides, how often in life do you crunch up your tummy? Most people only use their rectus to lift heavy things, and if you don't have good background strength in your main supporting muscles, ie the lower abdos and obliques and back muscles, thats when you do yourself an injury. Hence for most women, post pregnancy, sit ups are out. Instead work on your postural muscles. Pilates is an excellent example of this.
Try this one basic exercise. Assume the "doggy" position on all fours. Try to keep your back straight, with your neck and head in line and right angles at your knees/hips and shoulders. Now let your tummy relax completely. It should really sag! Now take a gentle breath in, and as you breath out try to pull in your lower tummy and lift your pelvic floor muscles. (This is important as the pelvic floor and lower abdos interlink together, so contracting one gets overflow muscle tightening in the other). Hold the muscle contraction for a count of 10 whilst trying to breath normally. Repeat 10 times, slowly.
Now try to do the same exercise in different positions. Sitting, standing, walking etc.
Much better for you than a slendertone, you can do them anywhere once you recognise the muscles to use, and its free!!
For the motivational point of view though its still worth joining a class. Most gyms are cottoning on to Pilates and a lot of health/holistic clinics will run them.
Eventually you'll be holding these muscles in a semi-contracted state all the time, (as we should do naturally, sadly, but human beings are too lazy with their posture).
Sorry if I sound preachy, but as a physio, if I could encourage a few more people in the basics of good muscle use, there would be an awful lot less back pain around!
Another tip for all you pregnant people out there, you too can do this exercise up until the day of delivery. The beauty of this is a much faster recovery time for your tummy afterwards and theoretically an easier second stage of labour. Can't vouch for this myself as I had a caesarian 1st time around, (failed induction!) Still, I did have a flat stomach again just 3-4weeks post op, if you discount a bit of incision swelling, and even that was gone by 7weeks.
Oh dear, now I sound smug. Sorry!

robinw Wed 19-Dec-01 22:33:35

message withdrawn

jasper Wed 19-Dec-01 23:36:38

Honeybunny, thanks for the good advice.
When you say "lift " the pelvic floor muscles do you mean that clenchy thingy we are all supposed to do post partum?
Also , when you say "hold this contraction for a count of ten while breathing normally" do you mean breathing in and out a couple of times while counting to ten?

SueDonim Wed 19-Dec-01 23:38:17

Very interesting, Honeybunny, I think I'll try the exercises. I had never heard of Pilates until about two years ago, when a friend was diagnosed with a muscle-wasting disease and Pilates was recommended. He had to travel over 100 miles for a trainer, so it's good to hear it's getting more popular.

ChanelNo5 Thu 20-Dec-01 16:06:48

Honeybunny - Wish I could have you as my personal trainer! I will give your exercises a go. Thanks!

Munchkinsugarpie Thu 20-Dec-01 23:52:22

OK - I confess. I bought the Slendertone hips and thighs shorts about 4 months ago. Does it work. Well - yes it does.


After doing the initial 8 weeks - it was just as you'd imagine - I lost the enthusiasm and yep, it's been relegated to the back of the cupboard. Ugh. And it cost me 175 pounds. The sticky pads that you use get messed up quite quickly and I needed to replace them twice during the 8 week session.

I found the time difficult to make. i.e. 30 minutes every day, even if you could walk around, I felt better sitting down with them on and after a while, the whole thing felt like a chore. I didn't lose enough inches to make it feel worthwhile, but my thighs definitely toned up and felt smoother.

The nail in the coffin came when we were out visiting friends and ds who's 2.5months was quietly playing with a magazine and then shouted triumphantly, "Mummy!" and pointed frantically to the picture of the slendertone belt controls and then my tummy..... whilst we all howled with laughter.

Yeah... funny eh? Dead giveaway... I'll just have to live with them........ my thighs and bum that is... lol

honeybunny Thu 27-Dec-01 12:51:40

Just back from the family Xmas gathering, so havent checked the board for a few days. Glad that some of you liked the sound of the exercise.
Yes Jasper, "lift the pelvic floor" did refer to that "clenchy thingie" we are supposed to do pre and post natally. If you can't figure out if you are doing it, next time you have a pee, stop mid-flow. The muscles you used to do this are the pelvic floor group. This should only be tried as a test of your muscle ability, rather than an exercise in itself, so don't stop mid-flow too often. It can theoretically lead to infection if you don't empty your bladder properly.
And yes try to breathe normally through the exercise. A lot of people automatically hold their breath, thinking that their muscles will work better, but don't be fooled. They won't work at all without oxygen coming in, and who can do anything whilst holding their breath. Not very functional!! You should end up being able to semi-contract these muscles for very long periods of the day, without fatiguing, as they are responsible (or should be) for holding you upright in a good postural alignment.
Good Luck! I'm busy doing mine now as I type this. My body certainly needs the attention after days of carrying around my poorly ds, ill over Xmas with d+v, yuk! My left hip feels permanently cocked to the side, where its been acting as his seat since Sunday!

lulu40 Tue 08-Jan-02 12:23:31

honeybunny - I tried to do that exercise last night got on all fours gentle breath in and tried to pull everything in on exhalation - nothing happened at all - am I doing something wrong?

jasper Wed 09-Jan-02 04:03:58

Thanks hunnybunny and wellcome back.
I am siting here doing a spot of latenight, got any cures for insomnia??

honeybunny Thu 10-Jan-02 13:53:03

Lulu40- did you let your stomach completely sag first? If you dont let the muscles completely relax first you wont feel the muscle tensing. The other more daunting prospect is that your poor stomach muscles are just incredibly weak. Unfortunately this is the "beginners" level for lower abdominal work. Try tensing your pelvic floor muscles(front and back) first and see if that helps to kick start a tightening of your lower stomach muscles. Just remember to keep your back nice and straight when you are doing the initial muscle relaxing. Allowing your back to sag as well will stretch your stomach a little making the exercise more difficult to do.
Keep trying, explaining exercises on paper without a visual demo is hard, but if you are still having probs post again and I'll try and rephrase it.
Jasper- nope, unfortunately not, but could well do with some hints in that department myself. Or is that just the pregnancy thing again. Iseem to remember sleepless nights last time at about this stage. Husband snoring down my ear doesnt help much either!

jasper Thu 10-Jan-02 23:32:31

Honneybunny! Earplugs! The yellow spongey ones you stick right in your ear.(boots, or gun shops, or airport lounges) Better still, do what I do - move into the spare room. ( and I still wear the earplugs)
How far on are you? I am at about week 32/33
Best of luck

bunny2 Sun 20-Oct-02 23:57:11

I am ashamed to admit I am greedily thinking about Xmas presents already - has anyone tried those Slendertone belts that Ulrika Johnson advertises? They look much easier than those with sticky pads so I thought I could jsut strap it on and get on with some housework. DO they work? If so do they perform miracles?

bunny2 Sun 20-Oct-02 23:57:13

I am ashamed to admit I am greedily thinking about Xmas presents already - has anyone tried those Slendertone belts that Ulrika Johnson advertises? They look much easier than those with sticky pads so I thought I could jsut strap it on and get on with some housework. DO they work? If so do they perform miracles?

bunny2 Sun 20-Oct-02 23:57:41


cherry Sun 20-Oct-02 23:59:34

I haven't used them but I know a few people who have and apparently they are good and can work really well! I don't know if you need to combine it with anything else though.

Zoe Mon 21-Oct-02 17:50:08

The thought of a Slendertone always makes me laugh because a friend of mine bought her mum one for Christmas one year and came home to find her mum watching tv wearing it with her feet on the dog, a can of lager in one hand and a fag in the other!

bunny2 Wed 23-Oct-02 00:21:44

That'll be me on Boxing Day! I have promised myself a pierced belly button when my tummy is flat (I first promised this one years ago before I had even thought of getting pregnant so the likelihood is slim.)

ifIsaynodontjustaskdad Tue 11-Jan-11 13:04:23

I love mine, I have really bad endometriosis and I originally got it to function like a tens machine to relieve the pain of cramping. Since I have been known to have periods lasting more than 20 days this meant I got a great 6 pack smile. When I stopped using it every day the tone reverted to something more normal but I still find it great for making my tummy flat.

Obviously can't use it when pregnant, so I am only just getting back into using it. I will let you know how it gets on with my tummy post 2 babies. Rather disappointed that 5 weeks after daughter number 2 arrived I have muffing top for the first time in my life - I always had a small waist and big thighs, now I have muffin top and chunky legs, I am hoping that the slendertone will help.

I also did have the bum and thigh one, my sisters keep pinching it though, and yes that really works, if you have saddlebag bum as I have (it runs in my family all 3 of my sisters and my gran had it as our shape) then it will give you a lovely shelfy bum, bum only if you use it all the time, my sister has pinched mine and taken it to another country and post number 2 I want it back.

As pointed out by many people they are no substitute for general exercise and fitness but I am finding that wearing it for 30 minutes whilst e.g. doing internet browsing or watching tv fits easily into my day. I got mine using boots points and waited for a sale so I paid 80 in points for it 9 years ago I know they are more expensive now, I imagine they probably work better as well.

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