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What is a Massage Belt?

By Sandra Koehler
Updated: Jan 21, 2024

A massage belt is a unique tool used to help tighten and tone muscles. Applied directly to the desired area, this electric powered device stimulates the muscles. This causes the muscle to contract, the main component of any strengthening program.

A muscle is made up of fibers surrounded by a thin sheath or covering. The ability to move the body comes from the capability of the muscle fibers to tense and subsequently release. The massage belt aids in retraining and strengthening muscles to increase the body’s ability to perform at an optimal level.

These portable belt-like exercisers have pads or sensor areas attached to a power supply. The power supply most commonly utilizes batteries and is hooked up to a hand held controller. The pads are placed directly over the muscle and the strap is wrapped around the body. When the massage belt is turned on it sends a small charge into the pad which stimulates the muscles.

Many massage belts encourage the muscles to contract by the use of oscillating vibrations. This oscillating vibration motion, or OVM, is a small rhythmical twitching motion either side to side or in a triangular fashion. By having a constantly moving charge different areas of the muscle fibers are encouraged to fire. This feature decreases the amount of muscle fatigue by allowing some fibers to rest while others are working or contracting.

Another element of a massage belt is the ability to set the intensity and time. The vibration charges can be set to comfort level and still be beneficial. Since increasing the amount of stimulation can enhance muscle firing, weaker muscles may respond better improving recovery times from injuries. The time can also be adjusted either between charges or for the total time of the workout.

Using a massage belt can help tone muscles much in the same way as any strengthening program. Due to the adjustable straps, it can be used on just about any major muscle groups. It offers much of the same benefits of a regular exercise routine such as increasing things like circulation, waste removal and strength. It also increases the efficiency of the muscles which can in turn, help burn more calories.

In addition to the exercise benefits of a massage belt, these devices, set at a lower intensity, can offer relief from stress and overworked muscles by providing a gentle soothing massage to the area. Many massage belts also come with optional features such as heat. These aspects make the massage belt a great tool to prevent muscle soreness and fatigue after any strenuous workout routine.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By Laotionne — On Nov 16, 2014

I have a foot massage machine that my mother gave me for my birthday. Who knew a machine could work so well at giving massages? This machine gives better massages than I get when I go and have my feet done at the nail salon.

You don't know what you have been missing until you get a good foot massage machine that you can use whenever you want. I am forever in my mother's debt.

By Drentel — On Nov 16, 2014

@Sporkasia - I think the massage belts and the slimming belts are two different tools for the most part. There may be some that claim to do both. Either way, you should know that the slimming belts are designed to give off heat, at least some of them are. What they basically do is they increase your body temperature and cause you to sweat more than you normally would.

And what happens when you sweat? Yes, you shed water weight, so this can account for several pounds of lost weight. Once you rest up and drink all of those liquids to replenish yourself the weight will return.

By Sporkasia — On Nov 15, 2014

@Animandel - Massage belts definitely have their uses. However, if you are expecting more than a nice feeling massage then you may be setting yourself up for disappointment.

I have a friend who bought a belt that was supposed to help her lose weight and firm up while she was wearing it. She says she lost a couple of pounds, but she did not get the results she was expecting.

By Animandel — On Nov 14, 2014

I love getting a massage from a masseur or masseuse, so I also like the idea of a belt I can wear and get the benefits of a massage as I go about my daily routine. And the article says that a belt can also help to strengthen my muscles while I am wearing it, so this is yet another reason to get one.

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