Do Waist Trainers Actually Work?

Modern western culture has always prized the small waist as a standard of beauty. 

If you haven’t heard of waist training –  the latest slimming craze beloved by the beau monde, that is the A-List, then it’s your good luck that you have managed to avoid the controversial Kardashian trends.

From kylie lip challenges to waist trainers the Kardashians have influenced some pretty questionable trends.

The only thing America’s favorite glam girls love more than their waist trainers is posting up a storm on Instagram in said waist trainers.

Waist trainers are intended to compress your midsection and prime your figure into that oh-so-desirable hourglass shape. They’re a corset with a new, modern twist.

But wasn’t there a reason we left corsets in the 1800s?

Corset 1900

The reemergence of the waist trainer has everything to do with celebrities posting photos and enthusiastic sponsored endorsements on social media, and absolutely nothing to do with any professed waist trainer results.

If you want results, you need to work and lose your fats. You can look into the complex dumbbell workout for that.

The history of corsetry itself is a pretty interesting one. The use of undergarments to manipulate the body frame stretches back as far as ancient Greece when Minoan women from the island of Crete bound their breasts with a band of soft leather, called apodesmos.

But the apodesmos needed a body to shape the clothes that wrapped around it, not the other way around. It wasn’t until far later, the medieval era that the body became something you needed to shape the way a waist trainer shapes it.

In the late 19th century, corsets were made with the intention to shape the torso from shoulder to thigh by tightly constricting the waist to create that prized, highly sought after coke bottle figure.

They were made of unyielding strength layer fabrics with ivory or metal inserts, and were laced down the entire length of one’s back. 

The invention of the hooked busk did away with this problem and allowed the wearer to hook the corset themselves rather than having to rely on someone else to fasten the tough to reach back laces. 

These new corsets had more cords and less bones (called ‘stays’) than corsets of the past. It’s uncertain whether or not this made them any more comfortable to wear. 

The idealized tiny waist size grew smaller and more unattainable until corsets fell out of fashion on account of growing health concerns.

They staged their comeback in the 1990s, often worn as outer rather than undergarments, with the burgeoning popularity of kinky fetish fashion.

 If high fashion catwalks were anything to go by, the corset had recovered some of its earlier popularity by the 2010s and appeared very on-trend. The most popular corsets on e-commerce sites attract thousands and thousands of reviews, a testament to the fact that they remain an important and well-loved part of some women’s wardrobes.

Today, corsets are still worn by fanatics and remain a big part of cross-dressing and other niche practices; and though they aren’t really part of the average everyday routine, they’ve always been beloved by high fashion houses and haven’t ever truly disappeared off the scene entirely

But do waist trainers work? How long are you supposed to wear one, and are they dangerous? We investigate waist trimmer belt results . . . 

Do Waist Trainers Actually Work?

Benefits of Waist Trainers

Hourglass figure

On an aesthetic and entirely superficial level, yes, it ‘works’. And I mean it truly works (that probably has something to do with industrial-strength latex that it’s made out of in the first place- oxygen intake might be optional). 

If you’re like me (gullible) and you’ve spent an actual fortune on those fabric waist shrinkers, and all they do is displace your plump somewhere else, like a circle that’s been grasped too tight round the middle, this one made a good four inches around my waist disappear – at least until I hurled it off. 

The instantaneous waist trimmer belt results can be very satisfying and the theory used to sell it is that eventually, with enough consistent wear, you can train your waist into holding that smaller, firmer shape.

According to the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery (ABCS) blog, a waist trainer isn’t going to drastically alter your figure. You aren’t going to see waist trimmer belt results after you take it off. 

Even if your body lends itself to that shape temporarily, your waist trainer is unlikely to have retained permanent waist trimmer belt results.

Dita Von Teese told the Huffington Post, “Waist trainers are just a quick fix. If you put on a corset and you pull the strings tight, you instantly have this silhouette and it’s great – but it’s not going to modify your body if you’re not engaged in the serious regimen of it.”

Weight loss

You may temporarily lose some weight wearing a waist trainer, but it’ll probably be because you’re losing fluid perspiring, not losing fat.

Owing to the fact that your stomach’s being compressed, you may just be eating less and experiencing a loss in appetite.

This isn’t the way you want to be losing weight. It isn’t healthy, or sustainable. Even the manufacturers of waist trainers recommend exercise and a healthy diet as an integral part of any weight loss plan.

Anyone who has ever worn a lace-up corset will tell you that sometimes it can be a little tough to breathe. 

The corsetry literally flattens your bladder, your lungs, your kidneys, you name it – so wearing one for long periods of time is a good way to do yourself some serious damage. 

While some waist trainer enthusiasts might tell you to wear your trainer while you exercise, we strongly advise against it and could result in long term damage because waist trainers inhibit movement, and can cause muscle tearing during strenuous physical activity.

Obviously, your tissues and muscles need more oxygen during exercise than when you’re sedentary. Your waist trainer can make it difficult to breathe in deeply, making it that much harder to continue your workout.

Waist trainers keep your diaphragm from doing its job like it’s supposed to, which can seriously affect not just your exercise regimen, but your health and wellness. 

When worn, a waist trainer covers the two bottom ribs and then gets pulled up very high to give the appearance of that coveted hourglass figure.

 This constriction of your rib cage makes it hard for anyone using it to breathe properly, because your diaphragm isn’t able to fully contract and relax.

small 2010 study assessed the utility and cost-effectiveness of losing weight on a very low-calorie diet. The researchers also considered whether wearing a corset would help sustain weight loss in the long run.

They found the very low-calorie diet to be practicable, even after a year. They were unable to evaluate the effectiveness of wearing a corset because the majority of study participants simply gave up wearing them because they’re extremely uncomfortable and difficult to wear. 

Decreased appetite

Having your stomach pushed down like that is going to make you feel much fuller much faster, which can lead to a decreased appetite. 

Wearing a waist trainer, especially as part of a regimen that includes physical activity can be dangerous if you’re not getting all the nutrients you need and eating the way you need to be in order to work out and build muscle mass. 

Long-term use of a waist trainer can even result in digestive issues

Never mind wearing a waist trainer for an extended time, you may very well be setting yourself up for GRED (acid reflux). 

This is on account of the fact that your stomach is being squeezed inwards and up and the pressure exerted on its contents causes reflux into the esophagus.

Waist trainers might also promote a “crash-diet” approach to fitness, which isn’t just inadequate but capable of posing a danger to your health. 

Some women report “feeling full all the time” when they wear waist trainers, says strength and fitness coach Nicolle Harwood-Nash of The Workout Digest.

 “In a way, you’re committing to a fake form of diet. Obviously, this isn’t a good alternative to eating a healthy diet.”

Better posture

 “Constricting airflow and compressing your midsection can prevent your abdominal muscles from engaging in core movements,”

…says, Certified Lagree Instructor, at The Studio (MDR), Casey Palazzo. 

“Over time, you’ll actually be losing strength and definition,”

…she says. 

Shani Fried, a pelvic floor physical therapist agrees.

“People wear a waist trainer to look slimmer because they think it’s going to bring the abs together, but it’s a passive movement, so you’re doing the opposite. It actually turns off the ab muscles.” 

So actually, it may very well be that the waist trimmer belt results you see are going to be the opposite of what you were hoping to see.

The more often you wear a waist trainer in the hope of seeing some waist trimmer belt results, the more it’s going to act as a source for external support for your body as opposed to challenging your own muscles to keep you straight. 

Your back muscles, feeling the compression, relax and deactivate, which is doubly unfortunate for abdominal muscles you’re trying to engage.   

Physiological effects:

Your musculoskeletal system is also at peril when you waist train. Your spine is made of several units known as vertebrae. The middle part of your spine creates stability because it’s attached to your rib cage, so it doesn’t move quite as easily.

Now, because we’re entirely reliant on our lower spines for mobility, so any pressure in this area is going to put your musculoskeletal system at risk. 

Naturally, your body tries to compensate as much as it can, and you might injure yourself in other areas. In fact, a compressed diaphragm might send a signal to accessory muscles to start working overtime. 

Smaller accessory muscles located near your neck will try to assist the diaphragm in breathing. These small muscles are not meant to move your ribcage thousands of times per day; and when they’re all out of juice you can expect neck pain, headaches, and a protesting jaw.

The bottom line:

“There is no natural body, but only a cultural body”

Wrote Denia Bruna, the curator of the Bard Graduate Center’s exhibition, “Fashioning the Body,” in an essay for the exhibition catalog.

“The body is a reflection of the society that presided over its creation.” 

To put it plainly, corsets were created for the sole purpose of molding the body, making it conform to the standards of a “cultural body,” developed to fit the ideal aesthetics of any given time. 

Millions of young girls look up to these celebrities. At the same time, the body positivity movement commands women to love their bodies as they are. 

Yet waist trainers, designed to make a woman’s waist ever smaller in the hopes of appearing ‘attractive’, have been skyrocketing in sales and popularity (over one million posts on Instagram under the term). 

What we need is to promote a more natural remedy for self-betterment like exercise and healthy dieting so as to have both permanent and healthy results. 

To sum up…

In view of the following effects, we suggest to give this a go only on those special nights out, rather than making it a part of your everyday routine.

Even a snatched waist just isn’t worth the risk. 

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