You probably have seen lots of photos of celebrities like Kim Kardashian, Ciara, Nicki Minaj and many others who are bringing back the hourglass figure back into the spotlight. Some of these celebrities post smashing photos on social media, showing much enthusiasm about the “waist trainers” as a useful garment that helped them get their stunning curves.
But you might wonder and ask, “Do waist trainers really work?” “Can it truly train my figure to get that hourglass shape?” Well, this article will tell you the truth about waist trainers and whether they work as claimed by many celebrities or not. Just keep reading!
What Are Waist Trainers?
Waist trainers are high-compression undergarments that are meant to give the wearer an hourglass figure, which is a sleeker, smaller waist and curves over the hips.
The waist trainers or corsets are made of materials such as latex, spandex, latex, cotton (usually added to latex), and steel bones. But the recent types are made of latex, which is preferred for their flexibility.
They are also clinched with a lacing system or Velcro depending on the brand.
Sometimes, the word “corsets” is used instead of “waist trainers,” but there is a slight difference between the two terms. The corsets refer to the more traditional waist-cinching devices which are intended mainly for wearing.
But the waist trainers are the modern garments flaunted by celebrities such as Kim and Khloe Kardashian, which can be worn under a dress or during workouts.
More so, waist trainers are meant to compress your midsection, to give you a slimmer waist, streamlined appearance, and better posture.
When you wear most of these waist trainers, they cause a thermal activity in your core, which makes you sweat more with little effort during a workout.
Not only has that, but waist training usually requires that you wear the waist trainers frequently for months. However, some manufacturers claim that you can see results instantly.
But do you know waist trainers have been in existence for a long time? Yea, it only went out of trend after many medical doctors warn about its negative effect on the body.
Origin of Waist Trainers
Waist trainers are not used only recently. They have been around since the Victorian times (then it was known as a corset).
Corsets originated from France in 1580-1600. It was constructed entirely in some rusty looking iron or metal designed in a leafy framework. These corsets were originally used to compress the stomach and breast when fashion dictated rigidity in a dress.
After the 16th century, the corsets were modified to uplift the breast and slim the waist, resembling the exaggerated curves of a modern-day “Barbie” Doll.”
Then, sometimes in the 1800s, the corsets were upgraded to accentuate the female shape, to help females get an hourglass figure through a small waist and curvy hips.
However, in the 19th century, the popularity of the corsets was at its peak, and the people became desperate to a smaller waist, which began to cause a lot of health problems and discomfort. Then, the slimming corset fell out of trend. And women started turning to diet, exercise, and plastic surgery to trim their waist and shape their bodies.
Today, the slimming corsets are making a massive comeback as waist trainers. Many celebrities and TV royalties have helped bring back the hourglass figure into the spotlight.
There are now looser and comfy designs, and Influential celebs (including the Kardashian and Jenners) are now publicly promoting the use of waist trainers. Now it seems that the corset will continue to TREND.
Types of Waist Trainers
You can easily become confused with the diverse designs of waist trainers available today … from the steel boned corsets, the neoprene waist wraps, latex waist cinchers, and many more.
But the intriguing part is that there is a lot of variance in the usage of these waist trainers. More so, there is a difference in the way they affect your posture, breathing, and comfort, as well as how fast you begin to see the result.
The major types of waist trainers include:
Corsets are a type of waist trainers that has a steel boning, with laces used for tightlacing at the back.
The steel boning allows the corset to stay in shape when it cinched tighter and tighter. So, as you slowly tighten the laces, the steel boning packs your rib cage to the shape of the corset and tapers your waistline.
When it comes to waist trainers, think of the corsets as the “hardcore” because it can change your shape over time. In fact, most people who used the corset before it became cool still argue that “corsets are still the only waist trainers; others are just waist tamers”.
NB: Using the slimming corsets is more than just strapping the corset and getting an hourglass figure. Don’t be deceived; serious corset training is a lifestyle. You need to learn how to choose the best corset, how to corset train your figure successfully. And this can take years and requires a lot of patience from you.
Waist Cinchers, aka Fajas
This waist trainer is what you see most celebrities flaunting and promoting. It works just like the corsets by shrinking your waistline instantly, but they have some unique features.
The cinchers are made from a combination of latex and spandex. It compresses your body but moves with it with less restriction than the corset. More so, these waist trainers are more flexible-some cinchers have no boning, some have fewer steel columns of boning or flexible plastic boning.
The intriguing part is that cinchers do not have lacing; so you can’t tight lace with them. But they usually have few columns of hook-and-eye closure to allow you to adjust the cinchers to your comfort level.
Waist trimmers do not really train your waist to get an hourglass figure. Instead, it works for heating your core to burn belly fat.
You’ll often see people wearing waist trimmers during workouts. Yea, they have features to support that- they are made of flexible neoprene for good full range of motion while heating up your core. As your temperature increases, your body begins to burn more calories and clear unwanted toxins and water weight around your midsection.
So it is clear that these three types of waist trainers all serve different purposes.
The interesting part, however, is that many people combine these three types of waist trainers to get the best result.
Some trainers recommend that you can wear a waist trimmer during cardio exercises to burn belly fat. You can also wear a waist cincher at the office to instantly slim your waistline. And on days of less activity, taper your waistline with the corset.
So you can see some posts saying you should feel free to incorporate the three into to achieve a reduced waistline.
Waist Trainers Worn by Celebs
If you regularly browse Instagram, you’ve likely seen celebrities like the Kardashians, Nicki Minaj, Jessica Alba and many others who flaunt and promote the use of “waist trainers”. Some of these celebrities claim that they achieved their curves with the help of waist trainers.
“I love my waist trainers! I warmed up every day on tour wearing it to stay in shape”- Nicki Minaj
The 38-year old actuality star, Kim Kardashian also has several posts on her social media page where she poses with a waist trainer.
She once said in a clip “A waist trainer is a gift I present to all of my mates after childbirth” She went on “these trainers simply make me feel so smashed, and I actually do not notice…smashed is probably not descriptive enough.”
Khloe also shares selfies on Instagram of herself wearing her secret waist trimmers on the fitness centre.
How to Use Waist Trainers
There’s no set formula for using waist trainers. You can wear them under everyday clothing, or with a sports bra when working out, or on a tank top. However, trainers recommend you wear them frequently.
But you have to remember that we all have different lifestyles and tolerance to stiffness, so what works for you may not work for the next person.
Some individuals might use the waist trainers for 4 days weekly, 7 hours daily or less. Others may use it for a longer period weekly, sleeping in it and removing it only when they need to shower. So there’s a need to decide your timing base on your tolerance level.
Trainers recommend that pairing a waist trainer with a healthy diet and good cardio or core strengthening workout can help you achieve the best waist slimming results.
But it is advisable not to try working out in a steel-boned slimming corset. The rigid form of this waist trainer will limit your movement and lung expansion, and this can be dangerous.
Benefits of Waist Trainers
A lot of times, people ask, “Do waist trainers really work?” Well, there are some supposed benefits that you stand to get when you wear the waist trainers. Check them out below:
When you wear the waist trainers, you might lose a small amount of weight. But this weight loss is mainly due to loss of fluids while sweating rather than burning of fat.
While some waist trainer proponents suggest wearing these garments during exercise, it’s not a good idea. Your movement can be restricted. Plus you may find it hard to breathe in deeply, depriving your muscles and tissues of the needed oxygen.
Dr Galyna Selezneva, an aesthetic medical doctor a cosmetic clinic in London (Rita Rakus) said, “Waist trainers can help you lose weight when you combine it with a supporting lifestyle” He added, “but you must remember that this is a temporary solution.”
Waist trainers help to train and transform your waistline to give you an hourglass figure. But these garments are unlikely to have a lasting effect.
The American Board of Cosmetic Surgery (ABCS) once said in their blog “a waist trainer will not cause a lasting change to your body shape, even if you have a body that lends itself to that form temporarily.”
When you constantly wear a waist trainer, it may encourage good posture. But if you wear it too much, it may weaken your core muscles, which can lead to back pains and poor posture.
“Waist training has the potential to weaken your back and abdominal muscles, as your waist trainer does not target these muscles,” said Dr Galyna.
Wearing a waist trainer will squeeze your stomach and make you full faster. You tend to eat less, and your chance of adding belly fat reduces.
However, you need to note that you need the right amount of nutrition to stay healthy. So limiting your food intake can deprive you of an adequate amount of vitamins and minerals that your body needs.
Is Waist Trainer Safe?
The next question that comes to mind after knowing the benefits of any product is “does it have any risk” Yea; you need to know how safe the waist trainers are to help you make a decision.
Well, a lot of manufacturers and waist training enthusiast affirm that waist trainers are safe for use. They stress that there is no documentation or proof of anyone who has ever been hurt by it.
One enthusiast said, “Yes, waist trainers do squeeze your organs, but luckily they easily adjust to changes in body form, just like what we twist or bend during exercise.”
“People like Cathie Jung, who displays some of the most amazing results with waist trainers, are still living a healthy and normal life”- she added.
Kylie Jenner once shared a post on her timeline praising a waist trainer company for hooking her up with the best “snap back product” to help her regain her shape after childbirth. She bragged about the cinchers as the best way to recover to her pre-baby physique without any risk.
Kim has also promoted waist-trainers like the SKIMS solution wear on her page. She recommends this product to her hundreds of thousands of followers without stating any risk.
Despite all these, the number of experts who discourages the use of waist trainers is far more than those who support their usage. In fact, there is a wide criticism against the use of waist trainers or slimming corsets.
Medical doctors and personal trainers tell about the risk involved in the use of personal trainers.
“You are at risk of having nausea, shortness of breath, fainting, and bruising when you exercise with a waist trainer or corset”, says Dr Gina Sam, the Director of the Gastrointestinal Motility Centre at the Mount Sinai Hospital, New York.
So is it really worth using a garment that would put you at risk of so many health issues? Answer that question yourself.
According to Dr Karena Wu, the owner of ActiveCare Physical Therapy, “Waist trainers compress your tissues, your natural movement abilities, and your bones, and could do you a lot of harm in the long run.”
Wu added “Your ribs can become bruised, and in worst cases fractured, and this could puncture the organs in your body.
Other effects of wearing a waist trainer include:
- It diminishes lung capabilities and can cause shortness of breath or dyspnea.
- It pushes the ribs, in and up, altering the positions of the internal organs. It also put you at risk of rib deformities if worn for an extended period.
- It squeezes the liver in opposition to the ribs.
- It may cause constipation or digestive issues due to the constriction of the abdomen and gut.
- It can irritate the opportunity of a prolapsed uterus if worn during pregnancy.
How effective are waist Trainers?
Many people ask this question “how effective are waist trainers?” “Do waist trainers work?” Well, most of the celebrities that promote the waist trainers always state that the garment is highly effective to reduce waistline and get an hourglass shape.
But the result you get depends on how dedicated you are to waist training, your lifestyle, your natural body type, and your genetic makeup.
However, you are likely to start seeing changes in your body after several weeks of activewear. Your before-and-after photo and measurement will show you the results.
That being said, many medical doctors and organizations still emphasize that the waist trainers do not offer any help.
A study compared the effectiveness of wearing a corset and eating a very low-calorie diet for achieving weight loss. The result showed the low-calorie diet to be feasible, even after a year. But they could not evaluate the effectiveness of the corset because participants gave up along the line due to discomfort.
One of the models of the Kardashian stars – Waist Gang Stars – was charged with a lawsuit in 2016 for encouraging the use of waist trainers. A customer sued because the product did not produce the promised weight loss result, and the company had to settle the class-action lawsuit with the sum of $5 million.
The business insider asked a doctor certified dietician, Jim White, about the effectiveness of the waist trainer. He gave a short reply “Waist trainers are quick fixes and are not effective for long-lasting health; they only last for a short time.”
So don’t be surprised that most of the celebrities posting sponsored photos of slimming corsets and waist trainers are just all about the money they get. The effect you get at the end of the day may be disappointing.
Now you should be able to answer questions like “Do waist trainers work?” or “Do slimming trainers work?” or many others without mincing words.
So when you do decide to use the waist trainers or slimming corset to get an hourglass shape, always remember the serious health risks associated. Besides, you can get obsessed and addicted to seeing your waist look tiny. So watch it.
Also, ensure you don’t wear it for too long, don’t over-tighten, and make sure you stay hydrated always.
And most of all, remember that the healthiest and most effective way to lose weight and stay in shape is through regular exercising, healthy lifestyle and eating right with “deficit calories“.