Written by guest author N.P.Burggraaff

If you follow fitness gurus on Instagram, you will have come across the latest fitness trend of waist training. Just type in #waisttraining and you’ll be flooded with threads about the newest ‘fitness’ rage. Even celebrities like Kim Kardashian are endorsing them now. The bright colored corsets claim to change the size of your waist within minutes. What is the purpose of waist-training and does it serve its purpose? Is it healthy to wear such a tight garment? Read on to find out!

What is waist-training?

Waist training is the gradual process of slimming down the waist by wearing a compression garment much similar to the corsets that were worn in the Victorian era. When worn during a workout, it claims to increase your perspiration and therefore release toxins and mobilize fat cells. Many advocates of waist training say that one of the benefits is that it enhances your posture, forcing you to maintain a straight back. Since the waist trainer has a tight fit and compresses your core and abdomen, it also makes it uncomfortable for you to eat and reduces your urge to overeat (or to not eat at all).

Some women wear them over their gym outfit and some prefer to have the waist-trainer on their skin, hoping it will give them more transpiration. One thing is for sure, when you wear a waist-trainer, you immediately slim down and lose inches resulting in a trimmer waistline.

So it’s a corset right?

A corset typically is worn as a fashion statement and often to help you keep a straight posture. A corset is not worn with the aim of a permanent waist reduction. A waist trainer is worn to do just that, gradually reducing the waist over time. A waist trainer is not meant to be a fashion statement, but merely a tool to help you slim down.


Does it really work?

While there are some firm believers in waist training, there are also some heavy critics. Waist training garment companies say in their ‘manual’ that with the waist-training program you should eat right and exercise. This could indicate that fat loss is due to diet and exercise and has nothing to do with the garment.

Is it safe?

Depending on how tight you wear the waist-trainer, it has some dangers to it. When it fits extremely tight (which is the general idea of wearing such garments), it can impair the lungs by not being able to expand. When the lungs are unable to expand they can’t exchange or expel carbon dioxide which leaves a person short of breath. Doctors have stated furthermore that by compressing your abdomen you can internally damage the organs. When you wear the waist trainer to extremes, it is said to be able to fracture the ribs.

The bottom line

Does waist-training really work? I’m not convinced it serves its purpose in the long run, but when you have a party or photo shoot or some event and you want to look your best, it definitely reshapes your body and gives you an hourglass frame. Would I purchase one myself knowing the downsides of possibly impairing my lungs? No I wouldn’t! If you have experience with waist-training comment down below!

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