There have been many misconceptions due to false information surrounding the use of waist trainers. Before tackling the most commonly asked questions, let’s first take a better look at exactly what waist trainers are and how waist training actually works.
What is a waist trainer?
Waist trainers are undergarments that are designed to provide powerful compression around your abdominal region. One of their main purposes is to make you look instantly thinner, toned, and help you slip back into that old outfit for a night out in the town.
Their other principal goal is to actually make your waist physically smaller, for far longer than just that one night out. This is proven to be achieved through consistent use over a period of a few weeks up to a few months, or as the name suggests, through “training your waist”.
How does waist training work?
This is a weight loss method of gradually tightening a garment around your mid section over a certain period of time. The constant constriction around your waist forces it to adapt little by little to a smaller size until eventually, you have something either resembling or full on achieving that hourglass curve.
This practice dates back as far as the 1500s when a woman was not allowed to enter a courthouse if her waist was too thick. Ironically, this mandate was from a woman as well - Catherine de Medici who was queen of France at the time, to be exact. Talk about solidarity, right?
Since then, waist trainers and corsets have been one of the first mass produced garments worldwide. In modern times, however, technology and research have helped developed a waist trainer for practically any occasion and not just for important appointments at court. We are talking about one kind for special events, another for the gym, another for everyday wear, and so on. This advancement is targeted at the present-day woman who lives a full life and does not want to compromise her weight loss journey due to a packed schedule.
What exactly is being adjusted when wearing a trainer?
You have the option to train your waist using a classic corset with an inner bone structure or one without it - which is a less intense version that mostly serves as a high compression band. Though it is situated in the area, this process will not in any way reshape your hips. It will, however, be able to cinch your two bottom-most ribs called your “floating ribs” and have them tucked inwards along with the rest of your waistline. This is especially achievable when training with a steel boned corset and is one of the main reasons behind that hourglass form.
When done at a steady pace, meaning not too rushed or extreme, this is perfectly fine and will not cause any health issues along the way. After all, these two floating ribs are meant to shift anyway. Just be sure to give your body enough time to adjust to the constrictions and not go any faster with your routine than you feel physically comfortable to do so. Even once your floating ribs pull inwards due to the constant compression, this is not permanent and will need a maintenance routine to keep it in place.
Still not convinced. Is waist training really safe?
Absolutely! Waist training is perfectly safe if you execute it properly and steadily. Here are some best practices to keep in mind:
- Measure yourself and get the right fitting trainer for your body.
- Keep it loose and progressively tighten only as your body adjusts.
- Be sure not to tighten it all the way when still starting out as this could cause some abdominal pain and your trainer might warp or break.
- In your first two weeks, do not wear it for longer than 2 consecutive hours daily. You may slowly add in increments of 30 minutes to an hour as you go along.
- Stay hydrated since waist training makes you sweat more and shed excess water weight.
- The compression only allows small intakes of food at a time. Because of this, add more fiber and protein to your meals to keep your energy up and feel full for longer periods.
- Regularly exercise to strengthen your core and improve flexibility, this will make the whole process much more comfortable for you.
- Most importantly, listen to your body and never try to “power through” any pain or heavy discomfort.
Does it move my organs or cause them any damage?
When training your waist, your whole abdominal area will be constantly constricted and yes, this includes your organs. Just like your floating ribs, this does not mean that your organs will move in a dangerous or unnatural manner. Everything that will be shifted during your routine is built to withstand the adjustment and will not be damaged in the process. Waist training has a very similar effect to pregnancy in the sense that the body will adapt to its new state and still function perfectly fine.
Does it cause acid reflux?
When worn correctly, waist trainers do not cause acid reflux. However, it is not impossible. If you put on a corset that is too small or reinforce it too tightly, the compression it puts on your digestive tract can cause a build up and result in acid reflux. Loosening up your trainers or taking it off especially during meals can easily remedy this.
Does it cause my body to bloat?
No, training your waist does not cause your body to bloat. However, if you are already feeling bloated due to a meal you recently had or something you drank, wearing one can enhance the feeling of discomfort. Loosening up your corset or taking it off can ease this and help you feel much better.
Does it cause back or stomach pain?
No, this routine should not cause back, stomach, or any pain whatsoever. These undergarments should feel very similar to a tight, warm hug. If you are experiencing pain while wearing it, it would be best to assess your waist trainer for any damages and make sure you got the right fit. If all seems to be okay, perhaps you just need to slow your pace down in terms of how far you are currently tightening it and make sure the clasps are evenly reinforced from top to bottom.
Does it cause shortness of breath?
Due to your torso being constricted, your lungs will have to adjust to its new capacity by taking in deeper, more frequent breaths but not to an extent where you will have difficulty breathing. After a while, you will get used to the new breathing pace and barely even notice it.
If you are partaking in strenuous activities such as going for a run, hitting the gym, or even just cleaning your living room, it is important to take into account the type of waist trainer you use – that is if you opt to use one during that time. Do not use a steel boned corset for these situations. Instead, go for one with a more flexible material you can freely move around in such as latex or neoprene.
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