11 Pros and Cons of Waist Trainers
Posted on December 01 2016
With celebs like Kim Kardashian and Jessica Alba swearing by waist trainers, it is not a surprise that it has become a trend today. Lots of women are purchasing waist cinchers or trainers today in an effort to acquire the desirable hour glass figure.
But what exactly is waist training? Waist training is defined as a process of using waist trainers or cinchers to reduce your natural waist size and accentuate your curves. However, whether they actually help you or create more problems for you is debatable. So we did our own research to learn more about the trainers to help you decide if they are right for you.
History of Waist Training
If rumors are to be believed, it was the wife of King Henry II of France, Catherine de’Medici who who introduced waist training by banning thick waists at court, somewhere in the 1500s. No one actually knows the reason behind her hatred of thicker waists trainers, but it was during this time that women started wearing corsets.
Waist trainers were called corsets only in the 19th century, earlier they were referred to as ‘stays’ and ‘a pair of bodies’. Corsets have been in and out of fashion for several years. In recent years waist training has gained a unique following and has remained in the limelight as celebrities and socialites continue to sing their praises.
The Pros of Waist Training
For thousands of years, women have used corsets as a tool for waist training. The basic premise behind waist training is very simple. You wear a waist trainer that is laced tightly for a specified period of time – that is all. This constant constriction around your waist eventually works to reduce your natural waist size over time.
You can also wear waist trainers and perform various exercises such as stretching or pilates. A controversial means of reducing your natural waist size, waist trainers have their pros and cons. Let’s first have a look at the advantages of using waist trainers.
Achieving the Coveted ‘Hourglass’ Figure
The most common reason women start waist training is because they desire an hourglass figure. An hourglass figure has been assumed to be the most proportioned and flattering figure a woman can have. And, using waist trainers actually helps one get an hourglass figure by cinching your waist and accentuating the curves of your hips and bustline. If you are using waist training correctly, you will be able to see the results in a couple of weeks. If your goal is an hourglass figure with a small waist, than waist training might be good for you.
If you wear a waist trainer all the time, you will realize that it becomes difficult for you to consume large portions of food. That said, the thing to remember about waist trainers is that they cannot aid you in weight loss on their own. They only restrict the amount of food you eat, they do not burn any fat in your body.
Professor of Fitness at the California State University – Long Beach, Dr. Jan Schroeder, explains, “Corsets do not cause you to permanently lose fat in the midsection; they cause a redistribution of the fats and organs in the trunk to give you an hourglass shape”. So if you are planning to use waist trainers to help you lose weight, reconsider your decision.
Improves Posture and Confidence
When you wear a waist trainer, you will maintain a good posture while standing and sitting. This is because the metal bones in the waist trainers make it impossible for you to slouch. It improves your posture by providing the necessary support to your back.
Although it may differ from person to person, many women claim that they feel more confident when they see the changes in their waistline after using waist trainers. When you wear waist trainers under your clothes, they actually make you look slimmer – which boosts your confidence even more.
Postpartum Waist Tightening
Lots of women want to go back to their natural waist size or abs after giving birth to a baby. Wearing waist trainers seems to help new moms recover their firm abs – Jessica Alba and Kim Kardashian swear by it.
Leah Keller, the CEO and Co-Founder of The Dia Method, shares, “Corsets, when worn correctly, act as a splint to physically approximate the two halves of the rectus abdominis. While corsets do not strengthen the abs or heal a separated abdominal wall on their own, they can support and speed the healing process”.
Apart from accentuating your bustline, waist trainers also offer some support to your bustline. This property of waist trainers is beneficial, especially for women with large breasts, because it helps reduce back pain and pressure.
The Cons of Waist Training
While waist trainers certainly have their benefits they also have some side effects worth noting. There are numerous experts out there who criticize the use of waist trainers and are of the opinion that it causes more harm than good.
Wearing a waist trainer is bound to be uncomfortable because it is a garment that is tied tightly around your waist. Go easy on how tightly you wear the waist trainer, because if you are too aggressive, it will cause a whole host of problems.
Beware of signs such as bruising, shallow breathing, downward pressure, and restricted movements. If you have ever started experiencing any of these signs, then you have tightened the waist trainer too much.
Inside your abdomen, there is a complex network of your intestines, esophagus, and stomach. When you use waist trainers to reduce your waist size, it puts extreme pressure on these organs. If you are wearing your waist trainer during meals, not only will it hamper proper digestion, but it may also cause acid reflux. The way you can prevent this is by removing your waist trainer during meal times or tying it more loosely.
Muscle Atrophy and Weakness
Who would not want a perfect waistline? However, there are people out there who go overboard trying to achieve this goal. Remember, moderation is key when you want waist training to be successful. Using a waist trainer is a gradual process, the length of time you wear your waist trainer is supposed to increase day by day.
A word of caution, if you are wearing your waist cincher constantly and for long periods of time, it can cause muscle weakness and may even lead to muscle atrophy. Training your waist in an unhealthy manner may result in many other complications.
If you think wearing a waist trainer too tight will give you faster results, think again. When your waist trainer is excessively tight, it can and will constrict your diaphragm. And the result is that your breathing capacity is greatly reduced and you are restricted to taking shallow breaths. Therefore, it is important to ensure that you can breathe properly even after tightening your waist trainer. Lack of adequate oxygen to your body can cause fainting, dizzy spells, and other hazards to your health.
Decreased Core Strength
When you wear waist trainers that are too tight for extended periods of time, it can decrease your core strength. The abdominal core muscles become lazy because they depend too much on the waist trainers to support them. When you are using a waist trainer, there is actually no need for your abdominal muscles to do any work.
Over a period of time, they become inactive and act as if they are switched off. Decreased core strength due to the prolonged use of waist trainers increases the chances of pelvic floor problems, poor posture, and back problems.
Bones are Reshaped
If you are even thinking about wearing waist trainers continuously to reduce your waist size, keep in mind that these trainers have the capacity to reshape your bones. Take a look at Catherine Jung, the Guinness World Record holder for smallest waist (15 inches), and you will understand how her bones have been reshaped.
She has been wearing a corset for almost all of her life, most of the day. Although corset production has come a long way from the 1940s, reshaped bones is still a possibility when you go to the extreme. Be weary of corset with unforgiving boning because of this. This is the reason why comfort is the first thing you should look at when you are wearing a waist trainer.
Waist trainers may help you achieve an hourglass figure; however, they have a lot of disadvantages associated with them. Not only are you uncomfortable while wearing them, you may also have to put up with a few health risks.
Furthermore, there is no proven clinical research to prove that waist trainers actually help you reduce your waist size, apart from the testimonies of celebrities. A balanced diet and regular exercise routines that target your waist size more naturally is the best way to achieve a smaller waist and figure you can be proud of.
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