What is a waist trainer? Waist trainers are modern-day corsets made with elastic materials and some boning usually made from thin strips of metal. They are cinched around the waist from breasts to the top of the hips. A Velcro strap is used for easy tightening while a system of either laces or hook and eyes provide gradual tightening. The idea is to train the waist to become smaller, improving the overall look of the wearer.
Question is, do they actually do so, to make the waist smaller? Before that question is answered you should know the pros and cons of wearing a waist trainer.
Now that you’ve gotten the answer to “what is a waist trainer“, there are a few advantages to wearing one, as highlighted below.
- Posture Support
The waist trainer does improve posture but only while it’s worn. It supports the lower back and abdomen as well as the rigidity of the garment doesn’t allow for slouching. Long term use actually weakens core muscles and worsens posture.
- Body Shape Support
The whole idea behind wearing a waist trainer is to slim the waistline. The trainer squeezes everything together and yes, it makes the wearer look slimmer. However, the effect is only temporary. The waist will only stay slimmer due to muscle atrophy of the abdominal muscles, and this is not healthy.
- Weight Loss Support
The weight most women report losing from wearing a waist trainer comes from water loss. Due to how the trainer is made and how long it’s worn, the garment causes the wearer to sweat a lot. Yes, you will feel fuller faster wearing it, but this is because it’s putting pressure on the stomach. Unless you change how you eat, the trainer itself will not provide permanent weight loss.
- Postpartum Support
A waist trainer is not a pregnancy back support belt, and it’s not recommended to be used in place of one. It will give support to the lower back and abdomen of a woman during her postpartum healing phase, but it shouldn’t be used long term as it can actually cause issues with the pelvic floor.
While a waist trainer does a lot of good to your body, there are a few drawbacks.
- Can Make Breathing a Bit Difficult
The waist trainer squeezes the lungs forcing the wearer to breathe shallower. Long term, this can cause fluid build-up in the lungs as well as inflammation.
- May Cause Internal Damage
The internal organs of the wearer are pushed either above or below the waist by the trainer, forcing them into unnatural positions. Over time, they cease to function properly.
- May Cause Digestive Issues
In addition to pressure being put on the stomach, the entire digestive tract is squeezed and pushed out of place. This makes it hard not only to eat properly but also to digest properly. Acid reflux aka heartburn is the main complaint next to breathing.
- May Cause Rib Damage
Floating ribs are displaced and tend to fracture over time.
So in the short term yes, the waist trainer does indeed slim your waist, but in the long term, it doesn’t do much except hurt you. In the case of pregnant and postpartum women, wearing a pregnancy back support belt will serve you much better than a waist trainer