Advantages And Disadvantages Of Waist Trainers
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Last Updated on July 14, 2021 by Gabriel Goddy
Are you considering getting a waist trainer for yourself? If yes, then you should read this guide before you do. We’ll be discussing the advantages and disadvantages of using a waist trainer. If after reading this guide, the disadvantages are points you can live with, then you should proceed in getting one.
WHAT IS A WAIST TRAINER?
A waist trainer is a high-compression shaping garment that you wear around your midsection to slim your waistline instantly and supplement your fitness goals. Most waist trainers stimulate thermal activity in your core, making you sweat more with less effort during exercise. Waist trainer benefits include a more effective workout, improved posture, and dramatic hourglass curves—instantly.
Waist trainers are made of thick elastic fabric, like neoprene. They’re meant to be worn snugly around your midsection, the back often has laces, Velcro, or hooks.
Some people compare waist trainers to shapewear, but there’s one huge difference: waist trainers are meant to be worn regularly and even tightened over time.
WHAT IS WAIST TRAINING?
When worn daily, a waist trainer—along with proper diet and exercise—can help you stay motivated and confident on your waist slimming journey. In this waist training guide, we’ll explain exactly how to use a waist trainer, so you rock your new curves right away.
How do waist trainers work?
Waist trainers may deliver on some of their promises. “There may be some water weight shed through sweating from wearing a waist trainer,” Vargo says. But it’s important to note that losing water weight doesn’t mean you’ve lost fat.
But do waist trainers help shape your body, as they promise? Sort of. Tightly-cinched waist trainers make it hard to use your abdominal muscles, which can make them weaker. This could make your waist appear slimmer over time since the muscles become smaller. “If your waist appears to be smaller after a few weeks, it’s likely due to water loss and muscle atrophy,” Vargo says.
And of course, your waist will appear smaller while wearing the waist trainer, since it works sort of like shapewear. But once you take it off, you may notice less of a difference in your waistline.
Waist training helps achieve an hourglass shape by cinching your waist and accentuating the curves of your hips and bustline.
If you waist train correctly, you will see the results in a couple of weeks. If an hourglass figure is what you want, then waist training might be right for you.
WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN YOU START
If you’re new to waist training, you might have some surprises! Here’s what is totally normal but perhaps unexpected:
- Waist trainers are difficult to put on the first time (it gets easier)
- In the beginning, you can only wear your waist trainer for a few hours at a time.
- You may notice fast results.
- You will be less likely to overeat.
- You’ll wonder how you ever dressed without one!
So can they really help you lose weight? Not exactly. Instead, three main things are happening:
- Waist trainers squeeze your midsection, kind of like super-intense shapewear. But the effect disappears as soon as you take the trainer off.
- You might sweat more than usual while wearing a waist trainer (they’re hot!), which can make you lose water weight. But this effect is temporary.
- If you wear a waist trainer consistently, your core muscles can atrophy and shrink from lack of use. Since your stomach is squeezed, you’re also less likely to overeat while wearing one.
Advantages of Waist Trainers
- Weight Control
If you wear a waist trainer all the time, you will realize that it is challenging 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 lose fat in the midsection permanently; they cause a redistribution of the fats and organs in the trunk to give you an hourglass shape.”
Reconsider your decision if you want to use waist trainers to lose weight.
- Improves Posture and Confidence
Waist trainers help you maintain proper posture while standing and sitting because the metal bones in waist trainers make it impossible for you to slouch. They improve your position by providing the necessary support to your back.
As a result, many women claim 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 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 up the healing process”.
- Bustline Support
Apart from accentuating your bustline, waist trainers also offer some support to it. This property of waist trainers is beneficial, especially for women with large breasts, because it helps reduce back pain and pressure.
- Difficulty breathing
Wearing a waist trainer makes it harder to breathe.
A small 2018 study reported that wearing a waist trainer decreases maximum voluntary ventilation (MVV), or how much air you can inhale and exhale in 1 minute.
The researchers compared ten female participants’ MVV with and without a waist trainer. They found that the average MVV decreased from 77.3 liters (L) per second to 68.8 L per second while wearing a waist trainer.
The American Board of Cosmetic Surgery (ABCS) estimates that the reduction in lung capacity is even greater — likely between 30 and 60 percent.
Regardless of the percent decrease, the upshot is that wearing a waist trainer makes it harder for your body to get all the oxygen it needs. That can be dangerous, especially if you wear the waist trainer while exercising.
Physical activity requires more oxygen, not less. If you don’t get enough, you might feel short of breath, tired, or dizzy. You could even faint.
- Bones Reshaped
Waist trainers can reshape your bones if worn continuously. Take a look at Catherine Jung, the Guinness World Record holder for the smallest waist (15 inches). Her pictures show reshaped bones from wearing a corset all of her life, throughout most of the day.
Although corset production has come a long way since the 1940s, reshaped bones are a risk when taken to the extreme.
Be wary of corsets that put too much pressure on your shape. Ensure you are comfortable in your waist trainer and don’t wear it for continuous periods.
- Weakened core
Waist trainers provide the support that would normally come from your core muscles. If you wear a waist trainer but don’t train your core, you could end up with severely weakened abdominal muscles.
Weak abs can ultimately lead to poor posture and back pain.
- Weakened pelvic floor
After giving birth, your pelvic floor muscles and the surrounding organs need time to heal. If you wear a waist trainer while healing, it can make matters worse instead of better. That’s because the trainer will put additional pressure on your pelvic floor.
While this damage isn’t always visible, it can lead to incontinence or prolapse.
- Meralgia paresthetica
Tight clothing, including waist trainers, may cause nerve damage.
In particular, waist trainers may compress the nerve that runs down from the groin. This can cause something called meralgia paresthetica — burning, tingling, and numbness in the outer thigh.
Meralgia paresthetica has been associated with trusted Sources wearing a corset since the early 1900s. While taking off the waist trainer is usually enough to relieve symptoms, severe cases may require medication or even surgery.
- Gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms
Since waist trainers compress your stomach, wearing one may cause you to eat less, which can lead to weight loss. But it can also lead to unpleasant digestive symptoms.
For one, tight clothing has been shown to worsen heartburn. Heartburn happens when acid from your stomach flows up from your stomach into your esophagus, irritating.
Waist trainers can also worsen discomfort caused by existing food intolerances or GI issues such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
- Rashes and infections
Waist trainers are often made from synthetic fabrics and are meant to be worn tightly. They tend to keep moisture — like sweat — in instead of allowing it to evaporate off your skin. This can irritate, leading to rashes and even bacterial and yeast infections.
- Organ damage
This may go without saying, but there are a ton of important organs in your midsection, including the liver, kidneys, and bladder.
When you wear a waist trainer, it pushes on your organs. They may shift positions or experience reduced blood flow, which can affect how well they function.
Keep in mind that waist trainers may help you achieve an hourglass figure; however, they have a lot of disadvantages associated with them that may impact your health.
Consult your primary care doctor to learn more about waist trainers and to discover if they are right for you.