If you have a social media account of any kind and follow even just one fitness-related account, then I’m guessing you’ve heard of waist trainers. Heck, if you’ve heard of Kim Kardashian (and unfortunately, who hasn’t), then you’ve probably heard of these. They’re touted by tons of celebrities as miracle working, magic solutions to make your waist smaller. Put this on and, voila! You’re thinner over night! Sounds good, right? More like ridiculous and too good to be true.
The companies that make this will tell you that “waist shapers will help you lose fat and inches from your waist, metabolize fat, release toxins, compress your core, and reduce food intake throughout the day.” This is total crap, and let me tell you why. Let me count the ways…
First of all, as I covered in my entry on abs, there is no such thing as spot training. Putting this thing on one part of your body to squeeze it into submission is going to do you no more good than a thousand crunches per day. Targeting one place on your body only and expecting it to morph into a different shape is about as possible as possible as waving a magic wand. Sorry, I know.
Secondly, these things are usually made up of latex and will make you sweat all day long under your clothes (ew). So, yeah, when you weigh yourself at the end of the day, you might weigh less, but it’s just all the sweat you’ve now got caked to your stomach. The second you intake more liquids or eat any carbs you’re going to gain that water weight back.
Thirdly, this “compressing your core” thing is true, but only in the literal sense. When you take it off, you’re not a new shape. You’re still a human with insides, and those insides will expand to fill the space they actually require as soon as they can.
Fourthly, and in my opinion, most importantly, these things are dangerous. Remember how ridiculous Rose was in Titanic getting her corset tied up so she could hardly breathe? They actually named a certain type of furniture after how impossible these things were to wear – fainting couches – because women couldn’t breathe properly and needed a place to sit or lie down when they fainted. Seriously. This is the same exact thing but packaged differently and paraded around by Jessica Alba.
These things are dangerous in normal daily life, but they’re even more dangerous when it comes to exercising in them, which is what Kim. K and the like snap photos of themselves doing on Instagram. In order to get your muscles and heart the oxygen they need when you’re exerting yourself, you have to breathe! How are you supposed to get enough air if you can’t inhale all the way? You can cause rib damage and other painful side effects from limiting your ability to breathe.
So, do yourself a favor and don’t fall victim to the cute pictures of women with tiny waists on social media wearing these modern-day torture devices. They’re a scam. My recommendation is to actually strengthen your core and those important corset muscles so that your body pulls itself in tightly… not a piece of latex covered in your sweat. Again, ew.