It’s in the media, celebrities are using it, and it is advertised in magazines. Waist training is the ‘new trend’ and it has gained popularity amongst the female community by showing off the quick effects that one can achieve by using it. Females idolize a 'perfect' hour-glass figure with a cinched in waist. What some women fail to realize is that each person has a unique body type and this image of  what some perceive to be ‘the perfect body’ can be unrealistic. Waist training has made its way throughout history and is now making a major comeback in the 21st century. Waist trainers can appeal to many women: from new Moms who want to lose their baby weight such as Jessica Alba and Snooki, to women trying to lose weight faster. They may even find consumers in younger generations, who think that this practice is the new ‘normal’. Waist trainers claim to cinch your core, hips, and back.

Now, before I decided to alter my lifestyle and embark on my fitness journey, I experimented with everything: from weight loss supplements, to extreme diets to waist trainers. My first waist training corset was an Underbust Waist Training Brocade Corset size 22 (if your waist is 26-27 inch) with 20 Spiral Steel Flat Bone and 4 Flat Steel Flat Bone. I was so excited to use it because I was desperate to see results.

I have a really straight body type (similar to Cameron Diaz) so I always struggled with the fact that I did not have that beautiful cinched in waist and curves like other females. Upon using my waist trainer, as the weeks went by, I would gradually tighten it and would wear it roughly for 8 hours a day (sometimes I would even sleep in it). I was oblivious to the harmful effects that the waist trainer was causing to my body because I wanted to see results like everyone else. As time passed (3 months) I started to see slight changes in my waist and was able to tighten my waist trainer a lot more.

One day, I woke up with extreme pain and discomfort in my ribs and found out that I ended up severely bruising my ribs. After that day, I never wore my waist trainer again. I decided to research more about waist trainers and was shocked at what I found. Celebrities and the media glamorize the use of waist trainers. From my experience, there is more to it than meets the eye.

I wanted to share the information I found with other women. I want to try to show them that waist training is not healthy and it can have cause long term health effects on your body! I also created a compilation of exercises that target those stubborn areas that could be used as an ideal and healthy alternative, at the bottom of this post.

Here are four harmful effects that waist training can cause:

  1. You are actually putting extreme tension on your internal organs. This especially applies to your lungs and ribs, which increases the difficulty of breathing. If women wear their waist trainers for extended periods of time, they can actually faint due to lack of oxygen reaching the brain.
  2. When a waist trainer is worn for an extended period of time, it can actually crush internal organs, compress lungs and fracture ribs! Dr. Caroline Apovian, Professor of Medicine at Boston University School of Medicine and a Spokesperson for the Obesity Society, said, “Your stomach might get pushed beyond the diaphragm which could cause reflux”. Ladies, if you continue to use your waist trainer and you are experiencing ANY of these symptoms you should stop ASAP. 3. Experts are also saying that waist training doesn’t really work (shocker!). It has been said that it’s impossible to reduce fat in one given area of your body. When the waist trainer pushes your stomach in, realistically the fat will go to the same place where it was, regardless of how long you wear your waist trainer. If you are looking for a long-term weight loss plan this is NOT the option. 4. Frequent users suggest that due to the tightness of the waist trainer, it increases perspiration so much that it can allow you to lose inches on your midsection permanently. This is a very inaccurate statement because that is physically not possible. However there are alternatives! Take a big guess…

It’s eating healthy and being active on a regular basis! This takes time, hard work and dedication but it will guarantee better results and change your lifestyle. If you want a tighter core and really want lose inches around your midsection, old-fashioned exercise is the answer.

“People are always looking for a way to cheat or a quick fix to fitness, and the answer is there isn’t one.” Nicole Glor, Celebrity Trainer

Here as some exercises that you can do on a daily basis to strengthen your core and help shave off some inches on your waist:

Great Oblique Workouts from Melanie Moore on Vimeo.

Sources used for this post: 


Marie Claire

Women’s Health

If you are interested in learning more about the harmful effects of waist training as well as how society perceptions have changes from the 18th Century then read this article.

About the Author:

Melanie is a fitness blogger who strives to empower women by building on their mental and physical confidence through fitness. Find Melanie on PumpUp @fitnessgeekx and follow her on Twitter and on her blog.