At first glance, waist training sounds like an archaic method that no modern woman would ever consider. However, ever since celebrities like Jessica Alba, Kim Kardashian, and Amber Rose started taking pictures of themselves wearing corsets and openly endorsing the practice, we all want to jump on that band wagon.
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What is Waist Training?
In a nutshell, waist training involves wearing a very tight waist cinching garment for an extended amount of time per day in order to slowly tighten or “train” the waist into shrinking, eliminating inches from your waist line. It is believed that by wearing a waist cincher you will reshape your midsection and essentially loose inches without diet and exercise.
Where Did This Trend Begin?
In many cultures, especially the Latin American culture, waist training is typically practiced and recommended for women who recently gave birth. The idea is that by wearing these tight garments your mid-section will shrink faster and will also help tighten the loose skin, thus you will return to your pre-baby body faster.
According to some physiotherapists, if women postnatally have a significant rectus diastasis – that’s a separation of their superficial abdominal muscles – this lack of support can lead to increased back pain, poor pelvic floor function and a slower recovery of the abdominal muscle form and strength. Many post-pregnancy compression garments can reduce postnatal swelling and give support to weakened muscles and aid in regaining strength in those muscles.
The consensus amongst most medical professionals is that waist training is a good short-term strategy that may help women with rectus diastasis but not a long-term gain. Waist cinchers can only move soft tissue in your body. They cannot melt your fat.
Then there are the physical concerns about the practice, such as the potential compressing of organs making it harder to eat, digest and breathe, all significant functions we cannot live without. It is also thought that wearing a corset that is too tight could potentially cause rib damage and acid reflux.
Still, advocates of waist training believe that the tightness of the garment makes you sweat and loose inches, especially while you work out. However, it is not possible to shave inches off your waist permanently just by sweating them off. Unfortunately, the only way to see real long-term gains is through the good old diet and exercise.