It’s time to party like it’s 1889! Or at least dress like it. Waist training is the new celebrity-inspired trend that claims to shrink tummies with the help of a banded or corset-like piece to reveal a classic hourglass figure. Many stars have touted the benefits of waist training in their weight loss efforts, and have even said that the practice helped them get back into pre-baby shape.
There’s no doubt that a sexier silhouette is near the top of every woman’s “Yes, please!” list; however, as with most trends perpetuated by an Instagram post, this one also comes with its reservations. Can a fashion throwback to the Victorian era really translate to a slimmer midsection and tighter core?
There are several types of waist trainers out there, ranging from the more traditional corset-like garment that is meant to be worn for several hours a day, to athletic wraps that aid in thermogenesis (heating of the body to lose fat and rid toxins).
Plastic Boning: The most common type of boning found in modern corsets, these garments are typically cheaper than others and offer plenty of options to choose from. This style is great if you're in search of a pretty top or something to impress in the bedroom; however, note that plastic boning cannot be used for long-term waist training and should not be laced tightly, as this can cause the plastic to bend and dig in to the skin.
Steel Boning: Spiral and flat steel are both used in this style. Both are more flexible and provide more support than plastic boning, and a steel boned corset is much more comfortable as a result. While corsets with steel boning are usually significantly more expensive, they are a smart investment if you are planning on wearing the garment regularly or as part of a continued training regimen. A steel boned corset should be considered for waist training if the overall construction of the piece is strong enough.
Double-Boned Corsets: Made of steel, this style is normally used for waist training. Since they have twice as much boning as a normal garment, they can be laced tighter to offer far more support. If you are aiming to noticeably change the shape of your body, these will give the best results.
Athletic Wraps: Made of nylon and neoprene to promote intense sweating to help eliminate extra fat around the midsection through thermogenesis. Secures with Velcro to provide a snug fit, but is removed after exercise. Also a good option for new moms who want some extra belly support without taking drastic measures.
Helps improve posture – Waist trainers aid the wearer in supporting their torso both while standing and sitting. When worn regularly, it can help to train the core muscles to better carry your body overall.
Quick confidence boost – If you’re going out and want to look slim and trim, lacing up a waist trainer for the evening can give you just the right amount of self-assurance. Many women are inspired by what they see in the mirror and eat better and work out to achieve the same look without an extra garment.
Difficulty breathing – If tied too tightly, a waist trainer could cause discomfort, interfere with regular breathing, or contribute to heartburn and/or acid reflux. If you experience any of these symptoms while wearing one, immediately loosen it or take it off.
Skin problems – Failing to properly and regularly clean your garment could result in it holding excess sweat, oil, and bacteria. Avoid acne breakouts or rashes by taking the waist trainer off after exercise and washing it (and yourself) to keep it clean and in good condition. When used safely, a waist trainer can be a fantastic tool for achieving positive weight loss and body image results. However, it isn’t going to do the work for you.
Proper nutrition and exercise may seem like the “old-fashioned way,” but turning to a centuries-old body modification practice isn’t exactly a revolutionary answer to getting your BikiniBOD. Get it tight, but do it right!
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