Many women covet the idea of a tiny waist and hourglass figure. Which is why waist-high sneakers have become so popular. Waist-up sneakers are being worn more and more during workouts, but are they safe to wear? Or should we give them the boot?
What is a great trainer?
Let’s start with the basics, what is a great trainer? The waist trainer is basically the modern version of a corset. There are different variations and some are more vicious than others. Like corsets, they are meant to be worn under clothing and often contain metal ribs. They are worn around the mid section and typically use a lacing system, velcro, or hooks to close them. Sneakers are usually made of a thick, elastic material and should be tighter than a belt or supportive garment.
What are some of the supposed benefits associated with
The keyword here is assumed. Many of the complaints come directly from companies that Make sneakers at the waist. So, it’s best to take all of these so-called benefit claims with a pinch of salt. The two main claims are an hourglass figure and weight loss as a direct result of wearing the waist trainer.
A small waist and an hourglass
Theoretically, the idea is that a waist trainer will reduce pockets of fat around the waist. Specifically, the pockets of fat near the floating ribs. The floating coasts
are the two lowest ribs that are not attached to the breastbone. In theory, these two lower ribs would be molded and manipulated to create that coveted hourglass figure. However, the truth seems to be that it won’t work in the long run. Indeed, according to the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery, wearing a size trainer will not result in any drastic changes in the body and any perceived changes will be short lived. Essentially, that tiny waistline won’t stay unless you regularly wear your waist trainer.
While it may seem like you’re losing weight faster, it’s actually not that simple. Waist sneakers, due to the amount of compression and material, make you sweat a lot more. The “weight loss” you see is more due to water loss from excess sweat than to actual fat loss. Okay, so you sweat more, that must be a good thing, right? While it is true that normally sweating means the body is working harder, in the case of waist training, this is not the truth. In fact, it seems that excessive compression could even have a negative effect on the muscles.
Okay, they may not work in the long run, but are they safe?
The answer here seems to be no. This is unless you are temporarily wearing it for a special occasion. Usually, it is recommended that you wear your abdominal belt for 8 hours a day. This is not recommended by healthcare professionals and is in fact considered very risky. You should also not wear it while you sleep or while you exercise.
What are the side effects?
Unfortunately for all of us who have fallen for an expensive waist trainer, the risks here seem to outweigh the benefits.
They actually weaken the abdominal muscles
One of the things that most healthcare professionals agree on is that in the long run, using a waist trainer will lead to weakening of the abdominal muscles. When you wear a waist trainer, you restrict the airflow to the muscles and compress them simultaneously. Casey Palazzo, Lagree Certified Instructor, at The studio (MDR) explained to Byrdie that they can effectively prevent the core muscles from being able to engage. This means that you will actually be losing strength and definition according to Palazzo. Waist trainers also provide support when it comes to standing up straight. This actually causes the the trunk muscles become dependent on it and these muscles become deactivated because they feel they are not needed.
Other negative impacts of waist training
There are definitely more negatives than positives when it comes to waist training.
Restrict air flow: They tighten the lower ribs (the floating ribs) to give the illusion of an hourglass shape. This makes it difficult to breathe and can lead to decreased lung capacity which is especially important when exercising. They also inhibit the diaphragm and can also make you pass out when you pull them too hard.
Pressure on internal organs: As with the corsets of yore, this is definitely a problem. Your organs need to move in order to function properly. A great trainer
compresses them and can put them under unnecessary stress. Unfortunately, there are no legitimate studies when it comes to waist training, which makes it difficult to know what the long term effects might be. However, according to Jesse P. Houghton, MD, Senior Medical Director of Gastroenterology at Southern Ohio Medical Center, it would take very long-term sustained wear and tear to move organs permanently.
There are healthier ways to shape your waist
Of course, it is difficult to target a specific area with diet and exercise. However, according to Palazzo, there are specific exercises that can help strengthen the heart, trim the waist and tighten the oblique muscles. She recommends exercises that target the oblique specifically as well as lateral turns. Ultimately, you shouldn’t risk your health to have a smaller waistline. It would be better (and much healthier) to change your diet and exercise routine to try and target areas like the waistline.