Waist Training: Don’t Believe the Hype

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Women have worn custom corsets for hundreds of years, seeking to reshape their waistline, improve their posture and even improve certain spine-related issues.  Today’s corset-like latex and spandex waist trainers are typically not custom-fitted or medically endorsed, but they are popular nevertheless. While waist training is the new trend, is it safe? What is the best way to achieve that hourglass figure?  KimK-Wiast-Trainer

In short, waist training is a dangerous practice and does not offer long-term results. This article will address the dangers associated with corset waist training and offer safer alternatives for getting a slimmer waistline.

Dangers of Waist Training

Medical experts agree that corset waist training can cause major damage to bodily organs, decrease muscular strength, and impair functional movement.  Furthermore, the waist training garments only work temporarily.  Mary Jane Minkin, M.D., a clinical professor of ob-gyn at Yale School of Medicine, explains, “Medically, it doesn’t make sense that cinching your waist tightly will make it permanently smaller […] Once you take the garment off, your body will return to its usual shape” (Women’s Health Magazine, 2014, para. 4).  The major concerns are those related to respiratory and digestive function.  The restrictive garments hinder breathing and can potentially cause rib damage (Women’s Health Magazine, 2014, para. 5).  Medical doctors also warn users that constricting the midsection of the body can affect food intake and interfere with food digestion.  Finally, doctors agree that corset waist trainers interfere with the body’s natural ability to strengthen its core musculature (The Doctors, 2014, para. 3-8).  In other words, the waist trainer might make your waistline smaller, but it is causing internal damage and weakening your abdominal muscles.

Safer Alternatives 

Are there some healthier alternatives? The first is not trendy, but it works…. eating healthy and exercising regularly.  A consistent lifestyle change will not only help with weight loss, but also helps to maintain your results.  The second option is to wear a less constrictive body wrap under clothing to help eliminate water weight around your mid-section.  Body wraps are generally made from plastic, fabric, or another soft material. Body wraps are not worn as tightly as waist corsets.  The key is to “sweat off” the water weight on your waistline, not to constrict it.  Finally, the sauna is another option.  Sitting in the sauna helps to eliminate water weight.  A body wrap can be worn in the sauna too.






Women’s Health Magazine. (2014). The Dangers of ‘Waist Training.’ Retrieved from


The Doctors. (2014). ‘The Dangers of Waist Training.Retrieved from





About the Author:

Christina is the owner of Journey2Wellness, and she is also the executive director of ADFP Inc., a non-profit corporation offering free and low-cost health education in urban communities. She holds a BA in Sociology, an MBA in Healthcare Administration, and certifications with the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) and the Wellness Council of America (WELCOA). Visit www.thejourney2.com to learn more.


Online editor for Hers magazine.

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