Health Risks of Waist Trainers

The Kardashian’s have started yet another trend- the waist trainer. Another way of saying corset, the waist trainer has been seen on both Kim and Khloe accompanied with raving reviews by both sisters. Personally, I was a little taken back when I first saw the tightly laced corset on the women, my mind immediately shifting in to feminist-mode and recalling the controversial relationship women historically have had with the garment.

Although worn as a part of mainstream fashion, corsets were notoriously painful, sometimes laced so tightly that women had difficulty moving and breathing. When worn for long periods of time, they caused deformation of the rib cage, similar to foot binding. Although it might be an exaggeration to compare modern day corseting to the Victorian-era practice, it is important to understand what waist training is before incorporating it into your daily routine.

Contemporary waist trainers are meant to give every girl an hour glass figure by simply wearing the garment on a daily basis. Corset advocates say it squeezes the midsection tightly with the idea of contouring the body into that curvaceous figure. Plastic Surgeon Dr. Shirley Madhere says results will be different for everyone. These claims are based on weight, bone structure, diet and exercise, so don’t expect to get the same results you are seeing on social media. Madhere also stated certain risks that may occur with prolonged use of waist trainers. Women could experience organ compression, rib deformation, difficulty breathing and even gastrointestinal problems. 

Nutritionist and trainer Albert Matheny agrees that body type and diet and exercise habits will effect the outcome of the waist trainer. Some women have been exercising while wearing a corset, claiming it enhances their workout. However, Matheny says that this practice actually hinders your exercise routine. It causes you to use fewer core and back muscles, resulting in a weaker workout. He also urges woman to remember that a waist trainer isn’t going to magically give a naturally thinner woman a curvy body, so you need to be realistic about your goals. What you can’t achieve what you can’t get in the gym with an article of clothing, even if it’s hyped by a Kardashian. 

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Used under Creative Commons Licensing courtesy of Lara Larsen