Waist Trainers: The most dangerous fitness fad

The growing obsession for women to achieve that Kim K hourglass figure is stronger than ever. The huge bum, huge boobs and tiny waist look is all the rage in the society we live in today and people all over the world are going to extreme lengths to achieve this. Liposuction, tummy tucks and boob jobs are more affordable and accessible in most of the western world. This twisted image on what should be the norm is infiltrating the fitness industry.



This photo shows Kim K's waist, artificially squeezed in to create that tighter, hourglass type figure. However, these figures haven’t been sculpted using the healthy process of a clean diet and plenty of exercise, no. The actual culprit is far, far worse.


The Waist Trainer

These women are achieving this look via the use of the waist trainer. The waist training phenomenon is nothing new. These have actually been around for centuries, in the old form of the corset. The corset was used by women to squeeze their fat up towards their arm pits and down below their belts to create that feminine, hour glass figure. These were gradually phased out due to the health risks, reports of women dying from organ failure and rib cages collapsing were not uncommon.

So why are these methods back in use today?

The company Waist Trainer UK claims that the use of their waist trainers will instantly create that hour glass figure due to perspiration and compression. The company also claims that their waist trainers suppress appetite, speed up your metabolism and improve your posture. Hmmm.


Waist training myths debunked

#1 – Waist trainers suppress appetite

Some companies contend that the use of a waist trainer will apply pressure to your abdominal area and therefore you’ll eat less as the stomach is being ‘squished’ therefore forcing you into a calorie deficit. However, the natural reaction of the human appetite once the waist trainer has been removed is to overcompensate for the calories you may have missed earlier.


#2 – Waist trainers instantly give you that hour glass figure

If you wrap a bandage tightly around your arm and leave it on for a few hours, once you take it off your arm will appear smaller. This is not due to perspiration or fat loss but is just a reaction to your soft tissue being compressed. Take a look at your arm an hour later and it will be back to its normal size. This ‘instant’ hour glass figure is just temporary.


#3 – Waist trainers improve your posture

The wearing of a waist trainer may force the body into an upright position meaning you walk around with correct posture, however, the use of a waist trainer causes atrophy of the abdominal muscles. Which are key to maintaining correct posture and form whilst exercising.


#4 – Waist trainers help you lose fat

Walk into any commercial gym and you’ll eventually come across a girl exercising in a waist trainer. Companies that sell these products endorse that waist trainers help you lose fat whilst exercising due to the increased perspiration coming from the mid section whilst wearing it. Whilst this maybe true, excess sweating whilst only being able to take on small amounts of water can lead to dehydration. As well as this, waist trainers restrict the muscles of the diaphragm which in turn leads to the cardiovascular system being limited. It does not take a genius to work out how this is dangerous whilst exercising.


The ugly truth

Waist trainers can affect circulation leading to varicose veins and all sorts of other health problems. As well as this, the digestive system can suffer with acid reflux occurring as well as constipation. The atrophy of the abdominal muscles caused by wearing a waist trainer can also lead to chronic back pain and breathing problems.

I understand that the society we live in today has put extreme pressure on females to conform to these ideals portrayed by the media and I accept that people will still wear waist trainers regardless of the health risks, but if you are going to use a waist trainer use one sparingly and try not to upgrade to tighter versions and remember, they DONT actually work. The only way to decrease waist size healthily is through a good, balanced diet and regular exercise.