Wearing corsets or devices to suck in that belly is not a new idea, with Scarlett O’Hara of Gone With The Wind fame having a desirable 12” waist and jokes about an ability to breathe meaning that your corset wasn’t tight enough. Thankfully we have come a long, long, way from the organ damaging devices of old, and these days waist training devices aren’t about creating an instant physical shape that squishes your body in ways that it shouldn’t go.
Although modern waist trainers may be called corsets, and indeed often resemble styles from centuries ago, as a device they are not designed to hold your posture erect or include restrictive metal or whalebone ribs.
What Is The Idea Behind Waist Trainers?
The basic concept is that by wearing something snug around your middle section while you are working out, and in some cases just going about your daily chores, you are building up heat in your core, which can help you burn fat and strengthen your abdominal muscles.
If you’ve ever worn jeans that were a bit too tight you probably noticed that you had an indentation on your tummy when you took them off. Well, a waist trainer, or waist cinch, works with a similar idea – that if you wear this garment long enough for several weeks you will have created a semi-permanent physical change to your body. Although modeled and promoted by several celebrities, there is still a lot of debate in the fitness community about their effectiveness, however, as a device to help you see results ‘quickly’, that might help you stay motivated to continue with a sustained healthy exercise and diet change to your lifestyle, they can be incredibly beneficial.
So, are there any cheap waist trainers that work? As always, the answer has to be yes, and no. A lot of whether you can say that work will depend largely on what results you expect. They are meant to be an exercise aid, that can help you decrease your belly and help you to create that hourglass figure that is back in vogue. However, you are still going to need to exercise and consider what you eat.
Are They Just Expensive Body Shapers?
No, they’re really not! This is often where people think they have found a magic bullet, particularly if they have worn a body shaping product before. Although waist trainers are often made of similar fabric to body shapers, they are of a different purpose, strength and structure. Body shapers are foundation undergarments that are usually made of spandex material that squishes any fat to create a slender body line once you have your clothes on. They are items of clothing designed more to hide a wobbly after baby belly rather than increase your abdominal muscles and reduce the outer layer of fat.
Technically you can wear a corset, as of course their original purpose was to define the waist, a waist cincher or a body shaper foundation garment, and any of these will create the illusion of having a flat belly and slim waist. However, you will certainly notice different levels of comfort between them all. The amount of movement you have will also vary, with a corset being the most restrictive, but also providing the most defined silhouette, and the shaper garments being the lest strictive, but also providing the lest definition to your silhouette.
This is one of the issues that will often cause a great deal of confusion, and it’s not surprising, it can get confusing! However, basically any corset, waist trainer or cincher needs to have a certain amount of vertical boning (running in the same direction as your spine) in order to keep the garment upright and siting on your torso properly, rather than gathering in an uncomfortable bunch around your waist.
You may also find that waist trainers designed specifically as workout wear have angled boning, which are supposed to make exercising easier as they allow for a larger range of movement.
The boning itself doesn’t make a great deal of difference as far as changing the shape of your silhouette, that is defined by the panels in the corset and how well it fits to your shape. You may find that cheaper options bunch or gather, and look very little like Kim Kardashians does. However, celebrities are in the position to have their waist trainer’s custom fitted for them, for the rest of us mere mortals it will usually simply be a case of trying different brands to find the one that fits out unique body shape the best.
You have different options for different body shapes and sizes, so don’t be afraid to hunt around and ask online for recommendations, particularly if you are more on the curvy side.