WTF Is Waist Training and Does It Work?

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It's no secret the Kardashian women (including their Jenner sisters) work hard for their bodies, but how hard is too hard? The lovely ladies have been championing a new trend in beauty and body sculpting, called waist training, which, truth be told, looks painful. It involves wearing what's essentially a corset to cinch the waist, and is meant to be worn for short bursts on a daily basis in order to "train" the waist to stay that, well, small. Other celebrities like Jessica Alba and Amber Rose also swear by it, but I'd like more information.

What exactly is waist training? What does it actually do to your body, other than the temporary aesthetic change? And does it actually work? With celebrities swearing by it, what is the everywoman to do? Should we jump on board? Or should we say "Nah, shove it!" and love our perfectly lovely waists the way they are? I've gone ahead and found out everything you need to know about waist training so you can make a decision about whether it's for you, or at least to satiate your curiosity about what it actually is, and does.

1. How is waist training supposed to work?

The waist trainer, as already mentioned, is pretty much just a corset that wraps tightly around your waist. It's meant to mold your body, namely your core, back and hips, into an hourglass shape over time. Paired with a healthy diet and regular exercise, waist training is supposed to expedite the body sculpting process, starting out with you wearing the device for 2-4 hours a day and gradually building up to wearing it all day.

2. What does waist training actually do to your body?

Well, think about what Victorian Era corsets did to women's bodies. Things like squashed lungs and ribs, trouble breathing, and in extreme cases of prolonged wear, waist training could lead to crushed organs and fractured ribs, according to doctors. For a good laugh, see what happens when guys try it.

3. Does waist training even work?

Medical experts are suggesting that no, waist training most certainly does not work. Doctors have said that there is no evidence to show that the contraption triggers weight lost, and that using it could actually lead to the loss of core strength, which is the opposite of its aim.

4. Are there any benefits to waist training?

Not really. For an evening out it might make you look more shapely and therefore feel more confident, but you'll probably also be stupidly uncomfortable and risk the aforementioned health hazards. If you really want to shape your stomach, try pilates or other core based exercises, and adopt a healthier diet (cutting alcohol always helps)! Meanwhile, if you want instant gratification, try some Spanx, which will zip you up but won't leave you with crushed ribs and gasping lungs.

5. Should we all start waist training immediately?

Absolutely not! The health risks seem to far outweigh any benefits of waist training. If you want to tone your body, do it safely: with a nutritious and balanced diet and regular, non-harmful exercises. You don't need to torture yourself in order to fit into some celebrity ideal of beauty. Meanwhile, you're perfect exactly the way you are, no matter what your waist looks like. Health and fitness should always be about self-love, rather than how skinny you can be. Because loving yourself and being healthy and happy is far more fulfilling than any hour glass silhouette.

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