Do Waist Trainers Work?
Spoiler: a waist trainer does not “train” your waist.
Before jumping into why a waist trainer isn’t an ideal solution for reshaping your waist, we need to understand some anatomy.
Your chest cavity holds a lot of vital organs, including your heart, lungs, and more. These organs, specifically your lungs, are squishy.
As you’re probably aware, as you inhale, your lungs expand, and as you exhale, your lungs get smaller. What causes this is the movement of the diaphragm, which is a small, sheet-like muscle that sits below your lungs. When it’s down, it increases the size of the chest cavity, and vice versa when it’s up.
While some folks might be convinced that a waist trainer actually trains the waist, the truth is...it just doesn’t. It simply displaces the fat from your abdomen and pushes it into your chest cavity - this can create a few issues depending on how much internal fat you have. A waist trainer pushes the contents of your guts and diaphragm into your chest, limiting how your lungs can open and expand.
If you’re a person with a lot of internal fat – it is likely hard to talk or move while wearing a waist trainer because it compresses your lungs, fat and other organs so much that the capacity of your lungs decreases – meaning it’s hard to take a nice, full deep breath. The less internal fat you have, the easier it will be to move and breathe while wearing a waist trainer.
It is essential to mention that a person wearing a waist trainer will appear to have a smaller waist while wearing it, but not because the waist is being trained or reshaped. The fat will return to its usual place as soon as the garment is removed. Trainers will work as a piece of shapewear, but nothing is better than losing weight on your own.
Further, an alternative to a waist trainer as shapewear is a faja. A faja provides cinching in the waist and down the length of your body, giving you an hourglass figure without overemphasizing pressure on your abdomen. It smooths the body out from the upper back, through the midsection, and down passed the hips into the lower thighs.
Post-surgery patients will sometimes want to wear waist trainers on top of their fajas, which is highly discouraged. The results will not be better. In fact, more cinching and pressure in that area often leads to complications related to oxygen and blood supply.