Waist training is dangerous

Meghan Rochelle, Photographer

In the fitness industry, there are many accessories, supplements and equipment that you can purchase. One of the most famous on Instagram is “waist trainers.” I believe that these waist trainers are dangerous to the health of everyone who uses them. They are not safe and can cause damage to your body.  Many of the side effects are organ damage, restricted breathing, cracked ribs and more. There are healthier ways to obtain a slimmer figure than waist training. Eating healthy and exercising regularly are the most important. There is no magic pill, diet or compression belt that will suddenly make you slim and fit. 

Waist trainers are trending in the fitness community. They are talked about on Instagram, Twitter and on YouTube videos. According to an article by New Waist Karma Admin, waist trainers are meant to slim the waist with “the aid of compression material, typically constructed with a latex core and hook-and-eye closures in the front.” Many women wear waist trainer belts under or over their athletic pants. These belts are meant to help users obtain a flat stomach and an hourglass figure. Many women choose to wear a waist trainer even when they are not working out.

Waist trainers are similar to the classic corset from the 1800s, but without the tight lacing and boning. Waist trainers can be seen in pictures all across social media by influencers, such as the Kardashian family and Jordyn Woods. Many of these influencers promote the product as being reliable, safe and that it helps them obtain an hourglass figure. These influencers never discuss the negative effects that these waist trainers have on the body. Many influencers are also paid to promote these products in a good light, so it is hard to tell if they truly care about the product they are promoting.

According to an article by Christine Mugnolo, waist trainers can cause organ damage, problems with breathing, poor digestion and more. Wearing a waist trainer for a long period of time can possibly crack the wearers ribs. Along with that side effect, waist trainers can also cause people to pass out, have fluid buildup in the lungs and inflammation. The most dangerous side effect is meralgia paresthetica, which is when there is pressure on nerves inside the thighs. This is not as common as the rest of the side effects, but it is the most dangerous to your body. 

According to Mugnolo, people usually feel “numbness, tingling and a burning sensation in the outer thigh.” This is one of the dangers of waist training that many people do not realize exists. Losing feeling in your legs is not worth obtaining a slimmer figure. People who do not treat meralgia paresthetica are at risk for losing all ability to walk or move normally again. This is a big health risk people are taking and I would rather not risk my health for a smaller waistline. People must decide whether they want to take that risk or find a healthier alternative to waist training.

Many people purchasing waist trainers are putting their bodies in harm’s way for a positive result that may not even exist. Waist trainers are not guaranteed to slim your waist or help you lose fat. According to exercise physiologist Ashley Fluger, “there is no science to support the claims that wearing an extremely compressive garment around the waist will instantly strengthen the abdominals and cause specifically abdominal fat loss.” Using a compression belt is not the secret key to losing inches off your waist and obtaining rock hard abs. Many users are trusting the opinion of influencers instead of trusting what evidence is showing in the media. There is no evidence that proves that waist trainers help users obtain a smaller waistline.

Until there is scientific evidence, there is nothing to support a product that influencers are promoting online. Many influencers pretend to love products online because they are being sponsored to say that the product works. They must promote it in a positive light to earn a payment and create a strong relationship with the company. The only results users may obtain are restricted breathing and form during exercise. When wearing waist trainer belts you are restricting your natural movement and breath during exercise. People may also have more serious side effects that can send them to the hospital. Risking your health for the sake of obtaining an ideal body image is not worth it. 

There are so many alternatives to waist trainers to achieve the desired hourglass figure. One of them is looking up exercises online that most people can do to obtain a slimmer figure. Many of these exercise videos can be found on YouTube or even on fitness blog sites. My favorite core exercise moves for a slimmer waist are side plank twists, bicycle crunches, regular planks, butterfly crunches and leg raises. You can find more exercises to strengthen your abdominals on my favorite YouTuber’s channel, Blogilates. Making sure your diet is clean is just as important as having a regular exercise schedule. Your abs are not only made in the gym, but the kitchen as well. Risking your health is not the correct and safe way to achieve your fitness goals.